Rebuilding after the Haiti earthquake

Photostory: Haiti five years on

To mark the anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010, we bring you stories of some of the mothers we've helped in the country.  

 

By Christine Kahmann

Jan 12 2015

Five years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, our teams are working with local authorities to implement an innovative social protection project called KoreLavi. The aim of our programme is to provide vulnerable mothers with the support they need to feed their children and continue to rebuild their lives.

Action Against Hunger helps mothers in Haiti

Before the earthquake, Julie Marcellin, 21, shared a home with her mother and her two siblings. The family survived the quake but they lost their home and livelihood. In the aftermath of the disaster they sought refuge in one of the many tent camps that sprung up in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Today Julie shares a small hut with her daughter and a friend whilst her family lives in a hut nearby. They continue to live in what is now known as ‘Park Harry’ camp, named after the owner of the land. One year after the earthquake, Julie gave birth to her daughter Tracy. Shortly after, struggling to make ends meet, she joined the KoreLavi programme supported by Action Against Hunger. In addition to psychological and child care support, she received a small sum of money allowing her to start a small clothing business. Today her business allows Julie to earn a small income and return to school to continue her studies. 

Action Against Hunger helps mothers in Haiti earn an income and feed their children

When the devastating earthquake stuck the home that Kemlie Saintphart, 21, shared with her parents and seven siblings, they lost everything. Due to overcrowding, they had no choice but to seek refuge in a tent camp outside Port-au-Prince, far away from their friends and relatives. Whilst living in the camp, Kemlie met her husband and gave birth to their little daughter Briyanah. Keen to launch a career, she continued her studies whilst receiving a small grant to launch a market stall. She has since been studying and working at the same time, allowing her to pay for her studies and ensure Biryanah receives the care she needs. Together with her family and her husband, she is now rebuilding her family home.

Macdalah Desjardin, 37, moved to Port-au-Prince in 2007 when her husband found work there as a mason. They lived in a small house in the neighbourhood of Shiloh in Delmas, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. Macdalah owned a market stall and together they managed to get by. But when the earthquake struck, the small family lost their home and sought refuge in a church, before eventually returning to their home town of Labranle, where they still own a little home and gardening plot. Whilst her husband works as a day labourer, Macdalah participates in the so-called Tipas Tipas scheme supported by Action Against Hunger, a loan scheme that enables a small group of women entrepreneurs to launch a business and support each other when times are difficult. Today, Macdalah has no intention of returning to Port-au-Prince although they are still struggling to make ends meet. She continues to grow and sell vegetables whilst her children attend school in the village. 

Find out more about our work in Haiti five years after the earthquake. 

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