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Friday, November 5, 2010

Haiti - Replacing uncertainty with the certainty of hope!

One of the most devastating aspects of poverty, beyond the physical suffering and anguish, is uncertainty.

For Haitians like Janese, her husband, and their four children, the only certainty in their lives has been uncertainty.

Twice they have lost everything. In 2008, after hurricanes ravaged Haiti, Janese and her family moved to the mountainside village of Brelis and settled in on a small patch of land owned by her parents. They were starting over again and their new life in Brelis began with the building of a small hut made of mud and thatch.

Janese’s husband joined the local agricultural cooperative and gained access to training, improved varieties of crop seeds, and a network of community support. Their garden flourished, and their family grew with the arrival of two more children.

Life was better, but uncertainty was still lurking - a fact that came into sharp focus in January of this year when a killer earthquake leveled Port-au-Prince. The shock waves rumbled through Janese’s tiny mountainside community and her family’s mud and thatch hut was destroyed. Though no one was injured, they were devastated - all was lost and there would be no way to recover without some form of assistance.

HOPE International Development Agency, in addition to providing emergency supplies in the hours, weeks, and months after the January earthquake, has also been helping families like Janese’s recover from the devastation by providing the cement, wood, tin roofing, and nails survivors need in order to build shelters that protect them from the intense sun and cold rain.

In Janese’s case, her family was able to contribute additional wood, limestone, water, and labor toward their shelter project. Though it will be a while before they can build their next home, they have been able to build a frame for the house and replace the leaky thatch roof with a tin one; with a drier home, they have been less sick.

HOPE International Development Agency is also supporting the local agricultural cooperative, of which Janese’s husband is a member. This support enables the cooperative to provide families like Janese’s with extra crop seeds as well as the minimal interest agricultural credit so desperately needed by farmers who sold or ate their seed stocks in an effort to survive in the aftermath of the earthquake.

As Janese and her family continue to recover and rebuild, it’s clear that uncertainty is beginning to yield to the certain possibility that life can be much better than it has been.

Read a brief update on our efforts in Haiti.

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