Last year a group of four people went to Haiti to help build ten 10 X 16 homes. It was a great experience and very rewarding to be able to hand each family the keys to their house at the end of the day. We had planned to continue building more homes of that type, but due to unexpected developments for the local contacts we were working with, the building project was stopped.
In June, I went to Haiti with a team and I was introduced to a missionary who took me to meet families that had lost their homes in the earthquake. One family had four children and was living in a tent; they didn’t have enough money to rebuild, even though they owned their own land.
When I returned from Haiti, the board of Servants for Haiti met to discuss our building project. It was decided that we would help this family rebuild. We had already raised money for house building and had enough to complete a home for this family.
To date the walls are up. Soon the roof will be poured. It was decided that a cement roof made sense because the house itself is very small. A flat roof would provide the family with the option of one day building a second floor. In the meantime, the roof top can be used to hang laundry for the family.
We are very thankful to all our donors who made this possible. Watch for more pictures to come of the project’s completion.
Watch this video to see our first home building team in November 2011 create a home for a Haitian family.
Creating a home in Haiti
Make a difference for one Haitian family. If you want to be part of the next home building team, visit our trips page and find one that fits your schedule.
An SFH team and a family with a new home.
Are you wondering what these houses are that Servants for Haiti is now funding and helping to construct? Here are the details.
SFH is working with ASAM Ministries to build “temporary” homes for homeless Haitian families. Unfortunately, temporary may become permanent unless economic conditions in Haiti improve drastically. (SFH is working to make that happen, too.) Fortunately, these homes will serve a critical function as they are.
Here are some of the features of the homes we are building:
- They have locks. As mundane as that may seem, it’s the difference between safety and vulnerability to Haitian families. The tent cities, which is where most of the families will move from to occupy these houses, are under the constant threat of violence from local criminals. The incidence of rape and assault, as well as non-violent crimes such as theft, are out of control in the anarchic tent villages. A lock is just enough protection to protect most families.
- They are strong. Unlike a makeshift tent, these structures are built to withstand the rain and high winds that are common to the island nation.
Rain collection system is a lifesaver.
- The have cement floors. In the tents, families were forced to sleep in mud during and after rainstorms. Plus, the water that came streaming through those tents is often contaminated with waste materials.
- A rainwater collection system is built into the roof. In a nation where potable water is not available to most families, clean drinking water can save a child or an entire family from waterborne diseases such as cholera. As of this writing, Haiti is experiencing the worst cholera epidemic in modern history. Even before the epidemic, water-borne diseases accounted for more than half the deaths in Haiti.
- These homes belong to the families. Home ownership is a dream for most Haitians. Thus, providing a home, albeit temporary, is a major boost to a family’s sense of well-being and security.
- Construction employs Haitian workers. Except for the tiny percentage of Americans who travel to assist in the building effort (including those who travel under the auspices of SFH), labor is provided by local workers. Everyone wins.
If you want to watch a home being built, visit this page for a short video.
The following link will take you to an information sheet and a set of application forms for the next work team to Haiti.
Trip application forms for October/November 2011 home-building team
For general information about past and future trips, please refer to this page.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.