Immediate needs caused by Tropical Storm Nate included life's basics: food, water, shelter. FIMRC provided a safe structure for many evacuees both during and after the period when floods were engulfing communities. We also served as a resource for buying food and clean water for community members who didn't have cash and lost their crops & water wells. As the floods receded, the communities' needs shifted from immediate relief to facing challenges of rebuilding. While our staff repaired their own properties, they also helped with cleanup efforts in schools, villages, and homes of individuals who couldn’t take on their own cleanup tasks.
This week we reached a point where, for the most part, immediate needs are met. We are confident that our initial aid efforts have been efficient enough to address our at-risk neighbors’ access to basic needs, one day at a time. Our current mission in Limón is now to support our families known to already be at-risk, and to plan for long-term rebuilding projects. Here’s our plan for the next few weeks:
- Assess our homestay family locations. Since these families graciously accommodate volunteers in their homes as a source of income, addressing their household losses will be important to get them back on their feet.
- Evaluate participants within our micro-health insurance program. This program has 5 families enrolled that have chronically ill children. In the past we have done home assessments for these families and found poor conditions. As an incentive to adhere to hygienic practices in the house and attend weekly seminars, they have earned points to go toward home improvements. Most of these households lost mattresses and personal items to the storm, which we will try to replenish as appropriate.
- Through our ongoing malnutrition program we have already identified community members that are at a higher risk for malnutrition. We will assess the homes of these family units to ensure there are no health hazards such as mold, wet mattresses, or anything that could jeopardize the health of children with lower immune systems.
Overall, we are working together to rebuild our neighborhood to support a sustainable life once again. We are so grateful to report that even with serious challenges ahead of us, there is hope for our communities. We want to thank the tremendous aid we have received from friends, family, community partners, and FIMRC Alumni! It is because of you that we are seeing such positive relief results.