Hundreds of families in Nicaragua and Honduras who have had their lives devastated by two major hurricanes, will be receiving emergency supplies, thanks to a grant of £30,000 to Plan International UK supported by Cambridgeshire Freemasons.
Hurricane Eta made landfall on Nicaragua’s northern coast as a Category Four hurricane in early November, bringing catastrophic rains and winds at 140 mph, blowing off roofs and knocking down trees. Hurricane Iota, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year, then caused widespread devastation in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador just two weeks later. Iota, also a Category Four hurricane, made landfall on Monday, November 16, just two weeks after Hurricane Eta had left 4.2 million people in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The storm hit almost exactly the same stretch of coast that had already been devastated by Hurricane Eta.
In Honduras alone, over half a million families have been affected and thousands have seen their homes damaged or destroyed by the winds, rain and subsequent floods. Schools and health centres have seen the brunt of the storms and roads and power lines have been destroyed, which creates even greater challenges for response teams and communities.
Children and families are in need of emergency supplies to help them in this critical period, especially given the additional risks of transmission of COVID-19 in crowded temporary shelters. A £30,000 grant from the Freemasons is enough to provide 553 families in Nicaragua with water and sanitation kits containing water, soap, sanitiser, toothbrushes, toothpaste and insect repellent, and 331 families in Honduras with shelter kits, containing mats, blankets, torches and mosquito nets.
Freemasons from Cambridgeshire have contributed to the grant that comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said:
We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to reach families and young children in those parts of the region hardest hit by the hurricanes. It’s critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk
Cambridgeshire Freemason Michael Hinton said:
I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort in Central America. This is a desperate situation and Plan International and the other organisations helping on the ground need all the help and support we can offer.
Notes to Editors
The photograph shows flooded communities in Honduras the aftermath of Hurricane Iota, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year.
About the Masonic Charitable Foundation
The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief. In total, MCF support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally. As well as providing grants to charities, the MCF supports Freemasons and their families with a financial, health or family need. Visit www.mcf.org.uk
About Plan International UK
Plan International UK is an independent development and humanitarian charity that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it is girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.
The Masonic Province of Cambridgeshire is relatively small, with Masonic Centres in Cambridge, Ely, Newmarket, March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech. There are around 1500 Freemasons and 30 individual lodges. We pride ourselves on our friendliness and inclusivity, with members drawn from all walks of life and professional backgrounds. We welcome enquiries from anyone who is curious about our values and our history.
More information is available on our website and enquiries should be directed to our Provincial Office in Cambridge via www.cambridgeshirefreemasons.org.uk
Michael Hinton, Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire Freemasons