A message from the International YCW (IYCW)
25th January 2010
Solidarity with Haiti – Young Christian WorkersAs you know, a major earthquake (magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale according to agencies) hit Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, on January 12 in the evening. The epicentre was located at around fifteen kilometres from that city which is the most populated in the country. The earthquake that rocked the island is the strongest in many decades. Two hundred thousand people are feared dead. On January 20, a strong aftershock (magnitude of 6.1) struck west of Port-au-Prince and rocked Haiti again and devastated the country. The extent of the damage is not known yet.
The IYCW would like to express its sympathy and solidarity with the Haitian people who are facing this terrible tragedy.
Over the past few days, the International and JOCA Secretariats have tried to get in touch with our YCW friends in Haiti. At first we could not reach them due to the destruction of the communication facilities there and it is extremely difficult to establish the contact.
Recently we got some news from Sanon Alexandre, the regional coordinator of JOC Artibonite. According to him, some IYCW members unfortunately lost their lives and other friends were seriously injured:
This is the case of Patrick Hugo Noel, the YCW treasurer, who lost his life as a result of the earthquake.
Some parents and former members of IYCW have also lost their lives.
Rose Pierlyne Guillaume, a national coordinator, is seriously injured. (Pierlyne is familiar to many through her life story which appears on the website of the IYCW).
The YCW office in Haiti has totally collapsed.
The members of the JOCA team got in contact with some leaders in Haiti.
We heard from Yves Rameau Belteus (IYCW international team member from Haiti) and Raymond Calixte (national coordinator of Haiti YCW) after a long time. Rameau is in the Dominican Republic at the moment and from there he is trying to help with communication, the receiving of financial contributions, and assisting some people to turn to health organisations.
The JOCA Team and Rameau are going to try and help Pierlyne. They want to get health assistance for her.
One of the activists (Osmar) of the Dominican YCW is part of a support group called Ylogro. He went to Haiti on Friday January 15th. Both Rameau and Calixte are part of the support team to coordinate the process.
We are trying to get updated information about the situation in Haiti.
The IYCW is launching a financial solidarity campaign to help the Haiti YCW movement with their reconstruction.
Several movements have already expressed their solidarity and support through prayers, and some movements, together with other organisations, are trying to organise support campaigns for the people of Haiti.
As an international movement, we would like to express our support to the Haitian people as well as our faith in them. We know the strength they have shown in their struggle, in particular the working class, to overcome natural, political and economic crisis and we hope that this disaster they have to go through today will only reinforce the values of struggle which characterise them.
We urge all national movements to send solidarity messages, to be unified with the Haitian people through their prayers and, if possible, to assist in the organisation of support campaigns.
Support our friends in Haiti
The IYCW is launching a financial campaign to support the Haiti YCW and respond to their needs. We would like to ask the support of all national movements, our partners, our supporters and all well-wishers, for our friends in Haiti.
The IYCW International Secretariat will coordinate the assistance with the JOCA secretariat.
To donate money online, go to the IYCW website, scroll down the page and click on the “donate” button to be redirected to PayPal.
You can also send your financial contribution to the account number below:
Account Name: Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne Internationale aisbl
Account No: 068-2290840-18
IBAN: BE50 0682 2908 4018
The international team of the IYCW will try to keep in touch with our Haitian YCW friends and will let you know if we get any further information. We would like to convey to the Haitian people the positive energy and support of all young workers around the globe, who are “worth more than all the gold in the world” and show solidarity each day of their lives.
The International Secretariat – IYCW
Geethani Peries, Arlindo de Oliveira and Augustine Ponnaian
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