OAKLAND, NJ - A local couple recently returned home after a week in southern Haiti using a financial gift from Rotary International District 7490’s Haiti Relief Fund. Governor Suraj Bhatia and his committee granted $7,500.00 for food following Peter’s application. I was trying to raise $20,000.00 but there were so many projects being considered that I was just happy to get any amount of help. I am so grateful for their gift.” Rotary District 7490 had received several applications and not all were able to be supported. Over $75,000.00 was distributed to various projects all to serve those in southern Haiti. “There are still several thousand IDP’s (The United Nations name for refugees) or Individually Displaced Persons who are starving. The money that the world is giving Haiti has not reached the south or any other are outside of Port Au Prince.” Peter has travelled to Haiti several times since the earthquake providing food and medical supplies through the Haiti Trauma Relief Fund of California. He spent over two months in Haiti directly following the earthquake but this time he went with his wife. “I needed to see it for myself to fully understand what my husband has dedicated so much time an effort away from home on. I came back with a complete understanding of why he does what he does. So much so that even I didn’t want to come back home to NJ.” This was Mrs. Kikot’s first trip to Haiti but I already making plans to go back.
One afternoon Peter received a phone call asking him to stop by the Brenda Strafford Hospital. The head nurse Natasha had been approached by a woman, her two young boys and her 10 year old handicapped child who is confined to a wheel chair, all of whom were victims of the Earthquake in P au P. They were able to survive the destruction of their home and came to Cayes to stay with friends. Her husband had left a month before the earthquake to work in the Dominican Republic and he has decided not to come back. The now single mother of three unfortunately overstayed her welcome and was being kicked out of her house, has no opportunity for a job, no money and no hope. Peter added “ The family is just one of thousands that will start to come out as the families that they were staying with are no longer able to handle the extra costs of food and simply need to take care of their own.” Peter is asking for public support to help the family financially through donations to the HTRF to find a home for this family, to pay for school for the two boys and rehabilitation costs for the beautiful ten year old who needs care three times each week.
Donors can visit http://www.haiti-trauma-relief-fund.com or call the Ridgewood AM Rotary Club at (201) 644-8768 where Peter is the Club’s President for more information. “The phone rings in my office and I will be happy to take your call. These people need your help. The country needs our help. Please give.”