EMERGING FROM MARIA'S AFTERMATH!
Lamb’s Feast provides hot meals to home-bound elderly in Portsmouth, Dominica. The roof, ceilings and wiring of their building were totally destroyed by Hurricane Maria, leaving the interior completely open to the elements. Macario Advantage organized volunteers from the visitng boaters to remove debris, and then they continued to work to replace the roof. We also repaired the commercial cook stove that had been exposed to heavy rain following the loss of the roof.
The last several months were a challenging time for all of the Eastern Caribbean islanders hit by Hurricane Maria last September. The storm is now history and the Eastern Caribbean islanders affected by the storm are rebuilding their lives and homes. Through it all, these islanders are determined to emerge as a stronger and more resilient people.
Almost every building in Dominca suffered major damage when the eye of Hurricane Maria passed over the island. Helping the Dominicans to recover tested our resolve, but we remained focused on completing as much as possible. The biggest challenge was a severe shortage of building materials, such as plywood, roofing sheets and nails. Here are some of the facilities that Macario Advantage assisted with recovery.
ROOSEVELT DOUGLAS SCHOOL
Roosevelt Douglas Primary School (RDPS) normally sees over 300 elementary students studying within its walls, but it was pressed into service as a shelter for 150 people that lost their homes during Hurricane Maria. After several months of housing these storm victims, the school needed freshening. Macario Advantage purchased paint, and volunteers were recruited from the visiting boaters to repaint much of the school. Macario Advantage also hired a carpenter to build a cabinet and shelves for a dual-purpose room; one end of the room is a sick bay for students not feeling well while waiting on parents to come and pick them up, and the other end is a teachers’ lounge.
SITE PREPARATION FOR DINNARD HOME
The Dinnard’s have been highly valued volunteers to Macario Advantage on our projects in past years. Unfortunately, they lost both their home and their business during Hurricane Maria and have been living in a shelter since then with their two children. We obtained donations from visiting boaters to clear land (given to them by family) to build a new home for them, and then Macario Advantage purchased cement, reinforcing steel and concrete blocks for building the foundation and walls of the new house. Construction work is in progress.
We found that the worst situations do bring out the best in a community. Everyone came together during the aftermath of Maria to help in whatever capacity they could. There was no shortage of heroes during this storm.
Macario Advantage is looking forward to returning next season to continue our work addressing poverty in paradise.