On September 20, 2017, hurricane Maria transformed Puerto Rico. The devastating hurricane, with winds up to 155 mph, plowed through the island leaving it crippled, without access to electricity and clean water. The months following the hurricane, were of complete uncertainty as we watched the spreading of diseases such as leptospirosis and asthma. Family and friends were among 2,975 deaths accounted by a George Washington University research team.
Our overall goal is to narrow the inequity of access that has been prevalent in our communities for decades–accentuated a year ago in the aftermath of hurricane Maria–providing access to sustainable energy and water infra-structure through the Gift of Light and Gift of Water Campaigns.
The Gift of Light
Community health clinics became one of the many community first responders. One hundred community health clinics and satellites provide primary care services to the most vulnerable population in the island.
At an average of $30,000 we can facilitate the solar infrastructure for a community health clinic to guarantee the uninterrupted operation of their emergency room. Through Gift of Light and its supporters the Puerto Rico Community Foundation has already powered the emergency room of 24 community health clinics.
Visit DONATE and select The Gift of Light Campaign to make your contribution. Or write a check to Puerto Rico Community Foundation indicating on the memo line that it is for the “Gift of Light Campaign.”
The Gift of Light Campaign has been supported by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Greater New Orleans Community Foundation, Miami Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation.
The Gift of Water
The collapse of the power grid had a domino effect, cutting off more than 700 communities from their water supply. In Puerto Rico, there are more than 239 community aqueducts, which are not connected to the central water system. Without energy, these systems depended on power generators until they exhausted their useful life. In other cases, people went to rivers to get water triggering diseases like leptospirosis, conjunctivitis and other gastro-intestinal diseases. The lack of access to water became a health issue in communities.
At an average of $50,000 we can continue strengthen community aqueducts by facilitating solar infrastructure and building the capacity for water certification process and community organizing. Through The Gift of Water Campaign the Puerto Rico Community Foundation and its partners have already built the capacity of 20 of the more than 200 community aqueducts that exist in the island.
Visit DONATE and select “The Gift of Water Campaign” to make your contribution. Or write a check to Puerto Rico Community Foundation indicating on the memo line “Gift of Water Campaign.”
The Gift of Water Campaign has been supported by OXFAM and in alliance with Forest Model Organization and Environmental Protection Agency.