A Black woman wears a reflective vest and holds an orange folder. Behind her people work to clear rubble

After earthquake, engineering student finds joy in helping her community

Gufflie, a civil engineering student and resident of Les Anglais, helped Humanity & Inclusion clear access to her community after the August 2021 earthquake caused significant damage. 

Deliver emergency aid to Haiti

After the earthquake hit Haiti, followed immediately by a tropical storm, Les Anglais was one of the regions most affected. Heavy rains and violent shaking caused significant damage to roads and bridges, and blocked entire communities with landslides.

Gufflie, 27, knew immediately that she wanted to use her training to help her neighbors recover and rebuild.

“I am a student in civil engineering, and after the earthquake, I volunteered in my community for an evaluation of the damage in Les Anglais following a communication from Humanity & Inclusion to the town hall,” she explains. “Afterwards, Humanity & Inclusion offered me a position as technical referent for the repair of the road in Labessiére.”

After the earthquake, people were unable to cross a particular ravine to seek appropriate care, resulting in several lives lost. Gufflie supervised a team of 17 people clearing rubble and restructuring the ravine to provide access.

“The work was not easy,” Gufflie says. “Some places were not very accessible because of the landslides, which had caused a lot of damage, but I liked the work because Humanity & Inclusion promptly responded to our needs.”


Working with residents to re-open communities

Gufflie was one of 342 community members hired to conduct clearance activities alongside Humanity & Inclusion throughout the South, in exchange for daily wages. Workers cleared over 8,800 cubic meters of soil—that’s enough to fill more than 3 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The initiative not only re-opened access to affected regions, but also provided supplemental income during a time where many are struggling to maintain their livelihoods.  

“The earthquake traumatized me, my family and friends, and the children who live at home,” Gufflie explains. “It slowed me down in my personal projects. But, it is a joy for me to contribute to my community in any way I can. The money earned will allow me to create my own business in the community. We will be able to help other people who have needs in the community.”

Now that the project is complete, Gufflie plans to finish her studies in civil engineering and undergo advanced training in civil engineering and decoration.

 “I want to thank all the staff of Humanity & Inclusion for their quick and very important help to the community of Labessière,” Gufflie says.

Many of Humanity & inclusion's disaster response efforts in Haiti are supported by USAID.

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