Walking through the community surrounding Pwoje Espwa in the weeks following Hurricane Matthew, you could see makeshift shelters of tin, tarp, and scraps standing next to collapsed homes. You could find Bernard Olivier and his wife, Lolia, sweeping the ground in front of their own shelter. Their children, Bertholet (age 7) and Lonia (age 5) ran around them barefoot.
Hurricane Matthew destroyed the Olivier home and blew away their farm, goats, and chickens. Seeking shelter in the following days, the family stayed in any safe place they could find until they were able to scrap enough tin together to construct a semblance of a home on their property. With most of their possessions destroyed along with their livelihood, the Olivier family was living day to day.
As the new school year approached the following year, Bernard and Lolia were discouraged about their ability to enroll their children, Bertholet and Lonia. Hurricane Matthew had destroyed their birth certificates, nor did they have the money to cover the high costs of tuition and school supplies.
Espwa reached out.
Espwa supported the Olivier family with food distributions while they recovered their farm. Bertholet and Lonia were provided clothing and were enrolled in school at PES with a scholarship so their days could be filled with learning and growth.
Two years later as you walk through the community, you can find Lolia and Bernard tending to their small farm outside of their new home, which they welcome you into with big smiles and open arms. Two years later, the family has been able to recover and stay together, with YOUR assistance.