Trinidad and Tobago Disaster Relief

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On October 20th, a national disaster was declared in Trinidad and Tobago after a historic, catastrophic flooding took place. There continues to be rain and landslides that are affecting an estimated 120,000 people, roughly 9% of the total population. Many people are trapped and have lost their belongings, some even their homes, and many left without basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), whose purpose is to provide is guidance and services in case of a disaster, is under fire for their delay in rescuing people.

Many were trapped and took to social media to get help. One citizen, Jizzelle Baldwin, a diabetic, posted that she was stranded for more than 14 hours in a vehicle with four children, all under the age of nine. She was later rescued by a man on a boat who saw her post, according to The Trinidad Guardian. Much like familiar scenes from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana in 2005, some people described being forced to climb onto refrigerators to avoid flood waters, then pushing through ceiling tiles to keep their heads above the water.

In cities and villages that the flood has receded, there are shelters for those who can’t live in their homes due to water damage. However, some of these shelters are too full to provide for any more people, leaving some still trapped in the water and stranded, in need of rescue.

Go Fund Me Campaign:  ​https://www.gofundme.com/flood-relief-donations-for-trinidad


Since Trinidad does not have a federal agency dedicated to giving financial assistance to those affected by natural disasters, or an equivalent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), many are dependent on aid provided by friends and family living abroad, as well as non-governmental organizations.

Initiated by a member of the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora living in Florida with family members supporting in Texas, a fund raising drive has been launched to help the victims of this disaster in Trinidad and Tobago. With the establishment of a committee that includes people living in the United States, as well as on the ground in Trinidad and Tobago, this grassroots effort is attempting to coordinate via GoFundMe, a total raise of $50,000 USD worldwide for the people impacted by the flood.

Instead of losing a percentage of the donations made by contributors to administrative fees traditionally associated to established disaster relief organizations, this grassroots effort organized by concerned citizens local and abroad are using a local non-profit, YoProTT of YoPro Global, to deliver funds directly to local team members who are providing direct assistance to those in need, such as food, water and shelter where possible.

The brand YoProTT, operated by the non-profit Events for Young Professionals has been in Trinidad and Tobago since 2014, and hosts events and activities for young professionals across the twin-island nation to develop and prepare them for entry and advancement into the workforce. With over 65 events in the past four years, this organization has touched the lives of over 4,000 youth and young professionals and is eager to support more through this tragedy. With no administrative fees, contributors will see 99% of their donation being provided directly to those in need, with 1% reserved for banking fees. As an extra level of transparency, YoPro will post its progress with donations, the impact it has made and the financial accounting for the contributions and distribution made on its Facebook page
www.facebook.com/yoprott and YoPro’s website, www.yoproglobal.org.

Every donation counts. Please make out checks to Events for Young Professionals Trinidad, the operators of YoProTT. More information on YoPro’s charity work can be found on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/yoprott


Go Fund Me Campaign:  ​https://www.gofundme.com/flood-relief-donations-for-trinidad