Nature reminds us how little we can against the elements when their fury is unleashed, following a logic that we cannot understand and sweeping away what tries to resist it. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti with particular violence, last fall, making more than one thousand victims, razing down many precarious dwellings of the Caribbean island and severely damaging a number of buildings.
Among these, St. Augustin school in Laserengue, Abricot, near the town of Jeremie (nine hours away from the Capital), in the south west of Haiti: one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane winds that were blowing at over 200 kph.
Suddenly, the almost one thousand students who daily attended the structure realized thanks to Andrea Bocelli Foundation in partnership with Fondation St Luc, local project partners, found themselves unable to continue their studies.
In the first days after the disaster, the school – despite the damages – was used to accommodate families left homeless, hosting at the same time also the activities of the project ‘Mobile Clinic’ that assisted thousands of people.
The lessons quickly resumed their course, despite the many difficulties, due to the fact that most part of the teaching material had been destroyed, and especially because of the unavailability of some classrooms and of the necessary unification of classes. In particular, a temporary structure was built to host part of the students.
Nature, as we said before, reminds us how little we can against elements. What we can and must, however, is react with equal force to that destructive force, without giving in to discouragement, conversely acting with speed and conviction.
It is a personal and existential challenge, for each of us: as in the Gospels, where there is a verb that is focus of our faith (‘rise again’), so in our daily life, our effort and our will is to emulate this concept: give rise once again, rebuild, reconstruct…And in this case, give back, as soon as possible, the school to the young students of Laserengue and to their educational path.
The reconstruction was born from a partnership between ABF and Fondazione San Zeno, particularly active and sensitive to the issues concerning school, education and work. In fact, they enthusiastically welcomed our request for support and we started a particularly efficient and successful cooperation.
On February 13th began a complex renovation that, in four months, will restore the structures, by carrying out the construction works necessary to achieve a permanent and definitive solution.
In the course of the second week of March, an ABF delegation along with the Director General of San Zeno Foundation, Rita Ruffoli, went to Haiti just to oversee the state of the art of this intervention.