CAVAILLON, Haiti (WSVN) — Volunteers from South Florida who are helping a Haitian town that took the brunt of Hurricane Matthew’s fury had the opportunity to work alongside the granddaughter of a music legend.
Once flooded, the residents of the town of Cavaillon are now facing a mud-covered nightmare. “I had everything on top of the roof. Everything went down,” said one victim through a translator.
This town, located in Haiti’s remote southwestern peninsula, was one of many battered by the powerful storm.
At one home, the flooding lasted three days. The family of nine who lived there lost everything.
Days later, two buses full of volunteers with the Haitian American Hurricane Matthew relief effort pulled into Cavaillon. They set up a clinic overlooking the town.
Hundreds of people lined up at the clinic. The line is long, but they are willing to wait hours for treatment.
However, the aid effort isn’t just about medical care and feeding the hungry.
And that’s why Donisha Prendergast, the granddaughter of the late Jamaican-born reggae performer Bob Marley, joined the group.
Prendergast said nurturing these people is just as important as addressing their physical needs. “‘My belly full, but I’m hungry.’ My grandfather said that,” she said.
7News cameras captured Prendergast interacting with a young girl from Cavaillon.
Marley’s granddaughter said it’s not enough to send money and toiletries. “We don’t just need clothes and shoes and medical supplies. We need you,” she said. “We need your humanity to get more active. ‘One Love’ is an action. It’s not just a song that you dance to.”
The volunteers, mostly comprised of young Haitian-Americans, are taking her words to heart. “I’m getting to touch the people, talk to the people,” said Shirley Pal with the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida.
“Oh, my God. What a blessing it is that I was able to come here,” said Mia Lopez, a volunteer with the Man Dodo Foundation.
It has been a life-changing mission for many of these volunteers, as their actions show the people of Haiti they are not forgotten.
“It’s about being human,” said Prendergast. “It’s not just the bellies that need food. It’s the souls, too. People need hugs.”
A cargo plane from the humanitarian relief organization Airlink landed in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday afternoon, with more than 100,000 pounds of supplies.
The plane took off from Miami International Airport with pallets packed with water purification equipment and pharmaceuticals as well as medical and surgical gear.
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