On November 5th, I was fortunate to join President and Mrs. Carter in Léogâne, Haiti for Habitat for Humanity’s 28th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Amy Koch and Brian Owens also with Stanley Security Solutions made the trip to Haiti with me to participate in the week long project. Stanley Black & Decker was a corporate sponsor for the build, providing a financial and in-kind donation.
The week was mentally and physically challenging. The devastation the people of Haiti endured is unimaginable. Basic human needs such as food, shelter, clean water and access to basic sanitation are rare for most Haitians. Two years after the earthquake most are still living in tents and squatters camps.
During weeklong build, 500 volunteers from around the world helped to build 100 homes in partnership with earthquake-affected families in Léogâne, a city 18 miles west of Port-au-Prince and near the epicenter of the Jan. 12, 2010 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
The build took place in the Santo community where Habitat will build a total of 150 core houses this year. An additional 100 houses will be built on the site in 2012. The community will ultimately house 500 families displaced by the 2010 earthquake.
“Habitat for Humanity has made a five-year commitment to serve 50,000 Haitian families, and the Carter Work Project will help us to build homes and raise awareness to meet that goal,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are incredibly appreciative of the Carters and all the volunteers, sponsors and partners whose are joining with us to help families in Haiti rebuild their lives.”
Habitat’s Carter Work Project was the culmination of a month-long observance of the need for safe, decent and affordable shelter that began on World Habitat Day, Oct. 3. Observed annually on the first Monday of October, World Habitat Day is designated by the United Nations as a time to reflect on the dire need for adequate shelter around the globe. Habitat will kick-off the World Habitat Day observance in Washington, D.C., with a focus on rebuilding hope after disasters, highlighting the work in Haiti as an exemplary response to the need for recovery.
For more information on the Jimmy & Rosalynn Work Project, go to http://www.habitat.org/cwp/2011/default.aspx.