Junior Cyril and family

Junior Cyril lives with his mother, Claumene Fleury, and 9-year-old nephew, Fiklado, in a fraying, mildewed, off-white tent with blue X’s on either side of the entry flap.

He’s been there for more than two years now — ever since the earthquake brought down the walls of the house he was renting in downtown Léogâne.

“We thought it was the end of us,” he remembers.

Like many of the men living in the Santo community, Junior sometimes works on the Habitat build site. But because Habitat wants to give as many families as possible a chance to earn a little income, construction leaders rotate workers on and off the roster, and he often has no work for months at a time.

Though the temperature inside the tent reaches dangerously high levels during the day, leaving presents another kind of risk.

“When I leave, they rob me,” Junior says.

The 26-year-old mason is eager to have a safe home to call his own: “I’d like to have a new house just to put my stuff in security.”

But he’s also looking beyond his own needs, to that of the community as a whole: “I think we can make an arrangement with the community leaders to move forward, to respect each other and to live together.”

Whether or not he’s officially on the clock, you can expect to see him working alongside the volunteers at the Carter Work Project.

“It will be a great pleasure, working with them,” he says.