PWRDF continues to work with partners in Haiti. As the eyes of the world have shifted to Japan, the work of rebuilding the devastated capital region of Haiti continues. PWRDF has begun to work with Christian Aid, Lutheran World Federation, and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti in long-term projects to improve conditions for thousands of Haitians affected by the January 2010 quake.
PWRDF’s Humanitarian Response Coordinator, Naba Gurung, visited Haiti in February of this year. Upon his return, he talked about the two greatest needs facing Haiti right now: housing and employment. PWRDF has been involved in working with Haitians to address both issues.
PWRDF, as a member of the ACT Alliance, has funded the construction of provisional housing in many communities, including building over 50 houses in Mathieu, a community to which many people fled after the quake. Local people are hired to do the work building the houses, providing employment to many people like Anesh in the photo above.
Another innovative employment project, and one that PWRDF is well-suited to after our experience in similar work after the 2004 tsunami, involves working with farmers on small pieces of land to create home gardens and small-scale animal husbandry projects. These small-scale, ecologically conscious farms provide opportunities both for displaced people returning to farming communities as well as those already living there. PWRDF partners will provide training for farmers wanting to learn ecological home gardening, as well as tools and seeds to begin the work.
In addition to providing income, these projects also contribute to soil and water conservation as well as reforestation, all environmental benefits which will continue to have an impact long after the 3-year project is finished.
Finally, PWRDF is exploring, with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, the possibility of offering a school feeding project. This program would provide a nutritious meal to students each day, reducing the strain on their parents’ resources. Additionally, the availability of a free lunch would draw more children back to school, increasing their ability to care for themselves in the years to come.
PWRDF is continuing to explore other partnerships and programs as we expand our presence in Haiti. We will share more details as they become available.