Contributed

Kelowna woman trapped in Haiti hopes to get out next week

Laura Allan can’t return home due to civil unrest in the Caribbean country

A Kelowna woman trapped in Haiti is doing all she can to get home safely, but it’s not been easy.

Laura Allan has spent nearly 12 years working in Haiti to improve the lives of Haitians as a foreign aid worker, and now she’s trapped in the country due to heavy blockades and protests over allegations of government corruption. The tumult has shut down roads and led to gunshots in the streets. Canadians have been urged to leave.

Allan said she’s currently in a safe place, but getting water and resources is difficult.

“It’s heartbreaking because I’ve never been prevented from doing my work before,” she said. “We’re locked down and it’s really weird because you have bars on your windows, (it’s like) you’re doing prison time.”

With little assistance from the Canadian government, she said she has to fundraise her way home, which requires renting a helicopter as the roads are too dangerous for her to travel to the airport from her location in Jacmel.

READ MORE: Fundraiser started for Kelowna foreign aid worker trapped in Haiti

“It’s disheartening when (the Canadian government) sends you a message saying leave the country and I can’t get to the airport,” she said, noting that when she experienced the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, aid was readily available. Now that it’s a political conflict, it’s a different story but the need is just as intense.

She didn’t have power for 11 days and on Friday, she drove past a large fire on the road where someone had set a tire ablaze in order to get water, which she said was like a scene from a movie.

Allan works as a landscaper in Kelowna, but part her year is spent in Haiti. During all her time working overseas, she’s never experienced civil unrest like this.

She remains hopeful that she can leave the country next week, if she can get a little more for the GoFundMe, she said.

READ MORE: New federal advisory says Canadians should avoid all travel to Haiti

The GoFundMe can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/emergency-fund-for-canadian-to-leave-haiti?


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

COSAR and Kelowna RCMP rescue couple lost at James Lake

The rescue occurred Saturday, July 11

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read