Eunide Eugene and family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Eunide Eugene and family



Surviving the worst

Eunide Eugene was four months pregnant when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010. Her concrete house collapsed on top of her, pinning her in the debris.

“I almost died that day,” she said. “Everybody, my friends and neighbors, thought I had died. But two people pulled me out. Thank God the baby was OK.”

More than a year and a half later, she still lives in a temporary shelter, supporting her four children, three nephews and her 79-year-old grandmother.

Every week she takes a tap-tap, one of the ubiquitous colorful buses, to the town of Malpasse near the Haitian border with the Dominican Republic, and buys cosmetics, perfume and beauty supplies. She takes them to the teeming streets of Port-au-Prince and sells them on credit to the sidewalk vendors there. On Wednesdays, she returns to collect her modest profits.

Eugene’s current shelter is painfully small for the nine people who live there. “We have nowhere else to go,” she said. “We don’t have money, and we don’t have anything else.”

The new house will help her family a great deal by giving them a simple, decent place to live and sleep.