Hurricane Maria Relief Fund
On the 18th of September 2017 the small Caribbean Nation of Dominica was ravaged by a direct hit of Catagory 5 Hurricane María.
We have set up this relief fund to help the people in immediate need and to help with the rebuilding of the villages of Soufriere and Scott's Head. All proceeds will go towards this cause.
We are Sofía Gómez and Jonathan Sunnex, two freedivers who discovered Dominica a couple of years ago and fell in love with the island and the people. We have made it our home and feel terribly sad for what has happened. We have been caught amongst the hurricanes, first Irma and now Maria, both of which have prevented us from returning to our island home. We hope to get back as soon as possible to help with the relief effort.
It is only two years since tropical storm Erika decimated the island and now the people must once again go through the rebuilding process.
We organise an annual freediving competition ´Blue Element´ that brings people from all over the world to Dominica. We want to see that people may once again visit the island and that we can help to boost the local economy, helping people get back up onto their feet.
In order for us to be able to withdrawl the money, we have made Ricardo Paris a beneficiary of this campaing, he is a very good friend of ours who has helped us during these hard times, he has an account in the US and that will make things easier for us to get the money to buy supplies.
We will try to get as many supplies here in the US, and then I will travel to Colombia and get more stuff, get a plane full of supplies and fly it to a neighbouring island.
ALL the money collected will be used to buy supplies, we are not using any of this money for travel expenses, that comes from our pockets, we will have to use some of the money to pay for fuel to get the boats from the neighbouring island to Dominica but appart from that, ALL THE MONEY will be used to buy aid relief.
We will be purchasing
-Water purification sistems
-water purification tablets.
-first aid kits.
- we'll try to get at least one generator to the island.
We will be arriving to Soufriere by boat and all the aid relief will be donated to Soufriere and Scotts Head.
Any help is appreciated, any donation however large or small will make a difference
I'm going to copy Johnny's update from when he came back from Dominica :
Hey guys, so I'm just back from Dominica. For now there is not too much more we can do, heavy machinery is getting through and is in need for the majority of the clearing out and we are not yet able to get building materials to start with repairs.
Food, medical, personal hygiene, hand and power tools, fishing equipment, water purification and water holding equipment have been delivered and additional money has been left for equipment to help repair boats just as soon as it is possible.
We invested our time into improving roadway access, in particular for access to fresh water and the local farm, in diverting water to reduce the damage caused to the roads from the run off. We worked on the local school, helping to remove trees, corrugated iron and other debris. We also handed out roofing nails, food and hygiene items direct to those who were most in need.
Whilst I have mixed feelings about leaving, for now I think it's for the best. I have a lot of things to catchup on and a competition to reschedule so I appreciate the patience shown by all of the athletes, crew and sponsors who have stood by us during this difficult period. I will be in touch over the next days to try to resolve the issues!
Once again thanks to all of you who have contributed to the efforts, Piwi Croisieres Calypso, Laurent Thieulle, Nico Beng and Quentin Vincent from Martinique who have helped source vehicles and equipment, given up their time and made it possible to deliver the aid to the island! Florian Pasquier, Pricilla and Fabien Delporte in Guadeloupe for sheltering the refugees(us!) and being so generous with your time and resources! Thanks to Nicolas Winkler and Eli Fuller who have been great in providing advice and helping to co-ordinate efforts, your local knowledge and knowledge on hurricane relief has been invaluable! A massive thank you to Beatrix Paris and Ricardo Paris for so generously sheltering us for over two weeks and running us around to get supplies, feeding us chocolate, red wine and other necessities! And of course thank you to the more than 500 persons who have contributed to the relief fund! Every contribution, big and small has made a difference and will continue to make a difference in rebuilding our island!
Sorry it took me so long to do another update but communications with Johnny are little and very specific.
Things went well with the unloading of the first shipment of supplies, thank you Calypso Croisieres for all the help getting the stuff to Dominica (and tthe photos!) and also Laurent Thieulle for helping Johnny with all the shopping in Martinique.
Tomorrow Monday Jon Fane and John the fisherman will go back to Martinique, they'll bring back to Dominica a 1000Lt Water Tank, Roofing nails to start fixing some roofs and Fishing supplies so food can become easier to get.
This is all the information I have for now, We are up to 22K USD and we will not stop the crowdfunding <3.
I'm trying to get help from Colombia but it has been very hard because as long as the Dominican Government doesn´t ask for help to the Colombian Government, they can't do anything, crazy sad burocracy, but I won't give up and I'll keep trying.
As allways, Thank You so much for all your help, thank you for sharing the love with the people who needs it so much now <3
Johnny arrived yesterday to Soufriere and he told me the unloading when smoothly. We could communicate with Jon (our freediver friend who was there) and coordinated with him to be there present with other people (Marc, Kerry and Vivian and Dany Boy and others) to help with the process.
The supplies are in Dany Boys house, a house next to the church on shore for safety and today will be distributed. The decision was made because Johnny arrived late and he didn't want the process to be messy, we want to make sure people get what they need.
They will have a meeting today to determine what is needed with more urgency.
This is a little update because communication is hard and only for the very important things.
I'll let you guys know more when I know more
Attached you'll find two photos, one from before and one from after the Hurricane. It is very sad to see but I'm sure it'll be green sooner than later. (Both Photos are from Simon Walsh who's house was destroyed by the hurricane :( , he's now out of the island)
We have reached 20.000 USD!
But we don´t want to stop here, we'll keep this fundraiser open and hope you guys keep helping and keep spreading the word.
UNION IS STRENGHT!
I want to update you guys in what's happening:
Johnny arrived yesterday at Martinique and tomorrow is leaving on the Catamaran to Soufriere.
He got as many supplies as he could with the cash he had available.
He is taking tomorrow MORE THAN ONE TON OF GOODS!
We got some tools because there is a lot of debris that needs to be clean from the street so walking gets easier, we got a chainsaw, shovels, working gloves, etc.
This is our first trip and there is still a lot of money to spend (until now we have spent a little over 6000 usd) so I'm extremely happy and amazed.
Johnny is not online anymore because he had to sleep on the boat today (I'm assuming safety reasons). Tomorrow the boat departs at 5am Martinique time and by what I was told, it takes 8 hours to get to Dominica. As soon as I have news, I'll let you guys know.
Again, there are not enough words to describe how proud I feel of all of you who had helped us reach this goal.
When we set the goal, we honestly never thought we would reach it!
So again, help us keep helping
and THANK YOU!!!!!!