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Survivors' stories

The 2008 Hurricane Season has hit Haiti hard over the last three weeks, bringing with it incredible downpours of rain and strong winds. As part of our charity work in the country, Concern is distributing relief aid in temporary shelters.

Hurricane in Haiti

There are currently 68 families living in this dark, cramped, overcrowded shelter in Martissant. Concern, in conjunction with Oxfam and the Red Cross, have been trying to meet the needs of these people, some of whom have been forced to live here for 16 days.

Oxfam is providing food and Concern, along with the national protection committee, distributed hygiene kits and blankets to all of those in the shelter.


Charles Marie has been helped by Concern Charles Marie Dominique is a 35 year old mother of five, the youngest of which is only one year old. She arrived at the shelter two days ago after being forced to leave her home. During the storms, the tin roof covering her two-roomed home was ripped from its holding.

“We were all frightened, we tried to hold down the roof with some string attached to it but we weren’t strong enough and the wind flipped the roof and we were all exposed. My children were scared and so was I. We have tried to reattach the roof but the wood is all snapped and it is not at all secure, every time it rains it leaks into my home. Things are very bad.”

The recent storms have only added to Charles Marie’s plight; “Life was already difficult before but we were doing ok. Two of my children were going to school but now I don’t know how I will send them.  I will stay here (at the shelter) until I find a way of fixing my home. I don’t want my kids to get sick, but I don’t know how I will afford to fix the damage. It is a hard time for us.’

Grand Ravine Shelter, Martissant, Port-au-Prince

There are currently 101 families living in this school, with the number is growing each day. 

Charles Marie with her five children, currently taking refuge in a shelter in downtown Port-au-Prince. Photo by Daniel Morel Joseph and his family’s home was severely damaged during the recent storms. The makeshift roof of his home was ripped off leaving him and his family exposed to the heavy rains.They heard on the radio that they could seek shelter at this school. They left their home and moved here 16 days ago. 

“I have never seen it this bad, I have been living in this area for 19 years and this has definitely been the worst, it is the first time I have ever had to bring my family to a shelter. I had to do it, I knew we could find help here.’

When asked when he will be able to move home he replies, “I honestly do not know, I have no work at the moment and so I have no way of mending my roof.  Also I do not know how I will send my children to school. They are 14, eight and six years old. It is a hard time not only for me and my family but for everyone here – more people come each day looking for food and shelter.  People are angry and everyone is cramped. It is not an easy place to be. My family just wants to go home. I hope that will happen soon.”