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HAITI: Youth train to rebuild homes after earthquake

After the 2021 earthquake, thousands of people were left homeless and living in camps


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have launched new short-term training courses for young men and women in Haiti who want to find employment in the construction industry to help rebuild collapsed houses after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake killed more than 2,000 people and left thousands injured and homeless on Aug. 14, 2021.

After the earthquake, thousands of people were left homeless and living in camps. Private organizations, religious congregations and volunteers provided humanitarian assistance to the victims in the absence of support from the state.

Agents from the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Collectives identified houses to be demolished. Those that could be repaired received a yellow mark, and those that were intact according to inspectors were marked with green. The Armed Forces of Haiti and agents of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications demolished several buildings in the south, including schools, churches, and private homes. Reconstruction efforts have been slow and little has been rebuilt.

“This new training program is helping young people in Haiti learn the skills to help repair and rebuild homes in their community,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This is a win-win for all involved. These educational efforts will put people to work and help those still suffering in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.”

Salesian missionaries began working in Haiti in 1935 in response to the Haitian government’s request for a professional school. Since then, Salesian missionaries have expanded their work to include 11 main educational centers and more than 200 schools across the country.

Each of the main centers includes a number of primary and secondary schools, vocational training centers, and other programs for street children and youth in need. Salesian programs are located throughout Haiti, including in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Fort-Liberté, Cap-Haïtien, Les Cayes and Gressier. Today, Salesian missionaries in Haiti provide the largest source of education outside of the Haitian government with schools providing education to 25,500 primary and secondary school students.



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