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Habitat for Humanity Haiti beneficiary Amerose makes the most of her parcel of land in Corail, a rural community several houses from Port-au-Prince. There, she grows corn, which she eats, and also uses to feed her chickens. Any excess she sells at the market. During a recent visit, she also showed us her pineapples, which were slowly growing on their bushes. During the summer seasons, she tells us the plentiful pineapples give off the most pleasant smell as they come in 3 to 4 in a bunch.

Amerose also makes cassava, a Haitian flatbread, which can take up to 5 days to prepare. First, she explains, you cultivate the grains, then you grind them and let them dry. Finally, you cook it. Cassava is often eaten in the morning with peanut butter or avocado. Our very own local version of avocado toast!

Amerose and her family moved into their new Habitat home last year as part of our Hurricane Matthew recovery program. When the hurricane destroyed their home, Amerose and her family sought refugee in a nearby church. Today, they are one of over 300 families in their community who have partnered with Habitat to build back stronger.

In October 2016, Category 4 Hurricane Matthew crossed through the Caribbean violently striking the southwest region of Haiti causing widespread damage, flooding and displacement. The storm leveled homes to their foundation and the corrugated metal roofs of those still standing were ripped off.

Habitat for Humanity Haiti immediately launched into action developing an initial disaster response program and providing shelter recovery kits to affected families. Following the initial response, Habitat Haiti began assisting families and communities to rebuild.

Two years later, Habitat Haiti has built over 300 news homes, repaired over 1,500 homes, sensitized over 5,000 households on safe construction, and trained over 600 new builders in the departments of Les Nippes and Grand’Anse.

These homes are built back stronger using basic disaster-resistant construction techniques, including the installation of hurricane clips and strengthening of the walls, to help them withstand future storms. Through this work, families, including Micheline and her husband (pictured below) have a safe place to call home.

This work has been in collaboration and partnership with a wide range of like-minded institutions and donors, including ECHO, AARP, Aktion Deutschland Hilft, CESVI, IOM, Islamic Relief, MercyCorps, Oxfam, Koral, United Nations (CERF) and Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

Micheline is a mother of two boys, ages 4 and 7. She and her husband are farmers. They grow cassava and watch over livestock. They also make charcoal which her husband sells in the market. Earlier this year, the family received the keys to their new home. Her children now have a safe place to study and play. Slowly but surely, Micheline and her family are rebuilding their lives.

New homeowner, Altide, stands on the front porch of her Habitat home.

One of over 300 new homes built through Habitat Haiti’s Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts

Everyone deserves a decent place to live.