buildOn Haiti Continues to Break Ground on Schools Despite Sandy

It was just a week ago when many families in Haiti lost their homes completely. Hurricane Sandy caused a lot of damage to the island, which is still recuperating after a major earthquake in 2010.

Fortunately, buildOn schools are holding up. They are the strongest buildings in most of the communities where we work, and several communities are using them as shelters, says Rosann Jager, buildOn’s Vice President of International Programs. buildOn began working with Architects Without Borders this year to make significant adjustments to our schools’ structural design.

Despite the circumstances, buildOn is breaking ground on four new schools this month in areas heavily affected by the hurricane. Here is our latest report from John Marek, buildOn’s Country Director in Haiti:

People were really discouraged. The worst thing people lost were their farms (many were washed away in flood, or destroyed by high winds) and their animals. Many of the beasts of burden were harmed as well, got sick, and many died. This is like losing a car for some families.

But buildOn Haiti, in every community we’ve been in since the storm, has let people know that we are moving forward. Many of our projects were affected by the storm – whether its the morale of the community members we work with or the roads to get to those communities – and we bring the same message to all of them: Let’s move forward.