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A line of Black men and women wearing hats and reflective vests use shovels and pick axes to clear dirt in Haiti
Haiti

Community members help neighbors rebuild after earthquake

The August 2021 earthquake and subsequent landslides in Haiti damaged roadways, destroyed bridges and left many communities inaccessible. Nearly 350 community members were 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 three 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. Many of Humanity & inclusion's disaster response efforts in Haiti are supported by USAID.

Below, you'll meet some of those community members who are helping their neighbors recover and rebuild.

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Louisiane, 57, Les Anglais

Louisiane's home was destroyed by the earthquake. A farmer, she lost many of her crops due to a landslide, and her access to the city is cut off making it impossible to sell what goods she does have at the market. Louisiane cares for her six children and another person living with a disability. With the money earned helping clear debris and ensuring her fellow workers were hydrated, she has cared for her family, purchased a goat and paid off some debt. Read more about Louisiane.

 

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Ralien, 43, Les Anglais

Ralien lives in Labessière with his wife and children. “I am a rancher and a farmer. The earthquake damaged part of my house, devastated my garden and ravaged my livestock," he explains. "Intervening in my community after the earthquake was really important to me." With the money he earned, Ralien was able to finally pay people who helped work his land. He also paid his children's overdue school fees. He hopes to have enough funds left over to expand his livestock and garden.

 

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Gufflie, 27, Les Anglais

Gufflie, a civil engineering student, supervised a 17-person crew for Humanity & Inclusion's clearance activities. The team cleared and paved over a ravine that people were unable to cross after the earthquake. Several people lost their lives because they could not access vital medical care. Read more about Gufflie. 

 

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Naomie, Les Anglais

Naomie worked as a team lead for Humanity & Inclusion's clearance activities, delegating tasks and supervising workers. "I appreciate the work because it will help people circulate within the community," says the married mother of one. "The money I earned will help me and my family in times of difficulty and need." 

 

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Dieunor, 82, Chardonnières

Dieunor is a father of 5 and a farmer. The earthquake destroyed his plantation. Dieunor says working as part of the emergency response team helped him to gain respect in his community. The money he made will help him be more resilient. As he gets older, Dieunor cannot work the land as easily, and wants to open a business to support himself.

 

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Rose Marie, Chardonnières

Rose Marie's home was damaged by the earthquake and some of her family's livestock has been missing since the disaster. As part of the emergency response team, she helped direct traffic to prevent accidents at a clearance site. "The money will help me pay for my children's schooling, buy livestock, and make a small repair to my house that was hit by the earthquake," says the married mother of four children. "The work has allowed me to participate in the aftermath of what happened." She has plans to expand the small business she owns.

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