PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BP)--Rebuild Haiti, the joint Southern Baptist disaster relief initiative launched in the aftermath of the massive Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, will have built 1,982 houses by the end of November and has 560 more in the pipeline before the scheduled exit date in March 2012.
"Southern Baptists should heartily celebrate what has been accomplished in Haiti," said Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response, one of the key partners in the Rebuild Haiti alliance. "It is amazing what has happened in such a short period of time, but there are still thousands of people living in tents and much to be done."
"Rebuild Haiti" is a cooperative venture that also involves Haitian Baptists, the International Mission Board, the Florida Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. In the past 18 months, Southern Baptists have invested more than $4.5 million in assisting survivors of the earthquake. Besides building houses, the disaster response effort has included feeding programs, medical clinics, school assistance, beds for 2,200 orphans and prosthetics fabrication, as well as many other projects. Baptist volunteers from Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Dominica and Grenada have worked alongside U.S. and Haitian volunteers.
The goal of the home construction campaign has not been just to build houses, but rather to build Haitians and their communities, said David Brown, who with his wife, Jo, directs Baptist Global Response work in the Americas.
"About 50 Haitians have been trained and employed as supervisors on job sites. Each of these has been training two assistants," Brown said. "As a result of community transformation, small businesses have been created to meet construction supply needs and transportation of those supplies. Small diners and shops have sprung up to provide daily necessities. The impact of Rebuild Haiti will be felt for generations to come." Read More