In 2012 we continued to transform the lives of young people with long term emergency relief and rehabilitation after natural disasters. This year, in total 11,000 people died from natural disasters, and thousands more lives were disrupted. We share the stories of young people who have been able to rebuild their lives after disaster with the help of the YMCA and other youth-led organisations around the world.

Christelle, 18 – Port au Prince, Haiti

Christelle HaitiAfter the devastating earthquake struck Port au Prince, Haiti in 2010, one million people were made homeless and over 220,000 people died. By engaging your generous support, our emergency appeal raised in excess of £300,000. We spent £275,321 on relief and rehabilitation, including six vocational training centres – one of which gave 18-year-old Christelle the chance to rebuild her life. “The earthquake left my house devastated” she says. Christelle and her family were living in a camp called Camp ardoquin.”

“Since I have been in this project training young people as plumbers and electricians, it’s been a big change in my life because my parents couldn’t afford to send me to school before. I was sad to see young people going to school to learn and not me. Now I am less stressed about it. I was ashamed but not anymore.”

“I love all the things we are doing in the project but I would like more food for the kids, more first aid material, some computers and fans!”

Rabia, 24 – Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa, Pakistan

Lizz Rabia PakistanRabia is a dress designer from the Shaidu, Nowshera District, which was struck and severely damaged by the floods in 2010. Donations to our appeal helped the AASAAN Foundation in Pakistan to help 300 young people build their enterprise skills, support to manage their own businesses and the opportunity to appl for microloans.

Rabia was given 800 Rupees to invest in her own business and has since been making a healthy profit. “I made an extra 1,200 Rupees and I’ll use it to buy more materials.”

Toso, 23 – Morarano, Madagascar

Toso Madagascar cycloneOver 260,000 people were affected in Madagascar by Cyclone Giovanna. With support from Y Care International and funds from the Isle of Man Government, YMCA Madagascar immediately distributed basic necessities to 600 families in these communities which included food, blankets and toiletries, and supported families to rebuild their damaged houses.

The YMCA also engaged the local community to help raise awareness about health and hygiene affter water supplies were heavily damaged. Toso, 23, and his friends trained at the YMCA to help raise awareness in his hometown, Morarano.

“We heard about the YMCA through staff that came here, through notices and appeals in church. We were interested in learning new information so we came to the training. We learnt how to prevent illness and how to prepare for future disasters. For example, we learnt that it’s important to boil water to make it safe to drink. We liked the training, it really gave a sense of responsibility to young people.”

“I’ve already started to apply what I’ve learned. I spoken to my friends and some of the footballers I play with and told them to start boling their water before drinking it.”

Thank you for all your generous support this year.