Guatemala volcano victims
Posted: 27th June 2018

The Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated £25,000 to help support 30,000 people whose lives have been devastated by the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala.

Plan International UK are providing essential services in evacuation centres

The money is being donated to Plan International UK which is working in the three most vulnerable evacuation centres. Vital services being funded include:

  • Supplementary, highly nutritious food for children and pregnant women
  • Improvements in hygiene conditions for food preparation in shelters
  • Household kits for families, containing items such as blankets, mattresses, sheets and pillows
  • Water purifying filters so families can access clean drinking water
  • Hygiene kits including items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, towels, combs, toilet rolls and sanitary towels
  • Baby kits including nappies and baby wipes
  • First aid kits
  • Running workshops on protection and sexual and gender based violence
  • Back-to-school kits for children containing essential school supplies
  • Furniture and equipment for schools
  • Vouchers or cash for families to rebuild their homes

The eruption has caused widespread devastation in Guatemala

The volcano, which erupted with shattering force at the beginning of this month, has left at least 100 people dead; a figure expected to rise sharply. Well over 12,000 people have lost their homes or been evacuated, with more than 4,000 being housed in temporary shelters. Tens of thousands more have been left without access to safe shelter, food, drinking water and sanitation facilities. An estimated 1.7 million people have been affected so far.

Schools and gyms in Escuintia department, one of the worst-affected areas, have been converted into temporary shelters and although people across the country have donated food, clothes and toys to the survivors, the trauma of escaping the volcano and losing everything has caused deep psychological wounds for many people in the shelters, children in particular.

Among those being supported by the charity are Ana Patricia, her husband and her three daughters, who are sheltering in a school along with 219 other people. She told the Plan team in Guatemala:

At the beginning my little girl kept saying ‘Mummy, let’s leave this place, this is not home, there are too many people here.’ But now she is happier thanks to the help we have received.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated £25,000

Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK said:

“We are hugely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for supporting our disaster response in Guatemala. This generous grant will make a big difference to thousands of people affected by the Fuego eruption and help get their lives back on track.”

David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said:

“The Fuego volcano eruption has devastated the lives of many thousands of people, with, as usual, children bearing the brunt of the suffering. I am very pleased that the Masonic Charitable Foundation was able to move so quickly and provide funds for Plan International UK’s vital work at the heart of the disaster zone.”