BRADES – Montserrat has already collected more than EC $100,000 to aid in earthquake-stricken Haiti. This effort was praised by Sue Wardell, the Regional Director for the Department for International Development (DFID) during her recent visit to the island.
“I have great admiration for the people of Montserrat who raised more per capita than any other country in the world for Haiti,” Wardell told reporters last Thursday.
The amount continues to increase weekly as many different organizations have been conducting donation drives. The local chapters of the Red Cross and the Rotary Club are being used as the organizations through which the funds will be distributed to their counterparts in Haiti.
A radio telethon kicked off the island’s fundraising effort two days after a 7.0 earthquake devastated the Haitian capital in January. Over $51,000 was raised during the three-hour programme organized and hosted by Jeevan Robinson of mnialive.com, with a panel of local community leaders and CMC senior reporter Ben Meade.
On January 30, Montserrat’s top musical maestro’s, sang for free to a generous audience at the Montserrat for Haiti Concert in the Sir George Martin Auditorium at the Cultural Centre. Another $20,000 was raised that night, which saw International soca artist Arrow using his hat to pick up another collection at the start of his performance.
In the past month, more than $35,000 has been raised by churches and community groups. This includes the parishioners from the Roman Catholic Church raising $6,224.25, which was doubled by the parish to EC$ 12,448.50. Students and teachers of the St. Augustine Primary School raised EC$1,500 with a donut drive. Other churches have also initiated fundraising drives. The St. John’s Church of God of Prophecy has set a target of EC$10,000 for its local membership.
Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade said at the close of the Montserrat for Haiti concert he is extremely proud of the way Montserrat has opened their pockets to support Haiti, despite the ongoing challenges of living with an active volcano.
Photo caption: (left to right) His Excellency Governor Peter Waterworth, International soca artist Arrow, and Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade sing Hot, Hot, Hot during the Montserrat for Haiti benefit concert on January 30, 2010. Montserrat has now raised more than $100,000 for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. (Photo by Manish Valechha)