By Richard Pryor III
Over the week of October 24, the African and Caribbean Student Association (ACASA) has been collecting monetary and clothing donations for the victims of Hurricane Matthew, with over $200 raised by October 27. The main need is the need for housing, as The Guardian has reported that Matthew displaced around 15,000 people in Haiti, and Agence France Presse has reported that over 500 people were killed in Haiti, and there was around $2 billion in damage.
During that week, ACASA representatives were in McClurg Dining Hall, selling candy during lunch. They also accepted clothing donations in the Fishbowl Room of the Bishop’s Common, which will continue through Sunday, October 30. Huguette Ciza (C’17), president of ACASA, announced the extension for clothes donations on Friday, October 28.
“I know what it’s like to be from a place where you’re impoverished and then you get hit by both man-made and natural disasters,” said Emmanuel Oluoto (C’19), one of the ACASA volunteers at McClurg. As he hails from Nigeria, he sympathyzes with the victims of Matthew. “So I want to see how I can help people who are suffering thanks to the hurricane.”
Hurricane Matthew, the worst hurricane of the season so far, made its first landfall on October 4 in Haiti, before hitting the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the Bahamas, the US, and Canada, causing somewhere between 600 to 2,000 deaths.
Oluoto’s partner during his shift at the dining hall was Blaise Iradukunda (C’18) from Rwanda, who agreed with the sentiment, saying that “for our community, it’s kind of personal, as we have students hailing from these countries that were hurt.”
According to Ciza the donations will be mainly going towards Haiti and the Bahamas, and they have created a partnership with a local church in the Bahamas. She notes, “When tragedy strikes, it does not need to strike at home in order for us to work together in bringing relief.”