Rebuilding Hope in Haiti, One Farm Home at a Time-Announcing SFA Partnership With Habitat for Humanity Haiti

The earthquake that hit southern Haiti in August of last year destroyed hundreds of homes belonging to members of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA). Our first priority was to mobilize emergency support for the affected families and their communities in the form of food (thanks to World Central Kitchen), water purification tablets, medical care (thanks to Project Medishare) and tarps (mostly made from sails donated by Sails for Sustenance and the New Orleans Yacht Club). But we knew tarps were a temporary measure at best, and so we began looking for a house design that was suited to rural Haiti and engineered to withstand future earthquakes and hurricanes.
An example of the Habitat for Humanity Haiti house design that will be built by SFA farmers in Laborde.
Before long we heard a rumor that there was one such house, and that it was just a few miles from where our farmer members were located in the rural community of Laborde. And sure enough we found a home that was completely intact, even as many in the same area had been destroyed and many more severely damaged by the recent earthquake. We then learned the house had been built by a local farm family with support from, and under the supervision of, Habitat for Humanity Haiti (HFHH). Further research revealed that HFHH had built or repaired more than 1,800 houses with families throughout the south following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and roughly 98% were still standing following this latest earthquake.
We are excited to announce today that the SFA is partnering with HFHH to build an initial 15 homes for our member families in Laborde over the next 10 months. Each house will have one multi-function room, a veranda, a rain harvesting system and a toilet. All will be built by the recipient farm families and community volunteers under the guidance of HFHH. The training the farmers receive will give them the skills to add more rooms to their homes in the future, and to help in building other houses.
“Habitat for Humanity Haiti is pleased to be partnering with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance,” said National Director Jean Frenel Tham, “because they are ideally suited to ensuring the kind of broad community engagement that is a key factor in the success for our projects.”
The HFHH house design incorporates cross-bracing to help withstand earthquakes and hurricanes, and local stone is mixed with cement to complete the walls.
In making this announcement, the SFA would like to thank the Raising Haiti Foundation for their support of this project. We also want to acknowledge the many individuals who responded so generously when we first appealed for help following the earthquake. You are all collectively responsible for helping the SFA and HFHH, through this new partnership, to contribute to rebuilding hope in Haiti… one farm home at a time.

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