NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The people of Haiti are grappling with the massive destruction caused by Matthew. The category 4 hurricane ripped through one of the poorest countries in the world-- killing several people and leaving thousands homeless.
Haitians in the U.S. are desperately trying to reach loved ones. Jean Rene Clerveaux was supposed to return to Haiti last week but had problems with his passport. He has been anxiously watching the news from afar, as he desperately tries to reach his loved ones.
“I have not been able to talk to everybody because in some places communication is not reliable. Internet connection is not reliable like here, and some people don’t have power,” he said.
Two of his siblings live in the southern part of the country, where the brunt of the storm was.
“I know yesterday they were evacuated from their home but since then I have not been able to get in touch with them. I’m kind of worried. Anything can happen,” he said.
Jean Rene just graduated from Tidewater Community College with an associate’s degree in social science. His education was sponsored by the Maison Fortune Orphanage Foundation. He grew up in the orphanage, where he lived through other natural disasters like the massive earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Ike.
“I was there during the hurricane. I was trying to save those kids’ lives—take them to somewhere else where they can be safe,” he said.
He is eager to go back home and help his people recover from the storm. Meanwhile he asks that everyone prays for his beloved country.
“I’ve been praying for Haiti. That's all I can do. I feel very bad because there is nothing I can do and that's where all my loved ones live. I feel very sorry-- it's a very tough situation to deal with,” he said.
Leaders of the Maison Fortune Orphanage Foundation tell 13News Now the orphanage survived the storm with little damage. There was some flooding, but all the children are safe.