Building Homes and Hope in the Mountains of Haiti

The massive earthquake that hit the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area in January 2010 wiped out the home in which Daniel Joseph was living with his wife and five children.

About 250,000 deaths have been attributed to the earthquake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

After the earthquake in Haiti, Daniel Joseph and his family lived in an improvised tent for nearly two years.

Like many of the more than one million people displaced by the disaster, Daniel, 27, and his family had to find another home.

With nothing to keep him in Port-au-Prince, Daniel moved his family back to the rural mountain community of Cablen in Leogane. They lived in a small, leaky tent constructed from tarpaulins—a tent made even more crowded when a new baby arrived.

Two years later, the family was still housed in this temporary shelter. Living so far from where the relief efforts were centered, Daniel wondered whether he and his loved ones would ever sleep under a real roof again.

Then he and others in the same situation came into contact with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee workers who were in the area providing training, seeds, livestock, and other supplies to Haitian farmers as part of the Life Restoration Program.

When CRWRC discovered that Daniel and other families were in need of housing, they began partnerships with local community leaders, carpenters, and masons.

As they went to work, CRWRC and its partners faced several challenges. Transporting materials on the narrow, steep, rough terrain was difficult. And putting up homes on the slope of a mountain was not easy.

But they kept at it—aided by community people who provided rocks, sand, food, and water for the workers.

So far, nearly 20 of 175 homes that CRWRC and its partners plan to build in Cablen have been completed.

One of the new mountainside houses was for Daniel and his family.

“Having a strong and beautiful house is the greatest blessing I received from God. Now I can close my eyes and sleep peacefully with my family,” says Daniel. “I am also proud that I was involved in the construction. Thank you, Lord; thank you, CRWRC.”

The homes in the mountains outside of Leogane are among the nearly 3,000 that CRWRC and its partners have built since the earthquake.

—Adele Konyndyk, CRWRC Communications

About the Author

Adele Konyndyk is a communications writer for World Renew, a creative writer, and a member of First Hamilton Christian Reformed Church in Ontario.

 

 

X