Two years after the earthquake, Idaho ministry organization enables the work of some 30 relief agencies
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Two years after a devastating earthquake crippled Haiti and killed thousands, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) remains actively involved in the rebuilding process, supporting more than 30 relief organizations with critical flights to 15 airstrips.
“We have been encouraged by the progress made in Haiti over the past year, but we know there is still a long road ahead,” said John Boyd, MAF president and CEO. “It is a privilege to serve the people of Haiti daily and we look forward to continuing our role in assisting with rebuilding efforts.”
MAF, which currently operates three planes in Haiti and has been serving the country since 1986, provides daily flights for relief workers, medical personnel, churches, and work teams involved in community development efforts. In a country where roads are nearly impassable and bandits threaten travelers, MAF services are invaluable.
The ministry organization has also distributed micro grants to help families and small businesses get back on their feet after the earthquake. MAF funding has allowed families to rebuild their homes and send their children to school. MAF also assisted in repairing a school, provided meals for school children, and constructed 26 small homes for those in need.
Since cholera broke out in late 2010, nearly 500,000 cases have been reported, resulting in more than 265,000 hospitalizations and some 6,800 deaths. The Haitian Ministry of Health recently reported that it expects the cholera epidemic to continue for the next two to three years as it spreads from urban centers to rural areas. MAF has aided in the ongoing battle against cholera by flying medical teams and supplies to clinics and hospitals.
While the country has suffered through some dark times, many people seem encouraged about Haiti’s future.
“The country is optimistic right now about what is going on,” MAF Haiti program manager David Carwell said. “We’ve also seen many churches and mission organizations that have been strengthened and are moving forward. We pray that MAF can be a catalyst in the process.”