ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As rescue efforts continue in Haiti, local organizations are working to help the country as well.
Heart of God Haiti has helped the island nation since before the 2010 earthquake. Executive director David Young said the most recent earthquake adds another challenge to an already struggling country.
“We just had the assassination of a president, you have the whole problem with COVID, lack of security, and all kinds of economic problems, and this is just one more layer of difficulty,” said Young.
Based on his experience after the 2010 earthquake, Young said any aftershock or landslides will cause further issues and damage to any remaining infrastructure and housing.
“That will be a significant problem, it was a problem in 2010 and will be a problem in this case now,” said Young.
Young said an important factor in assisting countries after a major crisis is ensuring the methods will benefit the community long-term.
“You want to make sure if we do a rebuild that we’re using local labor, local suppliers,” said Young.
This includes using methods that can continue once aid organizations leave the area.
“Our whole model is based on making sure it’s self-sustaining and that its running,” said Young. “That the Haitian folks can run it by themselves with very little support from us because the long term goal is to be self-sustaining.”
Young said if individuals want to help after this earthquake, to make sure the aid will actually benefit the people.
“If you are going to support an organization there, make sure it’s an organization that’s legitimate and the money is going to go where you want—that’s very important,” said Young. “You’ve got to think about the long-term of what you’re doing.”
Young has worked to help people in Haiti since he was stationed in the country in 2005. Heart of God Haiti is a member of the Heart of God International Ministries and works to support schools, local businesses and individuals in the country.