For Monalisa Ferrari of Flatbush, all of the devastating images from Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti broke her heart even more after she learned that two women in Haiti, who were members of a group that she had founded, were found dead in the rubble of a church.
“I’m fighting my tears. I’m trying to stay strong for them. I have no other choice,” Ferrari told NY1. “They actually left one region to escape from the violence that was happening there and they ended up losing their lives this morning. So it’s a very sad moment for us.”
Some elected officials who serve Brooklyn’s sizable Haitian community, which includes Little Haiti, are spearheading an effort to partner with local organizations to offer grief counseling.
“Everything has been compounded when it comes to trauma,” said City Council Member Farah Louis. “We went through the assassination of Moyes. We went through the earthquake. We went through hurricane. We’ve been thru a cholera outbreak. We been through coups, poverty, and no one has had a sense of relief.”
The founder of Capra Care and the executive director of Haitian American Caucus tell me they've partnered up and they say by Monday, a room in Brooklyn Commons will be set up to collect donations, offer free phone service to Haiti, and provide grief counseling in person, by phone, or through Zoom.
"We have people who can’t find their families, who are very concerned,” said Jean Pierre-Louis, the founder and president of CapraCare.
“We’ll have some grief counselors,” added Samuel Pierre, executive director of the Haitian American Caucus. “We’re going to talk to our partners. All of our partners that are in social work, they can come and support us just like they did in 2010.”
The earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people in Haiti is still fresh on the minds of many people who we spoke to.
If you’re looking to make a donation, we’re told that money, medical supplies, and first aid kits would help the most.