Call for Solidarity with the Student Christian Movement in Santiago de Cuba
WSCF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Secretary Marcelo Leites calls for solidarity with the Student Christian Movement in Santiago de Cuba:
In the early morning of October 25, Hurricane Sandy – which affected the majority of the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States leaving thousands of materials lost and hundreds of human lives lost – hit Cuba principally affecting the eastern provinces, Santiago de Cuba was one of the provinces most affected. While Sandy was short lived in Cuba, the strong wind generated destruction unprecedented since 1963.
These material losses are located around 150 thousand affected homes, with a large percentage of them completely destroyed. The electricity (which still has not been totally restored) and potable water were affected, in addition to cut off roads and highways, and serious damages to public buildings of health and education, businesses, restaurants, and hotels. The city and various towns of the province showed an image of desolation similar to the effects of a war-time bombing.
Flooded fields, crop losses. Ranches for various animals absolutely destroyed and thousands of animals drowned.
The World Student Christian Federation is making a call to its students, Senior Friends, Movements, Churches, civil society organizations, and individuals to solidarity with citizens of Santiago. The Student Christian Movement of Cuba has been developing joint actions with other actors from the Ecumenical World like the Cuban Council of Churches and the Martin Luther King Center. Many SCMers residing in Santiago have been affected on an individual level.
“All of the SCMers here have been affected by Sandy: Guiorkys lost the roof of his house; Mercedes’ house partially collapsed; Liset had to escape running from her house when a piece of the roof fell and destroyed her son’s crib; in the middle of the night Alexander went out with his brother Edicito to retrieve their zines; and the rest of us, like one million people, went to sleep in the early morning of October 25 with the sound of strong winds, rain, and the movements of help to our neighbors who needed a friend’s roof,” says María de las Mercedes, an SCMer from Santiago.
We call for solidarity in different ways, making a concrete call for donations to send to the Student Christian Movement in Santiago.
These donations will be distributed by the SCM of Cuba to help SCMers and people in Santiago de Cuba to buy basic needs to live post-disaster. These can be food, cleaning products, clothes, materials for the home, and/or construction among others.
We also want these donations to be able to create a space in the SCM for directing joint work to help in the emergency.
We want to acknowledge the remarkable hope and faith of the Cuban people that undoubtedly will be an element in their speedy material recovery. We pray for the victims and celebrate the Faith with them. Dianet Martinez, President of Cuba’s SCM told us:
“How sad to find, especially for those of us who knew the city before, a Santiago without trees and with so many losses, among them, homes! But our major finding, without a doubt, was to find warm, caring Santiago hospital that we knew before, ‘Hands and Hearts at work!’ and celebrating, above all, life and hope.”
To donate send your contribution to:
No. 190 0523 854
Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay
Greetings in solidarity