Haiti

K1 DIRECT’s relief efforts in Haiti marks it’s 3-year anniversary

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Philipsburg, St. Maarten - K1 DIRECT, K1 Britannia Foundation’s disaster relief and crisis team, has successfully completed its relief efforts in Haiti after the tragic 7.2 earthquake on August 14th, 2021.
A team of nine members from St. Maarten were deployed to assist, making themselves available to help wherever was most needed.

Once on ground, the team’s relief efforts took place within the main areas of emergency logistics and the provision of personnel to load and offload much needed supplies and equipment to affected areas. Based in Port au Prince, the team was able to help streamline and assist with managing emergency logistics at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

This meant helping to manage flights carrying relief aid, supplies and personnel back and forth between the affected areas in the South and Port au Prince. Due to the volatile situation on ground in the affected areas, travel by air was the safest way to move humanitarian aid, workers and equipment. On specific occasions, some of our team members joined the flights to assist with offloading of supplies and distribution at remote villages.

On ground, K1 worked closely with World Hope International, Global Support and Development (GSD),
World Food Program (WFP), US AID, Mission of Hope Haiti, the United States Southern Command, and others.

“The close coordination between our teams, as well as the dedication and can-do attitude of each individual, did not go unnoticed. Please accept, on behalf of WFP, a heartfelt thank you for your efforts - it made all the difference.” stated WFP Haiti Country Director, Pierre Honnorat.

In total, we helped to assist and coordinate over 200 flights carrying relief aid from Port au Prince to the affected areas of the south, helped load over 110,000 pounds of food supplies, hundreds of shelter and accommodation supplies, and much needed items to set up a Sub-OSOCC (On-Site Operations Coordination Centre) in Les Cayes.

Besides on ground coordination, we assisted with much-needed medical evacuations via helicopter from remote areas not reachable by road or larger planes.

K1 also flew to the South to assess the damage and needs in various villages such as Jeremie, Les Cayes, Maniche, Marcelin and Camp Perrin, to get first-hand information from survivors and were able to report back to key stakeholders so that aid could be brought to the areas where it's most needed.

We also assisted Samaritan's Purse with the distribution of hundreds of emergency solar lights and tarpaulins which is important for families with limited to no shelter and electricity. This was done via helicopter to remote villages.
Alan Schet, Head of Operations for K1 DIRECT shared, “The deployment was a unique and challenging situation. It was unique because of the tasks we were entrusted with at the airport, and challenging because there were so many people in need and various circumstances made it hard to reach them. The Haitian people are some of the most resilient people I have ever seen. The experience was very rewarding.”

John Lyon, CEO of World Hope International shared his appreciation for K1 DIRECT’s time in Haiti stating “I really appreciate K1, they have done a fantastic job, from brutal force, to loading Chinook helicopters, to sending in medic teams to the impact zones, to helping with logistics. What I love about K1 is the professionalism they have shown throughout the process.” The foundation would like to extend its gratitude to the various persons in Haiti, as well as in St. Maarten and internationally, who supported the team in numerous ways through accommodation, transportation, donations and encouragement that helped make this mission possible.

As we return back home in the peak of the hurricane season, ready to assist, we take a moment to celebrate today, September 6th, which marks the 3-year anniversary of K1 DIRECT, our regional disaster relief and crisis team born out of the 2017 hurricane season.

K1 DIRECT has assisted after hurricane Irma in St. Maarten and Maria in Dominica in 2017, after hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019, COVID-19 relief in St. Maarten throughout 2020 and 2021 and now after the 7.2 earthquake in Haiti.

K1 DIRECT over the past 3 years has coordinated trainings with the United Nations and World Food Program amongst various medical and other trainings to help strengthen the response capacity of not only our disaster relief team but also others in the disaster relief field in St. Maarten as collaboration is a strong focus of K1 Britannia Foundation. “As we celebrate the 3rd anniversary of K1 DIRECT, which also marks the 4th anniversary of hurricane Irma - a day which we will never forget - we look back with thankfulness for the lessons we’ve learned, how we’ve grown and the impact we’ve been able to make as a result. We look forward to being prepared and ready to assist when future disasters and crisis situations arise. “concluded Priya Thirumur, Vice - President of K1 Britannia Foundation.

For more information on how you can join, support or partner with K1 DIRECT, please call +1 (721) 543-3332, email direct@k1britanniafoundation.org or visit us at www.k1britanniafoundation.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/k1sxm.