Helping after the storms

In the month of November Honduras was hit by two high-impact cyclones called Eta and Iota.

According to official reports on the impact of Eta and Iota, 78 deaths have been recorded and nine people have disappeared, while also affecting the homes and livelihoods of 3.5 million people – over a third of the population. More than 270,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Over 100,000 people still don’t have access to basic services. NPH set out to support the most vulnerable families in the country by travelling to one of the worst affected cities in the north, La Lima.

“We received donations of $43,000 NZD to carry out this medical brigade, thanks to Humedica Interantional Aid and individual donors. We spent $16,000 on medication. We also bought hygiene supplies, biosafety material and food. We had the opportunity to reach people in nine communities and three shelters,” says Lauren Pach, Project Coordinator of NPH Honduras and organizer of the brigade. “We formed a multidisciplinary team with 24 people, including doctors, nurses and psychologists to address the emotional impact as well.”

Director of NPH Honduras, Stephen O’Mahoney adds, “I had only seen these scenes in photographs and on television, but until you are in the place and see the total destruction you realize how vulnerable we are as human beings. These people have invested their time, resources and entire lives in what they had. Now they must start again from zero. I am touched, but also motivated to continue looking for a way to contribute in this fight against a situation that is bigger than us. It is a blessing to be able to help.”

In addition to providing food and treatment to 1,507 people, children received toys and took part in fun activities. Rapid Covid19 tests were available as well as masks and hand sanitisers. They lack of social distancing and lack of hygiene supplies, led to many people becoming infected with Covid19.

Maria, one of the shelter’s residents says, “I lost everything. The only things I have are the clothes on my back. My mother and brother almost drowned, but thank God we are alive. We are very grateful to the people who support us, and especially to NPH for this brigade. I should not cry. I must have hope to carry on and ask God for the strength to start over.”

Around 800 families benefited from the initiative, impacting the lives of more than 1,000 people, 400 of which are children.

NPH helps through our One Family Program

Among those affected by the storms “Eta” and “Iota” are six families in our OneFamily Program, which helps support children who have been reintegrated with their families after living in our NPH home.

Currently, two of these six families have lost their basic grain plantations, which was their main source of income. Others have lost the roofs from their homes and belongings, and some have had to evacuate. They have now returned home and are trying to rebuild their lives.

A toddler is carried over a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta in Jerusalen, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. The storm that hit Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday had become more of a vast tropical rainstorm, but it was advancing so slowly and dumping so much rain that much of Central America remained on high alert. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)

Up to now, the affected families have received a donation of mattresses from NPH Honduras and are also receiving constant psychosocial monitoring via telephone. They receive the continued support with reconstruction and repair of their homes, a project that is expected to be undertaken in early 2021.

If you would like to help with this reconstruction project, please make a donation. (Reference: reconstruction, Honduras)