In response to widespread destruction, within the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) territory, caused by two major Category 5 hurricanes in September 2017, the NCC swiftly readied an array of humanitarian forces on behalf of members, workers and the wider community.
The NCC Community Service’s Departments, on each island, local service groups, government entities, private donors and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) dutifully rose to the challenge and were vital links in a response-chain to affected residents.
Under the astute leadership, collaboration and exceptional networking of Pastor Alexander Isaacs, Director of ADRA at the Caribbean Union, ADRA were among the first disaster-responders to establish a presence on several islands.
In Tortola, ADRA International collaborated with the island’s ADRA Coordinator, Pastor Howard Simon, and delivered hampers of food worth $25,000.00 to 850 families – each hamper contained food to last three weeks. ADRA International liaised with the government and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to serve 1,200 children at temporary Learning and Protection Spaces through UNICEF’s WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program. Strides in contamination-mitigation will continue as ADRA partners with the Ministry of Education to provide safety, health and hygiene information (along with two mosquito nets for each family) at government-funded schools. ADRA will also supply potable water to the 530 students at the Road Town High School for one week and to six elementary schools for six weeks.
In St. Maarten the local ADRA Coordinator, Pastor Vashni Cuvalay, interfaced with the government to forge a dynamic ADRA presence and response. ADRA International used electronic tablet assessment software to perform a rapid assessment of the needs on St. Maarten which allowed the soup kitchen at the Philipsburg Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church to distribute 10,238 hot meals to the community. In addition, ADRA increased its disaster-contribution to the government which assisted intelligence-gathering and funding food vouchers for 1,400 families.
In Anguilla, ADRA Canada, ADRA International and ADRA NCC coordinated with locally trained SDA volunteers and distributed hampers of food worth more than US$30,000.00 to over 500 families.
The NCC applauds the work of ADRA which has been outstanding and visible around the NCC territory in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.