From Curaçao with love

written by Cristina Amato

Logos Hope has unloaded relief supplies sent from the people of Curaçao to those in need on the island of Saint Vincent.

Thousands of people were evacuated from the area around La Soufrière when the volcano erupted two months ago. Many are still living in temporary shelters as the clean-up of toxic ash continues.

A small ceremony was held on the quayside to officially hand over the donated goods Logos Hope’s crew were glad to transport from the country the ship has just left. Present were Vincentian government ministers and the island’s Dutch representative (Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), as well as the organisation that will distribute the aid, REACH SVG.

Logos Hope’s director, Randy Grebe (USA) declared that the ship and her crew could not take any credit for the ‘love offering’ from fellow Caribbean islanders, but that the ship’s volunteers are eager to join restoration efforts. Teams are visiting shelters to support people affected and are cleaning homes covered by ash.

The Honourable St. Clair Prince, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, commended the neighbourliness of Curaçao, where he said many Vincentians have family. He also spoke of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ long association with OM’s ships. “As a schoolboy, I went aboard to get books and I think there isn’t any family that hasn’t got books from one of the ships. They have impacted the life of our people for years. Logos Hope is important for both countries and came at the right time; a time of need.”

Camille Crichton, the Dutch honorary consul, said, “I am thankful for those people in Curaçao who decided to stand up and show solidarity to the people in Saint Vincent by offering their help during these difficult times.”

After the goods had been presented, they were transported by crewmembers to a high school in the town of Mesopotamia. One volunteer said, “We sorted the items for hours. From baby food and breakfast cereal to cans of vegetables, everything had to be separated so that people could be given what is appropriate to their need. It was exhausting and the packages were heavy, but when we returned to the ship and I got to bed late, I realised that this huge amount of donated items would have such a positive impact. I feel thankful that I could help in a small way by just unloading a truck and sorting milk from potato chips.”

As Logos Hope travels from country to country, her international crew appreciates the part they can have in linking different nations and showing unity in Christ.