Reconstruction after the Earthquake

Haiti, Habitat for Humanity

Problem

During the earthquake, 2 million people lost everything they owned. Hundreds of thousands of people do not have a home to live in to this day. Whether people live in impoverished conditions or in dignity makes a difference to their future lives.

Solution

Habitat for Humanity provides long-term reconstruction in Haiti and helps people to help themselves. Affected families do not receive handouts but contribute to building their own homes, thereby becoming homeowners.

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News

Haiti: three years after the earthquake, houses are still needed

Saturday 12 January marked three years since the Haiti earthquake, which measured 7.0 and devastated the island nation. Almost 90 percent of buildings were destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people lost the roof of their head. Last year, Hurricane Sandy led to a spike in cholera infections and further woe. Much has been done to repair the damage but many people still require help and, particularly, a roof over their head. Read on

100 houses in one week

Nearly 600 volunteers will travel to Haiti from Nov. 24 to Dec. 1 to build 100 more houses for the 29th Carter Work Project, which for the second consecutive year is building in a former sugarcane field outside the hard-hit city of Léogâne. Read on

Life in new houses

In collaboration with the future owners Habitat for Humanity constructed more than 150 houses in the city of Léogâne. Now with the families moving in it is great to see, that every house gets its own face. See more in the photoalbum on Facebook: Scenes of family life in Habitat Read on

President and Mrs. Carter join hundreds of Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Haiti to help build 100 homes with earthquake-affected families

LÉOGÂNE, Haiti (Nov. 7, 2011) — Today, President and Mrs. Carter joined more than 500 volunteers from around the world for Habitat for Humanity’s 28th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The weeklong build will help to construct 100 homes in partnership with earthquake-affected families in Léogâne, Haiti. Read on

Get ready to volunteer in Haiti

To be notified when Habitat begins recruiting volunteers, take the Haiti volunteer interest survey. This survey will collect your demographic and basic skills information. Read on

Haiti Quarterly Update Report

To this day more than 21,000 emergency shelter kits have been assembled and distributed, nearly 1,000 transitional shelters have been constructed and more than 200 Haitians employed and trained in rebuilding work. To learn more about Habitat’s recovery and rebuilding efforts in Haiti, read the latest update Haiti quarterly report. Read on

Project Description

Fair, financed belongings instead of charity

Habitat for Humanity mobilises decision makers as well as resources, allowing deserving people the opportunity to set up and maintain a simple yet solid home for themselves. A small credit from the Habitat fund makes this a possibility even for those with very small incomes. Any family can lodge an application with their local Habitat for Humanity branch. The selection process is independent from religion, gender or health condition. The degree to which a candidate can meet the following criteria is assessed: level of deservedness, the willingness of personal contribution and mutual aid as well as the ability to pay back the interest-free loan in small payments in the long-term and to take responsibility of the living quarters.

Habitat for Humanity’s measures in Haiti comprise three phases:

1. Phase: Immediate help

Habitat for Humanity distributed 21,928 Shelter Kits to particularly needy families. These kits consisted of important materials and tools, such as plans for endwalls and roof-cover as well as nails, rope and hammers, which allowed people to, at least in the short-term, build emergency accommodation or carry out repairs on their own houses. On top of this, Habitat for Humanity set up 1,000 short-term units for survivors and helpers that featured an extensive array of equipment including wheelbarrows, shovels and rods to help eliminate the damage caused by tremours.

2. Phase: Safe halfway housing and clean up efforts

In the aftermath of the catastrophe (after the worst effects had been tended to), Habitat for Humanity began building halfway houses in April 2010. These buildings protect occupants from earthquakes and hurricanes and offer space for five people. The halfway houses are designed to accommodate a family from one to three years and can later be transformed into durable houses, rebuilt in another spot or responsibly recycled. Each halfway house costs between 1,000-2,000€.  

3. Phase: Long-term reconstruction

During the third phase, Habitat for Humanity will build earthquake-resistant, sustainable basic housing, dubbed Core Houses. To do this, Habitat for Humanity will use the model of a very simple house, one which offers immediate protection to a family as well as providing a durable roof over their heads. The houses have a living space measuring 17,5 m², a stormproof roof, massive walls, concrete floors as well as a separate bathroom unit. The foundation of the basic model can be later extended upon. Each basic house costs between 4,000-5,000€. In addition, Habitat for Humanity repairs damaged houses and assists various associations with planning.  For the last three years, they have also facilitated training courses in areas such as bricklaying and carpentry - the participants of these courses are now instrumental in the reconstruction process on Haiti.  

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has been at work in Haiti for 26 years and will use its local expertise to mobilise resources as part of the rebuilding efforts. Habitat has provided more than 2,000 families with housing solutions through a variety of initiatives, including new home construction, progressive building, home repairs and improvements. It also builds capacity in construction skills, disaster mitigation and financial literacy and works in coordination with the community and government agencies.

Habitat for Humanity is an international Christian non-profit organisation and was founded in 1976 in Atlanta, U.S.A. Today the organisation exists in 100 countries worldwide. So far it has built more than 350.000 houses and helped over 1,75 million people. Habitat is predominantly financed by private donations and works with and for people from all nationalities and religious backgrounds.

Website: http://www.habitat.org/