Building homes and hope in Haiti

Recently I joined the writing staff of an international relief and development agency which serves individuals affected by poverty, hunger, disaster, and injustice. It can be a challenge to mobilize support for brothers and sisters in these situations. I have much to learn about them and from them; I want to serve their stories well.

This month I wrote a short update for The Banner on CRWRC’s housing work in Haiti with survivors of the massive 2010 earthquake. It is a cooperative disaster relief project–one which equips local people to restore livelihoods and communities.

Here’s an excerpt:

After the earthquake, Daniel Joseph and his family lived in an improvised tent for nearly two years. Like many of the more than one million people displaced by the disaster, Daniel, 27, and his family had to find another home.

With nothing to keep him in Port-au-Prince, Daniel moved his family back to the rural mountain community of Cablen in Leogane. They lived in a small, leaky tent constructed from tarpaulins—a tent made even more crowded when a new baby arrived.

Two years later, the family was still housed in this temporary shelter. Living so far from where the relief efforts were centered, Daniel wondered whether he and his loved ones would ever sleep under a real roof again.

Then he and others in the same situation came into contact with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee workers who were in the area providing training, seeds, livestock, and other supplies to Haitian farmers as part of the Life Restoration Program.

(Continue reading here

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