Local News

St. Augustine's students from Bahamas coping after Hurricane Dorian destroyed islands

Posted September 12, 2019 9:13 p.m. EDT

— Many college students in the Triangle are from the Bahamas and still have family and friends there. That includes a number of students at St. Augustine's University.

They said they are coping and trying to help their island nation any way they can.

When Hurricane Dorian hit more than a week ago, students from the Bahamas who are at St. Augustine's were deeply impacted. Now, they're doing whatever they can to help.

"It's unbelievable, honestly," said Bercario Bodie, one of several students at St. Augustine's University from the Bahamas. He said his aunt lost everything on the Abaco Islands.

"You never think something like that can happen to your own country, but when you see that, you see people begging for help, literally begging for their lives," Bodie said. "It's unbelievable."

Bodie said he and other students from the Bahamas are trying to look out for each other, comfort each other and lean on each other.

"I sit there and watch the video about 100 times," Lavar Stubbs said. "The first time I saw it, just playing it back, playing it back because I couldn't believe it."

The campus community and others are coming together to help the people of the Bahamas. Proceeds from the upcoming Mama Africa Festival in Raleigh will benefit the island nation.

"By me not just helping my immediate family but also helping the country because we are all one, we're not different, we're all one," said Pearl Forbes.

Many of the students at St. Augustine's know their college careers will be over long before the Bahamas recover. Their goal is to help their island nation rebuild for the future.

Several non-profits and churches, like Christchurch Episcopal and the Fountain of Raleigh Fellowship are also helping with recovery efforts. The university is also planning a hurricane relief drive on campus next week.