Guatemala Disaster Relief 2018

$134,962 of $115,000 goal

Raised by 2,428 people in 5 months
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Created June 3, 2018
Alfonso Lama Kafati
on behalf of International Church Ministries

We would like to clarify that we don't represent any institutions, we are just two Guatemalan siblings who wanted to help our country in this desperate time of need. We are coordinating with multiple organizations, GoFundMe, and a team of lawyers, accountants and crowdfunding experts to make sure that this money is distributed with transparency and efficiently to those in need. We are working on these logistics as quickly as possible, and will continue to update you as we make developments. Please see the "Updates" tab for the latest and note that we will demonstrate proof of how your generous donations are used.



Guatemalans had a rough day on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 when the Fire Volcano (Volcan de Fuego) erupted. It has since dispersed large clouds of ash reaching over 6,000 meters above sea level, and heavy quantities of lava and boiling mud reaching over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, rushing down the hills of small towns surrounding the volcano. Towns like, El Rodeo village, located on the skirts of the volcano that have been completely buried.

In only a few hours several lives have already been taken and there are over 300 people injured. It's expected that the number of affected people will be over a million. This is not the first time citizens surrounding the volcano have experienced this. Since 2002 the volcano has been active, and every few years has had meaningful activity, however, an event of this magnitude has never been witnessed by Guatemalans and the effects are being catastrophic.

What the money will be used for:

1. Help the Guatemalan Red Cross cover medical expenses.
2. Children's Burn Foundation (Fundación para Niños Quemados de Guatemala).
3. Long term support for the 3,000 + families affected by this tragedy.

- Proof of the transfer of funds will be posted, gofundme does not have an option for the funds to be deposited directly to the Guatemalan Red Cross.-----------------------------------------------------------

UPDATED OFFICIAL FIGURES
Reported by CONRED (La Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres) 22:15h

-25 Deaths
-20 Wounded
-1.7 Million people affected
-653 people sheltered
-The number of people who are missing remains unknown.
-The number of destroyed homes also remains unknown.

The volcanic material has covered at least 5 departments, including, Escuintla, Guatemala, Chimaltenango, Quiché y Sacatepéquez.
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Hello friends,

Fundación de Niños Quemados de Guatemala is a non-profit organization that since 2007 cares for the treatment of burned children of lower income families in Guatemala. Their purpose is to work so that no child with burns is left without specialized medical attention. They also promote educational and dissemination programs.

For the Volcano Disaster, they received 19 patients, 12 of them being pediatric. Four of the total of patients who came in for treatment went on to be treated in the intensive care unit at Hospital Roosevelt and 3 of those were in so critical conditions that were sent to Galveston in Texas. The others were and some of them still are being taken care of at the Fundations’ installations for free. The approximate cost for each patient in intensive care is $500 daily and the average cost of treating each patient for rehab runs in approximately $250 daily. Some of these rehabs could last for years making it extremely expensive for the victims to recover.

We are glad to announce that Fundación de Niños Quemados de Guatemala has received their donation as well. Your generous funds will be directed towards covering the cost of rehabilitation treatment of Victims of Volcán de Fuego Disaster. Including but not limited to special burned clothing garments, prosthesis, physical and psychological therapy.

Some of the photos below show the installations located in Hospital Roosevelt where these children were critically treated for the emergency as well as where they will receive their rehabilitation.

All our best,

Alfonso and Pamela
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Hello friends,

More good news!! Yesterday we also delivered funds to Habitat for Humanity Guatemala, we met with Maria Paola Van Der Beek, Director of National Resource Development for Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. It was also held at Union Church thanks to Tom Freeman.

Habitat International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller in the United States. Guatemala was the first Habitat affiliate in Latin America in 1979 and they have been an exceptional organization ever since. As of 2017, they have contributed to the reduction of the Guatemalan housing deficit by 5.68%. Just a few months ago they reached their 100,000 house (check out the cool video below).

Since the beginning of this campaign, as we watched the heartbreaking footage of families leaving all their belongings behind, including their house, we knew relocation aid was going to be a big part of our campaign’s effort. That's why the funds provided to them will be used to build houses for 8 families affected by the Volcano Disaster. Each house will be equipped with purifying water filters, smokeless stoves, and latrines. We will be expanding on the stories of each family, so you can see the direct impact of your effort. Thanks for believing in our project.

All best!!

Pamela and Alfonso
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Hello friends,

We would like to take advantage of this post to introduce to you Tom Freeman. He is the representative of International Church Ministries (known as Union Church) in Guatemala. It’s because of his great heart and willingness to help the victims of the Volcano that the transferring of funds from Gofundme into a Guatemalan bank went as smooth as possible.

Yesterday, I Pamela in representation of both myself and my brother Alfonso held a meeting with Tom Freeman and Guatemala Shriners Club, one of the beneficiaries of our campaign, at Union Church of Guatemala.

In the meeting I had the pleasure of getting to know the Founder of Guatemala Shriners Club Eduardo Perez and two other representatives of their team.

As some of you might have seen Shriners facilitated the process of transferring the most critical patients to the Shriners hospital in Galveston Texas. The first 6 children were transported in an airplane from the United States Air Force. However, there was a 7th child with the need of being transferred later. Ignacio a 3-year-old who was in critical conditions needed to be transported as soon as possible. The Shriners team in Guatemala acted as soon as possible by arranging and covering for his transportation in a private airplane and was sent to Galveston, TX. There Ignacio was able to receive the proper care needed and now after his recuperation, they were happy to announce that Ignacio is back in Guatemala.

Your generous funds are being used to cover some of the high rocketing costs of transferring these critically burned children to get the proper care that the facilities in Guatemala are not equipped to treat. As well as the costs for their two legal guardians.

More updates to come, stay tuned!!

All our best,

Pamela and Alfonso
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Dear friends,

We appreciate your patience in sticking with us in this lengthy process, we hope you can comprehend that the logistics behind this campaign is tremendous as it involves several parties. It has been very complex and the impact of this tragedy is not completely clear as of today, so we have done our best job in assuring the resources you helped accumulate are being destined to the areas that really need them most.

That being said, let us bring you up to date with what we have done. All the money is finally in a Guatemalan bank and we are just waiting for the funds to be made available, so the foundations can collect the funds. Since it was a large transfer amount the clearing process takes a while. But nevertheless, we have made great advancements with all of the benefited foundations.

Both of us Alfonso and Pamela were in Guatemala and met in person with these 6 institutions we are aiding:
Fundación de Niños Quemados de Guatemala
Associación Guatemala Shriners Club
Club Roja de Guatemala
Habitat para la Humanidad Guatemala
Fundación Carlos F. Novella
Global BrightLight Foundation

With these institutions and through your generous funds we are going to be able to positively impact the lives of victims by providing them with health care, psychotherapy, education, and dignified way of living through housing.

So far, we have made sure that kids affected by this tragedy are back in school, how we did this? Thanks to the Novella Foundation we teamed up with UNICEF to deliver school supplies to the kids so they don’t fall behind in their school year. We were able to contribute with the cost of filling 250 backpacks with school supplies but with Fundación Novella’s 2x1 support we contributed for filling a total of 500 backpacks.

Also, with Novella Foundation we teamed up with Sesame Street for another activity in which we delivered a group therapy activity for the children that have been emotionally scarred by this tragedy. 3,000 children attended this activity where we addressed fear and trauma through singing, dancing and craft building with the kids. A truly remarkable experience. No greater feeling than seeing them smile for a few minutes. These are just a few of the many projects we have planned to pursue with your generous funds.

It is important to remind you that this is a lengthy process because we want to be sure that we are as responsible as possible with your money, and not just start financing every idea that is proposed to us without first making a thorough research. As always we thank you not only for your money but most importantly for your trust and willingness to help the Volcano Victims recover.

More updates to come.
All our best!

Alfonso and Pamela
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$134,962 of $115,000 goal

Raised by 2,428 people in 5 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created June 3, 2018
Alfonso Lama Kafati
on behalf of International Church Ministries
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