Please Help Us Raise Money For The Red Cross Hurricane Appeal
The recent hurricanes in the Caribbean have had a devastating impact on the lives of those who live and work there. We have candidates and clients in the region who have been affected and this has brought home how quickly someone’s life can be changed forever.
Thankfully to our knowledge all our candidates and associates in the Caribbean are safe, although tragically many of the people they work with and the communities they are part of have been less fortunate.
One of our candidates, marine engineer Leo Whitting was on the island of Tortola during Hurricane Irma. When he contacted his partner Claudia Knight, who had returned to the UK with their daughter, his words were: “‘I’m alive – Tortola isn’t.”
The impact of the hurricanes in the region have not only destroyed homes, businesses, infrastructure and taken peoples’ lives, but have also caused many people to take desperate measures to survive. Leo reported a heavy military presence after Irma, not just to rescue survivors but also for security. Claudia told the Plymouth Herald that: “The military is everywhere with machine guns. Everyone’s turned feral and no-one’s going out without being armed. You can’t drive your car without a weapon, it’s turning really nasty. Leo carries a knife with him.”
In the immediate aftermath of these devastating hurricanes, aid is needed to provide medical care, clean water, shelter and basic necessities for those affected. Further down the line, significant investment is needed to rebuild communities, repair infrastructure and the economy.
Tourism accounts for a significant percentage of GDP across the Caribbean. Many of the construction engineering projects we have sourced candidates for over the years have been to develop hotels and resorts.
Property damage is of course significant on many islands, but don’t think that the Caribbean is closed to business. Many hotels and resorts are still open and others expect to be able to repair damage and open their doors for the high season this winter.
Rebuilding the islands that have been badly affected is a challenge. Power outages and compromised fuel lines are logistical challenges that need to be overcome to enable recovery. Roads also need to be repaired to allow reconstruction to begin. With the tourism high season only a couple of months away, the economic impact of Harvey, Irma and Maria could be as devastating as the destruction wrought.
Didier Arino, head of French consultancy Protourisme, predicts it will take three years for tourism to climb back to pre-hurricane levels in the region. However he also thinks there may be an opportunity amongst the destruction. The opportunity to build a first-rate tourist infrastructure, “which protects the environment better and creates much greater economic and social benefits.”
While recovery plans are put in place and investment sought for reconstruction, the economic impact on local residents is a huge concern with jobs lost because of the devastation. Local people employed in Caribbean industries have not only had their homes destroyed and lives ripped apart, but livelihoods too. From our conversations with candidates and clients, who have seen first-hand the impact on the islands, it is the local residents who are their primary concern.
Here at Energi People we would like to make a difference and support the official Red Cross Hurricane Appeal, which will deliver vital aid to the region. This aid is not for reconstruction, but to provide survivors with the basic necessities – first aid, water, and shelter. The UK government will match funding pound for pound and therefore our fundraising efforts will be magnified by 50%. Please donate here if you would like to support us.
We have set ourselves a target of £2,000 to raise for the Red Cross Hurricane Appeal, and in the spirit of the Caribbean are also hosting a family event, with music and food, called One Love Let’s Get Together. During this we hope to talk to Leo Whitting about his experience on Tortola and also Skype contacts still in the Caribbean about what steps need to be taken now to help the region and economy recover. Tickets are available if you are able to attend by emailing [email protected]
Alternatively if you are unable to join us and would like to help us reach our target of £2,000 for the Red Cross Hurricane Appeal, please donate using our Just Giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/energipeoplefundraising