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Haiti Three Years In

January 18, 2013

By Simon Chambers

As we commemorated the third anniversary of the Haiti earthquake this week, I saw several articles about how little has changed in the country since the earthquake.  Blame was laid at the hands of international donors, of the Haitian government, of NGOs.  And I got frustrated at the negative nature of the stories.

I probably shouldn’t get frustrated at it.  Good news stories don’t sell a lot of advertisements.  But good news is what *I* get to deal in.

So today, I thought I’d post some information about what PWRDF has been involved in since January 12, 2010.  Our work has been done in conjunction with a wide range of organizations: the ACT Alliance, the Diocese of Haiti, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (and the Canadian International Development Agency), and Episcopal Relief and Development.

In three years, PWRDF has been involved in the following nine areas of the work:

1. The ACT Alliance was one of the first agencies reaching out to the affected communities (the first international flight into Port-au-Prince after the earthquake contained ACT members, and within 2 days of the earthquake, over 70 water points had been set up across Port-au-Prince by ACT.)  The ACT Alliance appeal benefited approximately 400,000 earthquake affected people, with actual funds of $35 million programmed for 2 years. PWRDF contributed $750,000.

Painting the wall of a semi-permanent house in Haiti.  Photo: Naba Gurung/PWRDF
Painting the wall of a semi-permanent house in Haiti. Photo: Naba Gurung/PWRDF

2. The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti reached out to approximately 100,000 affected people during the emergency phase. PWRDF collaborated with the Episcopal Relief and Development (USA) to assist the diocese, contributing $250,000.

3. PWRDF, in collaboration with ERD, assisted the Diocese of Haiti and built 70 semi-permanent houses in the Parish of St. Matthieu in Leogane, Haiti. ($310,000) Semi-permanent houses will last 4-7 years before needing significant maintenance.

4. PWRDF, in collaboration with ERD, assisted the Diocese of Haiti in supporting 300 earthquake affected families with a kitchen gardening and urban agriculture project.  These families received seeds and training in horticulture to grow food to support themselves and their families.

5. PWRDF, with a grant from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank/Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), collaborated with the FinnChurch Aid and the Diocese of Haiti to provide one hot lunch to 8,000 children from 38 schools for one academic year that just ended. A food security project proposal is being developed to help families grow their own food.  Here’s a video about that project:

New homes at the model village in Haiti
180 new homes are almost finished in Haiti. Photo: Oulta Fils Termile/LWF/ACT Alliance

6. PWRDF, in collaboration with some ACT members such as Church of Sweden and Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, is supporting the Lutheran World Federation Haiti office for a model village initiative, in which 200 earthquake affected families (1200 people- now reduced to 180 houses) will be relocated in a newly built village built on land provided by the Mayor of Gressier. The project includes housing and latrines, drinking water, community center, and livelihood support. Road and related infrastructure is being developed by the UN mission posted in Haiti.   Our Executive Director, Adele Finney, will be attending the opening ceremony for the village next month.

7. PWRDF, in collaboration with ERD, is assisting the Diocese of Haiti to carry out cash for work project that will generate local employment and at the same time help reforestation of 4 school land and degraded community land, including use of slurry (compost) from the biogas plants supported by the Norwegian Church Aid. 

8. PWRDF is assisting the Lutheran World Federation Haiti office to respond to the disaster caused by Tropical Storm Isaac. 

9. PWRDF, in collaboration with the FinnChurch Aid, is supporting reconstruction and resourcing of 89 schools in Haiti. Building reconstruction is done by the FCA and PWRDF portion covers other needs, mainly the school furniture. 

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