Since 1997, the HHF has been providing housing for the homeless and for poor families residing in hovels in rural southern Haiti.
Housing for many in rural Haiti is deplorable. Often, large families live together in small, rickety shacks of cardboard, tin, rags, and straw with dirt floors. Vermin – including mice, rats, and insects – are impossible to control, and the straw roofs constantly leak or are blown away by even fairly mild rainstorms. Space is so sparse that people often sleep in shifts.
Our Happy House program replaces these shacks with concrete block buildings with a cement floor, a tin roof, windows and doors. Recipients are selected by a vote of Village Committees to ensure that only the most needy receive them. They participate in building the houses by providing labor when possible, as well as sand, rocks, and water. The Happy House construction costs approximately $1,250 per house. Families often feel that their Happy House is a mansion when compared with their previous dwelling.
The Happy House provides humane living conditions, improved sanitation and dignity. In addition:
- Communities grow through cooperation and care for the extremely poor.
- Protection from the elements and improved sanitation results in improved health.
- Poor families are empowered through their contributions to the realization of their own home.
- Trades workers and other laborers gain employment and opportunities to improve their skills.
- The local economy benefits from the sale of building materials.
CLEAN LATRINES PROJECT
The building of latrines encourages sanitation and helps to curtail the spread of disease related to lack of proper waste disposal. To date, many hundreds of latrines have been built in Jérémie and surrounding villages.
This project purchases and distributes goats to rural families who are chosen by local committees on the basis of economic status, participation in health education, and their commitment to the growth of their communities. These hardy animals are adaptive to hilly terrain and easy to raise.
The goat is bred, bartered, or used as a source of animal protein for people on meager diets. With average incomes of $90-$300 per year, it is next to impossible for the poor of Jérémie to purchase a goat without the help of good people who care about their survival. The goat project helps make Jérémie’s poor families more independent and self-sufficient, providing a crucial sense of dignity. Ready to Give-a-Goat?