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From Haiti with Love: Words of Support Through the Storm

Here in New York City, we have weathered an overwhelming storm. Throughout the region, streets and homes lie in ruin. Many of us are without electricity and water. The infrastructure we took for granted is gone, and it is hard to make life feel normal. We worry for our neighbors and loved ones.

In Haiti, where we work in partnership with the women of KOFAVIV, a grassroots organization, people are also reeling in the aftermath of the hurricane. Our friends at KOFAVIV asked us to share this message of support.

Dear friends at MADRE, 

Each time we face disaster here in Haiti, you are here for us.  Helping with the resources we need to reach the most vulnerable families with food, clean water and medical attention. 

But today it is we who are thinking of you, as we watched this giant storm move from our home to yours. Here in Haiti many people have lost even their flimsy tents and their few belongings, and there is terrible flooding.  We’ve seen the images of the flooding from this same storm in your communities. Haiti is not New York, but disaster can be frightening wherever we are.  

You have shown us great generosity during our worst times of crisis. I hope you’ll allow us, as thanks, to share with you some of what we have learned from moving through those crises:

  • If your home gave way in the storm, a friends shoulder offers shelter for your heart.
  • Friendship is the antidote for fear, so if you feel helpless, help someone else.
  • Remember that if someone is angry or if your children are misbehaving, it may be because they are still afraidcomfort them.
  • Above all, understand what we have learned in Haiti, that your resilience comes from your generosity. 

Like us, in the days ahead, you will need to rebuild from this storm.  We are not able to send you the tools and supplies you may need. But we are sending you our friendship and our thanks for your generosity in your time of need.  

In friendship, 

Malya Villard-Appolon and Eramithe Delva 
Co-Founders of KOFAVIV

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Yifat Susskind

Yifat Susskind is the Executive Director of MADRE, an international women's human rights organization. She has worked with women’s human rights activists from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa to create programs in their communities to address women's health, violence against women, economic and environmental justice and peace building. She has also written extensively on US foreign policy and women’s human rights and her critical analysis has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus and elsewehere.

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