Ravaged. Devastated. Massive destruction. Three days of terror.
These are a few of the words that have been used to describe the country of Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. A country already reeling from the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti is in a state of crisis with the death toll reaching 1,000 and climbing.
SonSet Solutions is ready to send one of our own, Leon Amstutz, to help get our partner, Radio Lumiѐre on the air again. “Radio plays an important role in times of crisis,” says Ted Miller, a SonSet Solutions broadcast engineer. “A lot of communities are cut off from communication and people need to find out where aid is available. Radio broadcasts will also tell people how to avoid diseases such as cholera, which is already becoming an epidemic in some areas. Just as importantly, Christian broadcasts give people hope as they are given spiritual truths that help make sense of the mess.”
Radio Lumiѐre, which has been broadcasting for 57 years, covers up to 94 percent of the country of Haiti with gospel programming. With 10 installations throughout the country, eight of them are located in the hardest-hit areas and six of those have been severely damaged. Downed towers, damaged buildings, water-logged electronic equipment, and failed transmitters are just a few of the punches Hurricane Matthew has given the stations.
Leon served full time as a broadcast engineer for Radio Lumiѐre at their main headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in the 1980s for one term and has been serving as a volunteer engineering consultant over the course of several decades. Radio Lumiѐre’s network engineer has asked Leon to come and work on the damaged equipment.
SonSet Solutions is seeking to raise $11,800 for our emergency relief fund which will help us get started in the effort to get Radio Lumiѐre back on the air. This is an initial estimate. We will be able to assess the damage more clearly when we get there. Leon will bring some equipment with him into the country and other broadcast equipment will be shipped. Part of that delivery will be SonSet® radios which will allow people to tune in to the humanitarian and spiritual messaging to keep people’s health and hope alive.
Radio Lumiѐre has assisted local evangelical churches in Haiti leading more than 40 percent of the population to turn their backs on voodoo and accept Christ. SonSet Solutions has been working with Radio Lumiѐre since 1995. Over the years, we have supplied FM antennas and transmitters and assisted them with consultation, training, automation software, SonSet radios, and studio rebuilding projects following the devastating earthquake in 2010.
If you would like to help Radio Lumière recover from Hurricane Matthew, we invite you to give to the SonSet Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with us.
by Erica Simone