On 12 January 2010 the Caribbean island Haiti was stuck by a 7.0 magnitude quake near Port au Prince. Over 3,500,000 people were affected by the quake and 220,000 people were estimated to have died. Over 188,383 houses were badly damaged and 105,000 were destroyed by the earthquake (293,383 in total) and 1.5m people became homeless. In addition to this 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed.
Although the Disasters Emergency committee has been working hard for over 2 years, reconstruction and recovery of Haiti has been slow.
Former Clydebank College Chaplain Becky Haldane moved out to Haiti last year to assist in rebuilding a school /orphanage facility in one of the many communities affected by the quake.
The college has been keeping in touch with Becky’s progress, via the ELIM Pentecostal Family Church Pastor Gordon Allan, who sits on the College Spiritual Care Group. Gordon has been updating the group with progress over the past few months via video diary and pictures taken by Becky from thousands of miles away.
Linda Gillon, Beauty Therapy lecturer who also sits on the Spiritual Care group was so affected by the updates that she explained the situation to her class, who were keen to get some fundraising events underway.
Linda said,’ The students wanted to help the orphanage immediately when they heard their dilemma. Everyone got in the fundraising spirit but it truly brought the important of the fundraising to the forefront when we heard that the Haiti school Inspector was going to close the school orphanage down if they didn’t get more desks! The Beauty Therapy students helped save a school for one hundred kids - definitely an answer to a prayer.’
Gill Watt, Director of Student Support at Clydebank College said, ‘I think the students have done a great job and it’s been wonderful to hear the money raised has been so well received. We are hoping in the new session that other departments will choose to fundraise for the Haitian School Orphanage. Many departments and courses have specific charities that they fundraise for, but perhaps for the next academic session we can devise a strategy where 10% of all college fundraising goes towards this particular charity. I’m sure this is just the start for the fundraising for Haiti in the college and I look forward to seeing how this can progress next session.’
Pastor Gordon Allan from ELIM Pentecostal Family Church said, ‘I am thrilled to accept these cheques on behalf of Elim International Missions towards the work that former Clydebank College Chaplain and Associate Pastor of Clydebank Elim Church, Becky Haldane is doing in Haiti. A huge thank you goes to all the students who gave and raised this money for children on the other side of the world who are trying to rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquake in the country. The finance will be used to purchase desks in a school in an area of Port au Prince which has 160 children attending.’