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Earthquake Update

February 19, 2010

Canadian Association Step by Step has been working diligently with its partner in Jacmel Haiti, the Pazapa Centre, to assist in addressing the emergency relief needs of the disabled children and their families in that community. We are pleased to report that no children or their family members, of the Pazapa centre, lost their lives in the earthquake. However many lost their homes and in the early weeks following the quake there was a desperate struggle to survive due to the loss of shelter and the lack of resources to purchase food or clean water.

Canadian Association Step by Step was able, with the assistance of a medical team going into Jacmel just days after the quake, to ensure that Pazapa staff had funds to purchase food and emergency supplies for the children and families most severely affected by the quake. We are now working with Pazapa management to identify ongoing needs as they seek a temporary location for the centre’s operations and also explore opportunities for a permanent site for the centre. As seen on this page, the damage to the centre’s facilities were severe and irreparable. Pazapa staff continue to provide outreach services to children and their families to ensure that they are able to access essential resources to manage the days and months ahead, with the Jacmel community facing months, if not years, of recovery work.

We ask that Canadians continue to consider the needs of this community as Haiti still needs our help. Canadian Association Step by Step will be focusing its efforts in 2010 exclusively to the recovery efforts of the Pazapa Centre and to the children they serve. We would ask that you continue to make the Association your charity of choice for 2010.

To those who have donated already to C.A.S.S., the board wishes to express its profound gratitude and will ensure that your funds go directly to these relief efforts. We will continue to post regular updates of our activities on this webpage and also invite donors to contact us anytime by email ( ) if there are specific enquiries or opportunities that you believe could assist with fund raising efforts in 2010.

The PAZAPA Centre - Front
It is not clear but that side wall has separated from the main building.

The PAZAPA Centre - Back
The back wall has collapsed.

Earthquake in Jacmel Haiti on January 12, 2010

January 16, 2010

C.A.S.S. is sending an urgent appeal for donations for the people of Jacmel, Haiti and more specifically to the disabled children and their families of that community. No doubt everyone has seen pictures and news coverage of the incredible devastation caused by the earthquake on Tuesday January 12th in Port au Prince Haiti. However, what many people do not know is that Jacmel, Haiti suffered a similar fate on that same day and is virtually cut off from the rest of the country as the main road to Port au Prince was completed destroyed by the quake. Intermittent contact with friends and family in Jacmel describe unfathomable loss of life, destruction of thousands of homes, and the collapse of schools, healthcare facilities and places of worship. Many friends are still missing and families are living in constant fear of further building collapse with the daily continuation of aftershocks.

Information is coming in very slowly, with communication networks down and elecrtricity unavailable. C.A.S.S. has learned that the PAZAPA centre, its primary partner in Jacmel has lost its building with the back walls collapsed and the remainding structure unsound. The fate of many of the children and their familes remain unclear but we know that many have lost their homes and likely some have lost their lives. The staff of the centre are clearly devastated by the catastrophic distruction of their community but they are also bravely willing to move forward to help Jacmel and the children of the PAZAPA centre recover from this crisis.

C.A.S.S. is urging all donors to contribute in this first week to the immediate disaster relief efforts currently being undertaken by large organizations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, World Vision and World Food Program. Then in the weeks and months that follow C.A.S.S. is asking for donors to continue to consider C.A.S.S. as a charity of choice as the recovery of Jacmel and PAZAPA will be a long process. C.A.S.S. will be working with PAZAPA staff to ensure that critical needs of the disabled children and their families will be addressed. This will include basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies, and the rebuilding of educational and rehabilitation facilities. C.A.S.S. believes that these children will struggle the most in this crisis, due in part to limitations of mobility, communication and comprehension, as well as their vulnerability to disease and neglect. We are also anticipating an increased demand for services for more disabled children in the community, due to the injuries sustained in the earthquake. This is indeed the most traumatic time in Haiti's existance and they need our help more than ever before. C.A.S.S. will ensure that regular updates are provided in the weeks ahead as we ensure that all funds are provided directly to the people in need.

Pictures from Jacmel Haiti on January 13, 2010, the day after the earthquake

For more pictures please click here.