BAHAMAS EMERGENCY

ABOUT THE BAHAMAS

The Bahamas is an independent country composed of an archipelago of 700 islands and islets, of which 30 are inhabited.

 

The island chain has 13,878 km2 (5,358 sq mi) with a population of 391,000 people. The most populous islands are New Providence, where Nassau, the capital and largest city, is located; and Grand Bahama, home to the second-largest city of Freeport.

 

English is the spoken language. The economy is heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism alone provides an estimated 51% of the gross domestic product and employs about half the Bahamian workforce. In 2016, over 3 million tourists visited the Bahamas, mostly from the United States and Canada.

THE YMCA IN BAHAMAS 

The YMCA of Grand Bahama was founded in 1970 in Freeport and has been for many years the only functioning community facility of its kind on the Grand Bahama Island.

 

The YMCA offers a wide range of community services including after-school programs, sports, swimming, recreation, arts, and a rehabilitation center for youth offenders. YMCA programs serve people from different socio-economic backgrounds and impact approximately 2,000 people every year.

 

The YMCA of Grand Bahama suffered significant damages in 2004 following 2 major hurricanes and closed its doors for nearly 2 years. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew also damaged the YMCA infrastructure, compromising children and youth safety. With the support of the international community, the YMCA rapidly helped bring a sense of security, restoration, and hope by providing a safe place and a and a meeting point for the community during difficult times.

HURRICANE DORIAN 

Between Sunday, September 1st and Tuesday, September, 3rd, 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas, after reaching Category 5, with sustained winds of 185 mph. Dorian has been the slowest-moving major hurricane ever observed and one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record.

 

The destructive winds, torrential rains, and relentless flooding left 20 fatalities, 282 people missing, more than 29,500 displaced persons, and USD $3.4 billion in damages according to official reports. Abaco island was the hardest hit where 75% of all homes were damaged on the island. As of mid-February 2020, the drinking water service has not been fully established, there is no postal service, landline phone service is intermittent, and hundreds of houses have yet to be rebuilt.  

 

Dorian impact on the YMCA of Grand Bahama On Wednesday, September 4th, Karon Pinder-Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA reported that all YMCA staff and volunteers were accounted for and safe. 70% of the Grand Bahama island was covered in water and there was no power or running water across the island.

 

The YMCA was flooded, 75% of the roof was damaged, all five pool pumps and three heat pumps were lost due to flooding, treadmills and ellipticals were underwater, office furniture was wet, perimeter fencing was down, and the dugouts for the soccer and baseball fields were destroyed. Fortunately, the main building was still standing.

DORIAN IMPACT ON THE YMCA

Dorian impact on the YMCA of Grand Bahama On Wednesday, September 4th, Karon Pinder-Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA reported that all YMCA staff and volunteers were accounted for and safe. 70% of the Grand Bahama island was covered in water and there was no power or running water across the island.

 

The YMCA was flooded, 75% of the roof was damaged, all five pool pumps and three heat pumps were lost due to flooding, treadmills and ellipticals were underwater, office furniture was wet, perimeter fencing was down, and the dugouts for the soccer and baseball fields were destroyed. Fortunately, the main building was still standing.

HOW TO HELP

Financial contributions are the most effective way to help at this time.

 

The Latin American and Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs will collect gifts on behalf of the YMCA of Grand Bahama for their relief and rehabilitation efforts and assist with international emergency coordination. 100% of the gifts will be sent to the YMCA of Grand Bahama.

DONATIONS

Donations can be made online at: www.lacaymca.org

 

Or by wire transfer at:

 

Beneficiary: Alianza Latinoamericana y del Caribe de ACJ AC Address Line 1: Av. Ejército Nacional 253 1er Piso

City: Mexico City,

Zip: 11320

Country: Mexico

Telephone: +52 (55) 998 – 2062265

Account #: 0101079859

CLABE: 012180001010798594

Bank: BBVA Bancomer, S.A.

SWIFT: BCMRMXMMPYM

Currency: USD (American dollars)

Branch Address: Av. Cuitlahuac 3331

City: Mexico City

Zip: 02840

Country: Mexico

Telephone: +52 (55) 5342 – 4059

 

Please write “YMCA Bahamas relief efforts” in the description/reference section and send a copy of the wire transfer confirmation to finanzas@lacaymca.org.

DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD

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YMCA RESPONSE 

Two days after the storm, the YMCA staff team met at the YMCA center to start the clean-up and removedebris, gunk, and roofing tiles. In addition, they walked about in the area to assess the needs of the community and discuss a plan of action.

 

The inventory included more than 120 households where the YMCA team listened to people, expressed support, and understood their needs.

 

During the entire month of September, the YMCA opened its doors to the entire island community every day from 7:00am to 6:00pm to provide access to toilets, safe drinking water and snacks, a place to rest and charge cell phones, and in many cases, a much-needed recreational respite from their challenges.

 

Anyone on the island could access the YMCA facilities free of charge.

 

The YMCA also conducted a clothing drive to support the impacted families and provided care and support to children, teens, and young people while public schools were closed. Finally, the YMCA engaged in a prolonged rehabilitation response by focusing its efforts on 4 key objectives:

 

- To help children, teens, young people, and senior citizens cope with stress while parents focus on recovery.

 

- To increase community awareness of disaster prevention and management.

 

- To strengthen the YMCA’s ability to support the long-term recovery of the community.

 

- To support the YMCA staff impacted by the disaster.

Please write “YMCA Bahamas relief efforts” in the description/reference section and send a copy of the wire transfer confirmation to finanzas@lacaymca.org.