What is this all about?.........................................
As many of you remember, on April 12th, 2014, Valparaiso, Chile, suffered the largest, most devastating fire in the countrys history. The fire, which started in the forest above the hills of the city, was uncontrolable for almost 2 days and destroyed 2900 homes, rendering approximately 10 000 people homeless in a matter of hours.
The majority of those affected by the fire were low income citizens living high in the hills in precarious locations among the valleys between the hills (known as ¨quebradas¨). Many houses were made with weak, temporary, low quality materials which, along with precarious location and a lack of potable water services and garbage collection, contributed to the devastation.
It is now 2 months since the fire struck the city, and though the panicked stories of emergency necessity have disappeared from the media, the majority of fire victims continue to work on rebuilding thier homes and lives.
The Chilean government has provided emergency shelters to many of the families who lost their homes in the fire (however, many were missed as they were not living on land which they officially owned, or the materials simply never showed up). Unfortunately, the shelters are made of weak low quality plywood and tin, providing fo quick delivery and easy set-up, but not nearly hardy enough to withstand the high winds, heavy rains and cold temperatures that are already upon us.
We are working with friends who run the community center in one of the affected locations in Cerro Rocuant (Rocuant Hill). In Rocuant, 39 homes were destroyed, and while all of the families have now recieved the government emergency shelters, the urgency is in working with what they have in order to make the shacks liveable despite bad weather. With the addition of iron sheets and insulating material, the drafty shelters can be made wind and waterproof, and be useful for a longer period of time.
Photo below: government provided emergency shelters
What are WE doing?
With money we have raised previously through Gofund me, in the initial weeks after the fire, we realised we could begin to help families in Cerro Rocuant make their homes safe and cozy for the winter by purchasing the materials necesary to weatherproof the shelters.
Materials are simple: Iron sheets for exterior walls, insulating roll, and nails. However: We have fallen short of funds, and at this point will only be able to help HALF of the families in this small community.
What can YOU do?........................................
DONATE!! We need to raise $2500 more in order to be able to help 39 families to pass the winter in relative comfort and with the dignity that we all deserve.
Money is the ONLY way to make this goal tangible and NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL!!
If you can donate a little or a lot, you can know that you have helped in a very real way in terms of improving quality of life for a family here in Valparaiso.
As I mentioned earlier TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! We hope to be delivering the materials to Cerro Rocuant THIS WEEKEND (June 13 & 14) but cannot make any steps forward until we have raised the necessary funds.
Saludos and peace, Lise
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