Haiti Earthquake: Voices from Communities Where buildOn School Stood Strong

On August 14th, a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Its epicenter was in the southern region surrounding Les Cayes, where buildOn constructs schools that serve tens of thousands of people in Haiti’s economically poorest communities. Since the earthquake, we’ve witnessed unimaginable destruction, but we also have many reasons to be hopeful. Most buildOn schools are standing strong, even as other nearby buildings were leveled. Today, many are providing urgently needed shelter, food and medical care, like the school pictured above that recently served as a mobile health clinic.

In the videos below, community members from some of the hardest hit areas share how buildOn schools stood strong and have helped provide relief to communities.

Pastor Cima Jean Brunel of Berette, Haiti, describes how the recent earthquake impacted his community. Like many communities across the region, nearly all the homes in Berette were badly damaged. We’re heartbroken by this devastation but grateful that the buildOn school stood strong and was able to serve as a shelter for community members.

The buildOn school only has small, partial cracks. My family and I are taking shelter in the school. So are many other people. We are here because we trust the construction.

Pastor Cima Jean Brunel from Berette, Haiti

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In this short video, Manita from Rousseau, Haiti, speaks to buildOn staff about how the school in her community stood strong thanks to the retrofitted earthquake-resistant design and the exceptional work of the community – whose volunteer service made this school a reality.

If they did not do this, the school would have probably been broken because of all the shaking. The community of Rousseau participated very actively in this project and we did a great job.

Manita from Rousseau, Haiti

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Read about our plan to assess, rebuild, and fulfill the promise of education in communities across Haiti.