ACUL SAMEDI, HAITI – Nov 2023 – In a significant step towards improving living conditions in rural Haiti, Hope for Haitians has begun the construction of 35 new homes in its 18th village project. Work commenced not with the typical fanfare of golden shovels and dignitaries, but with a more hands-on and community-centered approach. Families and workers came together to clear multiple building sites for what will soon be a new beginning for 35 families. Skilled builders staked out mason’s lines to mark the boundaries and dimensions for excavation and workers and residents began to dig.This hands-on, community-driven approach highlights the spirit of collaboration and empowerment at the core of Hope for Haitians’ mission. Chris Weickert, Executive Director of Hope for Haitians, explained how the organization approaches projects like this: “At Hope for Haitians, we believe in empowering communities. The groundbreaking for St. Joseph Village isn’t just about constructing buildings; it’s about laying the groundwork for a community to thrive.”

This project is located in Acul Samedi, a rural village in the Northeast where families have long struggled with homes that have dirt floors, leaking tin roofs, and doors that cannot be secured. These new homes, being built on land owned by the families themselves, represent not just a shelter but a transformative upgrade in their quality of life. According to Weickert, “This is more than just building houses; it’s about restoring dignity and security to these families. By replacing their old, precarious structures with safe, secure homes, we are not just changing their living conditions, we are changing their lives.”

When completed, the St. Joseph Village project will provide homes for 75 families, two wells, and two water treatment systems, a community center, and 15 solar streetlights. It will be a transformative change for residents of Acul Samedi. [Learn More] Phase one will provide the first 35 homes and the community center. Funds for the project were raised over the past year, and fundraising continues for Phase two, which will provide 40 more homes and all of the water improvements.

A special funding campaign for the water projects is scheduled for early 2024, starting with a Feb 22nd kickoff event at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Rockford.