HOTLINE - week of April 5, 2010

CWS continues quake recovery in Haiti and assists families in improving their nutrition in the Dominican Republic; - U.S. Northeast hit by severe flooding; Strong quake hits northern Baja, Mexico, affects southwest U.S.

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Girl taking part in a workshopHaiti—Girl taking part in a workshop to help children work through the stresses caused by the Jan. 12 quake.
Photo: Caminante


Church World Service and its British counterpart Christian Aid commend the Haitian Government’s proposed Plan for Haiti Recovery and Reconstruction, particularly its recognition that Haitians need to be fully in charge of rebuilding the country from the devastating January 12 earthquake. CWS and CA urge that any reconstruction plans would be strengthened by not reconstructing what existed, but by creating new and sustainably better lives for Haitians. For more on specific recommendations, visit   

CWS is working to assist young Haitians in their recovery from the trauma of the quake.  A group of five young staffers--two psychologists, two teachers and a social worker--of CWS Dominican partner Caminante recently conducted a series of workshops in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

They led workshops using dance, music, art and storytelling to focus on ways children "could regain their happiness," said Yesica Rosario, a Caminante social worker.

Even before the quake, Church World Service was laying the groundwork to forge closer ties between groups in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti that assist vulnerable children.

"We never thought it could happen this way so quickly," Caminante director Denisse Pichardo said about the ties between the Haitian and Dominican non-governmental organizations.  She added, "I really believe with children, there is new hope for Haiti."

CWS also works with another longtime partner, Social Service of the Dominican Churches, SSID, to help families impacted by the quake in Haiti.  SSID is assisting some 770 families (about 4,800 persons) in 32 communities in a CWS-supported development program to reduce malnutrition and increase the incomes of Haitian families and Dominicans of Haitian descent in rural Dominican Republic.  The families are gaining agricultural inputs and nutrition education, and enhancing and diversifying food production via increased access to productive land and improved farming techniques.

The project is an outgrowth of the assistance CWS provided for Haitians living and working on Dominican sugar cane plantations.

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Northeast U.S. flooding

Several days of rain compounded flooding problems caused by rains in late March in the northeast U.S.  Particularly hard-hit are Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

CWS Emergency Response Specialist Joann Hale is coordinating the response in the northeast.

CWS is responding to flooding in several states: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, West Virginia and New Jersey.  Part of the response includes working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bring CWS’s Recovery Tools and Training Program to affected communities, assisting them in planning for their long-term recovery efforts.  

In March, in response to earlier flooding in New Jersey, CWS provided 210 CWS Blankets; 120 CWS School Kits; 540 CWS Hygiene Kits; 500 CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets; and 510 facemasks to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for distribution to disaster survivors.

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Mexico quake

A 7.2 magnitude quake hit rural northern Baja California, Mexico, on Sunday, Apr. 4.  The quake caused little damage, but shook buildings from Los Angeles, CA, to Phoenix, AZ.  CWS is in contact with partners and emergency responders in Mexico and California and is assessing needs.

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