REZO: Builder Network in Haiti

The benefits of a trained workforce that builds safe homes and schools are obvious.

REZO encourages and incentivises local builders to apply safer building techniques.

The Challenge

Builders have few opportunities for quality vocational training:

  • The 447 training centers in the country, only 10% of which are public, only cater to 20,000 students.
  • The right equipment is often unavailable.
  • The courses offer little hands-on practice and are rarely accompanied by professional internships.

Employers in the formal construction sector have no faith that the Haitian training system can provide them with qualified labor; they instead hire foreigners (usually from the Dominican Republic), leaving fewer job opportunities open to Haitians. Even skilled, qualified Haitian builders face difficulties gaining employment in the formal construction sector, as there is a lack of builder registries and services to connect builders to potential formal construction sector employers.

The informal construction sector is the only option for many seeking employment. Traditional apprenticeship is the primary method of training in Haiti, left to the boss on a site whose qualifications may vary. Furthermore, the sector lacks norms for certification, validating knowledge, and guidelines to validate qualifications.

A Professional Builder Network

The REZO (“network” in Haitian Creole) project is a durable solution which aims to address the identified problems by building a network of independent professionals in construction. This innovative, builder-driven network will:

  • Create supervised and comprehensive apprenticeship opportunities for students and young adults wishing to enter the construction sector.
  • Provide trained construction professionals with access to long term technical assistance and training resources.
  • Deliver affordable and accessible earthquake-resistant engineering services to communities rebuilding their homes.
  • Develop of economic and entrepreneurial activities, including access to micro-financing services, insurance (including health insurance), as well as access to construction materials at preferred rates.
  • Connect the formal and informal construction economies by:
    • Obtaining INFP certificates for participants.
    • Supporting the participants in administrative processes for certification.
    • Facilitating access to employment in the formal sector by proposing services to formalize and develop entrepreneurship, thereby improving members’ ability to sustain themselves in the long run.

Who Can Join?

1. Informal workers in the Haitian construction sector who are for the most part over 18. Many leave school early and most are responsible for other family members and/or other people.

2. Informal entrepreneurs in the Haitian construction sector, for the most part over 18 years old.

3. Aspiring youths in the construction sector (apprentices or students), who wish to integrate a professional training course, aged over 15.

4. The network will actively recruit women builders.

Classroom Instruction

Cycle of Disasters