Dear Friends and Supporters –
The unprecedented disaster that Hurricane Dorian has unleashed in The Bahamas, specifically Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands, would be difficult for any nation to respond to effectively without the help of people like you. To date over 350 donors have contributed more than $270,000 to the One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) – thank you to those who have contributed so far.
OEF and the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI) have experienced leadership and a proven track record in responding to the immediate and long term needs of people and communities and with your support, we are committed to contributing to the redevelopment of the affected areas. Our immediate strategy includes providing:
OEF and CTI are assisting with the logistics of getting evacuees from Abaco to Eleuthera. The original plan was to bring evacuees to Eleuthera, register them and then facilitate their transfer to Nassau. However, the exceptionally high number of evacuees has placed a significant burden on shelters and housing in Nassau. There is simply not enough room for the number of people needing help.
In response, OEF has begun the search for and development of short-, medium- and long-term shelter solutions for evacuees that do not have anywhere else to go. We are doing this in partnership with Bahamas Methodist Habitat’s Camp Symonette in James Cistern, Windermere High School in Savannah Sound (that has offered to take in up to 60 boarding students), hotels, and even individual homes and tents. We have also been able to host and transition 15 people at The Retreat Hotel at CTI already, and have capacity for more.
FOOD AND SUPPLIES
We are providing support directly to evacuees coming to Eleuthera as well as to Eleutherans who are receiving family members into their homes from the affected areas. This includes groceries, clothing, and personal care items. The number of people requiring this assistance is growing every day as thousands have been evacuated. Our staff members are also coordinating closely with our partner organizations to assist with volunteers and the collection and distribution of donated food and clothing. In addition, we are also receiving local and international aid which we will ship to the affected areas when the all clear is given. Logistics in the affected areas have been overwhelming and this is impacting the speed of response. There is great need to coordinate flights wanting to deliver aid into the country to assist, but both Nassau and the affected areas have reached their immediate capacity. We are committed to working with appropriate government officials as this issue is coordinated.
You can imagine that the psychosocial needs of evacuees – survivors – are and will be significant. We have trained trauma counselors on standby from Nassau and the USA who have begun regular travel to Eleuthera since last Friday to provide emotional and psychological support to those affected directly and indirectly.
LONG-TERM REDEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT
The scope of this catastrophe is so immense and overwhelming that we anticipate a multi-year and multi-pronged response. A plan to address rebuilding and redevelopment is already being formulated and we commit to keeping you updated. We are pleased to be working with our great partners including: One Eleuthera of the US (OEF-US), Bahamas Methodist Habitat, Cancer Society of Eleuthera, Harbour Island Green School, Rotary, South Eleuthera Emergency Partners, New Providence Community Centre, National Emergency Management Agency and others.
What can you do? There are 3 ways you can help today to support our Hurricane Dorian Relief efforts:
1. Make a cash contribution (see below for the link).
2. Gather and provide non-perishable food products, bottled water, new or gently used clothing and personal care products.
3. Volunteer your time and talents.
Your continued generosity is desperately needed.
It is a difficult time for all of us who call The Bahamas home. Thank you for joining us as we work together to support our fellow citizens with compassion, practical assistance and hope for the future.
Should you have any questions about our relief efforts please contact us.
CEO, One Eleuthera Foundation
Centre for Training and Innovation