Dispatch

Ermita, a young survivor of the powerful hurricane Matthew

6 October 2017

Jeremie, Haiti, 3 October 2017 --- "At 16 years old Ermita seems to carry herself as that of a 17 year old girl on the brink of adulthood. When asked how this year has been for her since Matthew, she simply states “bad”. She lives with her mother and 11 other people, including 2 sisters, 3 brothers and 5 cousins in a cinder block house on the edge of the sea. There are 3 rooms and 3 beds. She shares a bed with a cousin.

“ During that moment we lost a lot of animals likes cows, goats, chickens and sheep. My mother had a donkey which we used to get food and sell it in the market but the donkey died because of Matthew. All of that was our life and we lost it. The money we got from selling the animals was for our tuition school, uniform, books, shoes, notebooks and food. This was the first time I saw a hurricane like that and it really shocked me. During that hurricane I was very worried about my father and other family that are in the countryside of Jeremie. We lost our house and Matthew took everything we had. We stayed for three months in shelter where we were sleeping on the floor and stayed starving. All of that experience I went through left me with a stomach pain. I went to a doctor but my family doesn’t have money to buy the medicine. I thank God for protecting all my family from Matthew. “

She started back at school in January of this year. An aunt pays for her school.

                                                            Photo and story: Nadia Todres - UNFPA HAITI