Jane Holden has been in Haiti this week. Here’s her report following a visit to the Aken branch of Fonkoze where she met with staff, clients and their families.
‘The Aken branch survived quite well, despite some damage to the roof and a lot of paperwork getting wet, but they were lucky. The roof has been fixed and the branch managed to get back up and running just two days later. This is essential as there are many clients who are reliant on the branch to receive money from abroad, and also many clients who have loans that they need to be able to access and repay, so it is a very necessary service. It also provides a sense of ‘normality’ amongst the chaos.
I was fortunate to meet three families and listen to their experiences. They had sadly all lost things to varying degrees. One had lost the roof of his house and many possessions. Everything was so wet that the family (parents and three young children) were sleeping in the Church. Another single man had no damage to his own home so was busy trying to help his neighbours out and had welcomed a family into his home. Finally I met someone who had taken his father in, as his father had lost everything.
The overwhelming thing I noticed was everyone’s spirit and solidarity. Obviously they would welcome any financial assistance, but are not expecting it, so they just get on with doing the best they can’.