SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The Touch of Hope mission group out of Rock Valley, Iowa is primarily focused on establishing schools in Haiti. The recent earthquake and tropical storm that affected the island country became a greater priority.
According to the BBC, more than 1,400 people have died from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Southern peninsula, on August 14. This is Haiti’s strongest earthquake since the 19th century, with the 2010 earthquake generating a 7.0 magnitude quake in Port-Au-Prince.
Rescue missions have also been set back due to Tropical Storm Grace battering the island with heavy rain and storm conditions. A Touch of Hope missionary explains what it was like for her group to experience the earthquake.
“Fortunately, that was not close to our area, where Touch of Hope is in Simonette. We are on the other side of Port-Au-Prince, however they did feel some of the tremors of the earthquake and through the next 24 hours into Sunday, felt some of those aftershocks as well, so we didn’t get any damage,” said Megan Likness, a representative of Touch of Hope.
Likness said although Touch of Hope’s schools and buildings are still standing, she said the people of Haiti still can’t catch a break.
“There’s still a lot of trauma and PTSD from the first one 11 years ago, and now to add this on top of it. People fortunately know what to do now that didn’t know what to do 11 years ago, but there’s still so much from that. And I think a lot of people are just living in sheer desperation because they don’t have anything, they were already in very poor circumstances and now they’re even worse off,” Likness said.
Likness said the mission group still plans on starting the new school year on September 6. If you’d like to support their cause, the link is here.