CHF INTERNATIONAL AND HAITIAN COMMUNITIES PARTNER IN HIGH IMPACT LABOR PROJECT TO CLEAN UP PORT-AU-PRINCE
SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CHF International (CHF) began its second phase of cleanup in Haiti yesterday by partnering with Haitian communities to clear essential routes through Port-au-Prince.
Nine "High Impact Labor Teams", each consisting of 12 people including a supervisor, fanned out across the municipality of Delmas to clean up key routes through the area. CHF provided teams with hats, gloves, t-shirts, wheelbarrows, boots, pickaxes, shovels, sledgehammers and hacksaws to remove rubble from roads and sites of destroyed buildings. This complements CHF's ongoing work with CHF-trained Haitian Caterpillar operators who have been clearing large amounts of debris from roads and Ministry buildings since the beginning of this week.
Working with the local mayors, who recruit community members, each team member works from 7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. daily and is paid 200 Gourdes per day for their work – more than twice the average daily income in Haiti per day and equivalent to $5.00 USD. The objective of the work is not only essential clean up, but also to get people back to work in a constructive way, ensure they have income to provide for their family, and begin to revitalize the Haitian economy.
"We are hoping to employ up to 3,500 people within the next few months throughout Port-au-Prince for the clean-up," says Alberto Wilde, CHF's Country Director in Haiti. "Cash for work programs will be essential for kick-starting the Haitian economy after the earthquake and for helping families, many of whom have lost everything."
"People have lost everything – their mothers, their fathers, their homes, their jobs. They cannot find work, they cannot buy food to eat. They don't know what to do," noted Terril St. Louis, an engineer supporting the Delmas Mayor's Office. "This initiative is responding to their situation. Together with CHF International, we are providing them with legitimate jobs, a legitimate way to provide for themselves and their families. It also prevents criminal activity as people start to find whatever way possible to get what they need."
Among the workers is Jean Alfred Jr. He is 26 years old, not married, but lives with nine family members. He is a teacher by profession; prior to the earthquake he was teaching at a private elementary school earning 4,000 Gourdes a month. The school where he worked was severely damaged and his house had some damage as well.
"I am here working today to help my country, to do what I can, even if it is small, I can help. At the same time, I am able to get some money to help my family. I am happy to part of this project," said Alfred.
CHF International is also playing a lead role in addressing the housing needs of Haitians who are now homeless. CHF's team has created a pilot transitional shelter, based on its internationally recognized model that has been used after earthquakes in Peru and Jogjakarta, and is about to embark on a project building temporary homes to protect families from storms in the forthcoming months, as rebuilding takes place.
Since 2006, CHF's team has been undertaking the largest USAID-funded infrastructure rehabilitation and job creation program in Haiti, and has been focused many of its efforts on repairing vital infrastructure damaged in the 2008 tropical storm season.
ABOUT CHF INTERNATIONAL
CHF International is an international development and humanitarian assistance organization, currently working in more than 25 countries around the world. The organization's mission is to be a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping them to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. CHF International programs are community-led initiatives designed to build a better world. For more information, visit www.chfinternational.org.
SOURCE CHF International