Rebuilding and Resilience: After Hurricane Maria, Helping Schools and Children

The DRI Foundation is proud to partner with non-profit organizations in communities impacted by disasters to provide crucial assistance. Here are two cases for how donations from our supporters have been deployed to help in the Caribbean in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

Saving Dominica’s Schools

When Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 18, 2017, rainfall ahead of the hurricane had already caused several landslides in Dominica. Maximum sustained winds of 165 mph – the most extreme ever recorded on the island – damaged practically every home, building, and all of the island’s infrastructure.

With cellular, radio, and internet services down, Maria cut Dominica off from the outside world. Initial ham radio reports from the capital of Roseau on September 19 indicated “total devastation.” That devastation affected all 73,000 residents. DRI Foundation President Al Berman reached out to contacts there to see how the foundation could help.

“We are in need of so many items. Twenty eight of our schools were completely destroyed, complete roof damage or some other damage. We have lost resources, teaching materials, equipment, and furniture. We are looking to replace all our computers. Whatever you donate will be put to good use,” wrote Chandler Hyacinth, the Permanent Secretary with Dominica’s Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development. The Foundation responded with a $5,000 donation to the ministry.

Saving Puerto Rico’s Children

On September 19, 2017, Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, pummeling the U.S. territory with catastrophic levels of rain and winds up to 155 miles per hour. It was the largest disaster in Puerto Rico since 1928 – power was knocked out for the entire island.

Save the Children was on the island within 96 hours. They distributed clean water, family hygiene supplies, shelter/home repair kits and solar light kits. They remain in Puerto Rico today, providing an ongoing response that has benefited more than 60,000 children and adults to date. The long-term response strategy has identified 40 communities where the needs are greatest – mostly those directly in the track of the hurricane – and they are committed to helping more than 200,000 children and adults who live there through September of 2019.

With our support and a $1,000 donation, Save the Children will continue to deliver child protection services, access to education, and nutritional support.

If you would like to add your support to the DRI Foundation’s efforts, please click here to donate.