La Plaine, Baraderes is a small village of approximately 500 - 600 dwellings is just a few miles away from the epicenter of the August 14, 2021 earthquake — measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale. Over 90% of the modest Haitian style homes have suffered irreparable damage and the rest are compromised to the point of being uninhabitable in La Plaine. People are living in unimaginably tragic conditions. We observed many people, including the elderly and struggling mothers, using what could be scraped together to create shelter from the sun, heat and heavy downpours of rain. For some, the tarps we were able to provide were seen as an incredible provision…representing the hope of a dry dwelling.
“Yes, we need food, we need water — but what we need most is shelter. We are struggling to sleep and can barely survive without relief!”
Hope Force is familiar with the requirements of providing shelter for earthquake survivors in Haiti because of the 83 permanent homes we have built in our adopted village of Sous Savanne. This experience, and the many relationships built over the past ten years, positions us to immediately commence a shelter program where we intend to provide relief to as many as we can in the village of La Plaine.
Hope Force will purchase what is known as “Maxima Starter Homes” — a kit made of pressure treated lumber that comes in prebuilt modules. This process reduces waste, ensures compliance to design by minimizing human error and greatly expedites the building process. This 245 sq. ft. home is designed in keeping with a modest sized Haitian dwelling. The recipient of the home will be a part of the project by digging the foundation, providing water to mix the concrete for the foundation slab and assisting in other aspects of the process.
HFI staff and community leaders have conducted intakes for the initial candidates — recording personal information, their story and taking pictures of the damaged or destroyed homes. It’s the team’s desire to ensure that the most vulnerable are the first to receive assistance.
Hope Force is in the process of developing this program. Initial cost estimates — which reflect the costs of the Maxima Starter Home kit, transportation, labor and other incidental expenses — come to $6,300 per home. The Maxima home kit can be secured within three weeks of receiving payment. Hope Force is seeking funding for an initial effort to build the first 10 homes, with the desire of renewing hope in the community.
We invite you to join us in this expression of restorative compassion by becoming a financial partner in this critical endeavor by donating now.
Gangs and related insecurity have been part of life in Haiti for a number of years. In June 2021 gang warfare broke out in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Martissant. The main road from Port-au-Prince and the airport to our Gressier/Leogane area runs right through this dangerous part of the city with several gang-controlled slums. This means we are more or less cut off from the city and only very few local drivers risk getting much needed supplies.
Several homes were burned, vandalized or invaded by gangs and several thousand people have fled the area and are staying in other parts of the country. With the help of local social workers, we have identified some groups of internally displaced people in our general area, often families with children, totally about 100 people. Most have lost everything, including homes, businesses and livelihoods. Some groups stay in vacant or unfinished houses or stay with other families or friends.
With other partnering organizations we have provided food and hygiene supplies, including rice, beans, oil, spaghetti, tomato paste, maggi cubes and items such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc. This is an ongoing project for now as long as HFI has funds available. Average food delivery cost varies from $ 00 to $650. We share food and hope in Jesus’ name for people in desperate situations.
In Haiti, education is considered the key to hope for a better life. The children in our sponsorship program attend 14 different schools. Although these are “private”, non-government schools, the classrooms are often overcrowded, are miles away from Sous Savanne and the quality of education can be a challenge. Our HFI neighbor and clocal ontractor is a follower of Jesus with a heart for the kids and youth. After much thought and prayer, with people from his church, he is converting an existing building and an unfinished structure into a six-classroom school, with the aim to provide a high quality and affordable Christian education. HFI has helped fund the final construction phase of the school which will serve up to 5th grade and will add another class each year.
Located very close to the epicenter of the earthquake, in between Leogane and Gressier, the ECCA School struggled to survive the effects of the earthquake. The building that housed the school was destroyed. However, their vision to continue on in spite of the circumstances helped propel them forward. The school’s motto, “Educate to Serve” — not only the community, but also serving their neighbors by conveying the compassionate heart of God — resonates with the core values of HFI.
Over a period of three years HFI raised funds and started to build a ten-classroom school, consisting of three buildings, a chapel and a toilet block. The school was opened on the ninth “anniversary” of the earthquake, on January 12, 2019. Over twenty children in the sponsorship program attend the school.
In October 2017 southern Haiti was hit by hurricane Matthew. Some of the more vulnerable homes in Sous Savanne sustained damage. Some roofs were blown off, simple structures collapsed. In the aftermath of the disaster HFI teams designed and built cost effective shelters, made of 2 x 4’s, roofing sheets for siding and of course the roof, plus a concrete floor. Approximately 20 shelters were built in a combination of local labor and visiting teams. Often a team would fund one or two shelters and help build alongside our Haitian friends. With another organization, HFI was also involved in a rebuilding/repair project for a heavily damaged school near Les Cayes, in the South. In both areas roof repairs and replacements were done as well.
We are never hesitiant to respond to the needs of those around us. Our teams have built a water well in the nearby community of Baby, built a fence and gate for the church in Sous Savanne often used for medical clinics, VBS’s and other programs.
Our teams also look at our own community leaders and staff’s needs and have built a home for one of our own HFI staff members.
If we feel called to serve in a unique way, we answer the call.`