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Rebuilding hope in Haiti

February 20, 2009

 

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Haiti faces more challenges than any other country in the region. Its recovery from the hurricanes of August and September 2008 has been slow—even prior to the storms, it had been suffering from an acute economic crisis with widespread unemployment and abject poverty. Also, the 2009 hurricane season is quickly approaching. Disasters occur when people are not prepared, and Habitat Haiti is struggling to rebuild while at the same time mitigating future risk.

In December I was able to witness solidarity in action at the annual Building on Faith celebration in Lafayette, Indiana, at which Habitat Haiti received a significant donation from the local affiliate. These funds will repair 15 homes, provide 10 core homes to families affected by the disaster, and train 100 families on disaster mitigation and preparation. For every house that Habitat Lafayette builds, they tithe one house in Haiti. Doug Taylor, the Director of Habitat Lafayette, and several board members—including one member who is Haitian—have developed strong ties to Haiti, and continually look for new ways to support and be involved.

Thanks to their generosity and that of several other U.S. affiliates and corporate supporter Moneygram, we have raised US$150,000 in new pledges and donations. We are also using existing funding from Habitat International and an USAID job creation project coordinated by CHF International to support our efforts. We are focusing on three key areas: construction (through home repairs and new core homes); growth of the low-income housing sector through vocational training and support to small enterprises; and promotion of disaster prevention and preparedness for communities in coordination with local authorities.

Several members of the Haitian diaspora in greater Miami have also contacted us, and are launching a local fundraising campaign called “Haitians helping Haiti” to support Habitat Haiti’s rebuilding efforts.

There is still a lot to do, and we need your support to do it. If you would like to learn more about Habitat Haiti, please see the links below. To donate to “Rebuilding hope in Haiti,” please click here and designate your donation to “Hope in Haiti.”

Kate Pearson is Resource Development Coordinator for Habitat Latin America/Caribbean.

More about Habitat Haiti:
Habitat for Humanity Haiti profile

National office Web page (French)

Reaching out in hurricane devastated Haiti

Habitat for Humanity aids hurricane-ravaged Haiti, begins disaster recovery