Tampa Bay residents concerned about orphans in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew moves through


TRINITY, Fla. (WFLA) — As pictures emerge of the damage left behind after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, Guiga Vieira is keeping a close eye on the aftermath.

“I think I haven’t slept in I don’t know how many hours, because even a little heavy rain for them is a big deal,” Vieira, a Tampa Bay area resident, said. Years ago, Vieira was the mastermind behind a group of medical missions to the island country after a devastating earthquake in Haiti. Although she is no longer working with the medical missions, she frequently visits the country and was there just last week with a team of doctors.

See the latest track for Hurricane Matthew here

“I wish I could be there now, I just came back a few days ago. I wish I could be in two places at the same time,” said Vieira, who over the past few days has been watching Matthew make its way over Haiti.

“Normally you don’t have a good connection over there. The internet, it comes and goes, so every minute you keep your phone next to you,” she added. She’s waiting for information from the orphanage where she volunteers.

“We did have some students who had the roof gone,” Viera said.

Tammy Denbo is also watching the aftermath. Denbo is the president of People for Haiti, which puts together medical missions to Haiti. Right now, the organization is prepared for an emergency trip.

“As of yesterday, we were thinking we might have to go as early as Monday,” Denbo said. “Unfortunately, the six years of progress that people of Haiti has seen since the earthquake, much of that is going to be negated by this hurricane.”

She too has been waiting on updates but said she has heard the rains are still coming down too hard for her contacts in Haiti to understand the scope of the damage. “It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to see the images. They don’t know where their next meal is going to come from; they don’t know how to find shelter,” Denbo said.

Denbo wants everyone to understand it will take Haiti much longer to recover from a major hurricane. “If we could get the public to understand anything, we want the public to not forget,” she said.

To donate to People for Haiti’s medical missions, go here.


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