* Photo supplied. Helping hand: Local resident Read Correlly pictured here (centre) with his father John (left) installing solar panels on a roof in Haiti. Mr. Correlly leaves today for earthquake-stricken Haiti to help his father get the local school-come-hospital up and running again.
* Photo supplied. Helping hand: Local resident Read Correlly pictured here (centre) with his father John (left) installing solar panels on a roof in Haiti. Mr. Correlly leaves today for earthquake-stricken Haiti to help his father get the local school-come-hospital up and running again.
Local resident Read Correlly leaves for Haiti today to help his father's school recover from the catastrophic January earthquake.

He will be gone for two weeks. During that time he will be re-wiring the school and providing hands-on assistance to various projects in the community.

"I will start off by restoring the generator so the school will have power," Mr. Correlly explained.

"It is currently being used as a makeshift hospital for those injured in the earthquake. They need power for running water and to perform small surgeries."

A foreign medical team has already spent a week at the school dispensing supplies and tending to the injured.

The school is called Anis Zunuzi and is located just outside Port au Prince in Lilavois - an area in Haiti in which Mr. Correlly grew up as a boy.

"I went down with my parents and sister in 1981," he explained. "We are Baha'i and one of the pillars of the Baha'i faith is to arise and serve. My parents took us to Haiti for this purpose.

"I am so grateful to have had that experience. Haitians are amazing people, incredibly strong, considering they have suffered so greatly."

Mr. Correlly's sister still lives in Haiti with her husband and four children.

"My husband lost 200 of his colleagues," Mrs. Correlly said. "Luckily for him he had chosen not to go into work that day.

"My sister's house was not damaged as it was built to sustain an earthquake because they had been told by their architect that Haiti was long overdue for one.

"My parents had just finished building their new home in November, which was right on the epicenter of the earthquake.

"They had just moved in when the earthquake struck. The house shook and shook but luckily it didn't even crack."

Mr. Correlly's father runs the Unibank Foundation in Haiti.

"The Unibank Foundation is the one organization in Haiti that can put 100 per cent of the donations to actual projects," Mr. Correlly explained. "They cover the overhead themselves.

"My father heads it up with more than 30 years experience in the development of Haiti.

"Yes, there is the immediate need to dig people out of the rubble, to perform surgery and give out medication, but there will be all these knock-on effects that will happen down the road.

"For example, if farmers have lost their buildings and farming equipment, there will be food shortages down the road; if the water supply is cut off, there will be disease down the road. Some of my father's future projects will deal with these issues."

One of the current projects his father is working on is to review the so-called "tent cities" that have been sprouting up around Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.

He said: "They are basically tarpaulin with ropes, slung over whatever structure they can find.

"Now the rains have started, ground water levels are rising, so people have no place to sleep."

Unibank is looking for donations to provide a safer temporary alternative for families in the form of locally sourced thick, waterproof plastic sheets.

Some $14,000 worth of sheets can accommodate 1,000 families.

Mr. Correlly has been working in Bermuda since 2001 in the IT department at HSBC. He hopes one day to return to Haiti permanently.

If you would like to help, email readcurrelly@gmail.com.