When emergencies like Hurricane Matthew strike, it is women who are on the frontlines of the response in supporting children, the sick and injured, the elderly and the broader community. Women like Mary Solange, who is coordinating a women’s group in Bavette, Haiti in distributing emergency supplies to the most vulnerable families.
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Read Mary’s on the ground update on women-led emergency response post-Hurricane Matthew:
I am a nurse at a local health clinic but in my spare time I am a woman’s community leader. We already had leadership training from ActionAid and when the hurricane hit this really helped us because we were able to mobilise and work together. We helped each other and made sure that the most vulnerable, the old people and children, got to safety.
Since the hurricane came we have been left with nothing. The people in my village have lost everything.
Right now we need to rebuild. But there is a risk of disease because we don’t have enough water and many people don’t have a roof so they are getting wet and cold. Today, as well as helping to hand out water and food supplies from ActionAid I am educating this group of young women about infection and how they can try and protect themselves and their families from sickness.
After we have rebuilt we will need to focus again on our farms. We have to stay strong, especially the women. We have to show example to our community. We know ActionAid will be there with us and for this we say thank-you.