October 18, 2021

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Haiti earthquake: Northeast Philadelphia priest operating to help out following new disaster

PETIT-TROU-DE-NIPPES, Haiti (WPVI) — Even with a language barrier, the anguish of a Haitian lady interprets as she describes the rubble she sees soon after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit in her village on August 14.

That picture of sorrow and videos of individuals jogging in flooded, muddy streets are among the the images despatched to the nonprofit business Fingers Together, which has been performing in Haiti considering that 1986 with a Philadelphia native at the helm.

Father Tom Hagan moved to Haiti in 1997 to work full-time on aiding the individuals of just one of the world’s poorest nations around the world.

“In the region I operate, the individuals consume mud. That is all they have,” claimed Hagan.

It truly is a significantly cry from in which he grew up.

“I grew up in the Northeast (Philadelphia) place and went to a large faculty termed Father Decide,” he explained with a smile.

As he traveled to different parts of the U.S. to increase funds for Palms With each other, Father Hagan was absent from Haiti when the most current earthquake hit.

He is trying to make his way again there now with flashbacks of the 2010 earthquake, which he knowledgeable initially-hand, still in his head.

“I continue to wake up at night occasionally, considering about that,” he explained.

This time, the earthquake broken a various region.

“Most of them were easy dwellings that went down,” said Hagan. “The difficulty is it is the similar area that often receives hit with the hurricanes.”

It really is an space he knows properly by means of his function with Fingers With each other. Hagan describes currently being stopped by gunmen and gangs, who terrorize people throughout the place, when performing anything as very simple as bringing a caravan of provides to a distant area.

Fingers Alongside one another also trains and employs Haitians, oversees assignments to dig drinking water wells and cash additional than a dozen educational facilities.

“We now have 15 faculties and we are the only free of charge schools in the region,” mentioned Hagan.

He usually does his do the job alongside Palms Jointly Govt Director Douglas Campbell. The Lafayette University alum did a support undertaking that inspired Hagan to make Fingers Collectively decades ago.

“I’d like to say that our roots go really deep down there (in Haiti),” stated Campbell.

It can be the purpose Campbell and Hagan both realized that the reaction to the recent earthquake experienced to be swift.

“Soon after the to start with earthquake (in 2010), we were being ready to support the men and women immediately, inside minutes,” Hagan explained.

As the most modern earthquake falls out of the countrywide headlines, Hagan needs to remind every person that Haiti continue to wants assistance. Many still haven’t recovered from the earthquake 11 decades back.

Fingers Jointly has gotten support of people today and parishes throughout the place, which includes his hometown of Philadelphia.

“There are fantastic, superior people today in Philadelphia,” he claimed.

Fingers Alongside one another has been aiding the folks of Haiti get better from disaster by supplying anything from the basics to the extras that can assist rebuild. That consists of what the firm calls “micro-grants” of $250.

“You give the female of the home 250 American bucks… she’s likely to know what to do with it,” said Campbell, incorporating that the business assists men and women to invest in setting up supplies for their residences and gives food kits.

For the Northeast Philadelphia priest, it really is his cross to bear– bringing enable to Haiti.

“The main detail is to empower them as well,” stated Hagan.

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