(GRAY NEWS/CNN) – Canadian nurses trapped in a Christian charity compound in Haiti have started a GoFundMe campaign in order to evacuate the embattled island.
The eight nurses have been trapped in the community of Grand Goave since violent anti-government protests erupted in the country nine days ago.
The money the nurses raised will be used to hire a helicopter to get them to the airport about an hour away in the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The group is concerned that they’ll be taken hostage if they attempt to make the journey to the airport by car.
"They needed $9,000 and they’ve already raised more than $16,000,” Tracy Hotta, one of the nurses, told CNN on Saturday. "The pastor that is the director of the compound has instructed us not to go outside into the community across the highway, which is where the roadblocks are. So, we’re here.”
The nurses are part of a mission coordinated by Hope Grows Haiti.
“We can get people to come in and we can still provide health care for the men and the feeding program. School has been shut; we do have a school on the compound. We are safe here, but they will not let us go outside the compound," Hotta said.
Air Canada has a scheduled flight out of the country’s capital on Monday, according to the group’s GoFundMe page. The nurses hope to make it to the airport by Sunday.
Protesters have demanded that President Jovenel Moise resign. Clashes with police have left several dead, according to the New York Times.