This most recent trip to Haiti was both heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time. Heartbreaking because 1.2 million people still live in tent cities; many others live in tents on their own property. Heart-warming because of the resilience of the human spirit evident in the Haitian people. Those in churches are pressing into the Lord and determined to see not just their own homes, but their nation rebuilt and restored. In fact, they are believing that out of this tragedy, a new Haiti will emerge – a Haiti who puts her trust in the Lord!
Along with the desperate need for suitable housing is an equally desperate need for employment. Since the earthquake it is estimated that as many as 80-90 percent of the population is unemployed.
Where do you and I fit in the overall process? We have the opportunity of making a vital difference in many lives. Specifically for 31 prescreened families we have identified through local pastors. These families lost their homes and many lost their jobs due to the quake. They live in tents and are struggling to care for themselves and stay healthy in the midst of the chaos.
You may think 31 families is such a small number in the midst of such vast need. Yet to each of these families, it means everything. I can only imagine the desperation they must feel. I saw it on their faces. I heard it from their pastors as they candidly asked, will Somebody Cares be able to help?
Our answer was to let them know we would get the word out and ask people, like you, to consider helping. Would you?
While governmental bureaucracy is delaying funds and resources from rebuilding communities and homes, Somebody Cares is working at the grass roots level.
We arranged for homes to be built by a factory in Port-au-Prince that is fabricating wooden homes which meet recommended standards for both hurricane and earthquake resistance. The factory provides real jobs with real salaries to Haitian workers, supporting the local economy and helping people get back on their feet so they no longer need handouts.
These homes are twice as large as the homes we originally were going to build and send from the States.
Increasing difficulty with Haitian customs as well as rising shipping and clearance costs made the initial option un-workable. But God provided something much better – larger homes and work for Haitians!
The homes should last a minimum of 7 to 10 years. Once fabricated, the homes will be moved to and assembled on-site by skilled workers under the supervision of a local pastor to insure accountability. The pastors will continue to minister to these families as they deal with the trauma and grief they experience due to their tremendous loss.
What does it take to provide a safe, secure shelter for one of these 31 families?
The total cost of the home is $2,160 plus transportation and on-site assembly. But thanks to a generous match by Projecthulp Haiti (a Dutch organization), Somebody Cares is able to provide a home to a family with each donation of $1200!
Of that, $720 goes towards our portion of materials and labor to prefabricate the home. The remaining covers transportation to the home site, coordination and wages for a skilled carpenter and crew to erect the home.
If you are unable to fund an entire home, please consider a partial sponsorship. You may also want to ask family, friends and co-workers to join you in sponsoring a home. Whatever you can do is most appreciated.
And please remember to pray for these families as well as the entire nation of Haiti as it rebuilds.
Thank you for caring,
Founder and President
Somebody Cares America/International