CHF-Haiti Update - June 30, 2010: New Shelters Protecting Families During the Rainy Season and Beyond

Rosaline and her daughter in front of their new shelter built by CHF.

Rosaline and her daughter in front of their new shelter built by CHF.

Rosaline, 38, and her family have been living in this community for three years. Just eight days before this interview, CHF, with funding from USAID, completed the shelter in which she now lives with her father, husband and young daughter.

“At the time of the earthquake, I was not at home. I was at the market by the river. My younger brother was looking after my daughter. As I began walking home the buildings around me began to shake and collapse. I ran home as quickly as I could to find my daughter.

“Our home had completely collapsed, but we were lucky – my brother and daughter were both fine, and I began to thank God. But our neighbors were not so lucky. Ten people died in the building next to ours.

“After the earthquake, we moved in with another neighbor, but their house had been damaged. Once the rainy season began in April their house was soaked and damaged. We all began to get ill from the damp and the rain.

“With our new shelter we are completely protected from the rain. At this point we have no more problems with rain and sickness. This house protects us just as Jesus protected us in the earthquake.

“I hope my neighbours can get a shelter like this, and can have the blessings we have had.”

Rosaline’s husband is a taxi driver, but since the earthquake the work is not stable. Some days they have enough money for food, some days they do not. She is hoping to get a grant or a loan so she can buy some products to sell at the market and supplement their income.

“If people want to help us now, what we need are jobs and opportunities to work and make money.”

Rosaline often thinks about the terrible things she saw after the earthquake and of all the loss of life and grief. But she also reflects on the timing of the earthquake:

‘The earthquake happened just before 5pm. Many workers and school students were not in their offices, many people were walking home at that time or in tap-taps [Haitian public transport]. If it had to happen at all, it happened at the best time of day. If it had to happen at all.”