“We can now sleep safely and with peace of mind, thanks to Build Change.”Nizile Pierre
On January 12, 2010, she was at home, speaking to a friend in the doorway of her house when she felt the earth trembling under her feet. She was very worried, as some of her children were home and some were out playing in neighborhood. Nizile frantically went looking for her husband, sister and children. “Thanks to God, they were all safe,” she said with her smile. But her house was not so lucky. The back wall had fallen and the other walls were badly cracked.
They had no choice but to go to St. Mary’s church for shelter. They spent two months living on the grounds of St. Mary’s church, in an improvised shelter made with plastic tarps. The camp was unsafe and unsanitary. Nizile and her family decided to go back and live in their severely damaged house.
They lived for over a year in their ruined house. The home had been tagged as “red” by the Haitian Ministry of Transportation, Public Works and Communications. A red tag means that the house was severely damaged and not safe to live in.
Nizile heard about Build Change’s Neighborhood Improvement Program with Cordaid and enrolled to receive assistance to have a habitable house again. Build Change engineers recommended demolishing the ruins and rebuilding. “The engineers said it was necessary to make the house livable again,” said Nizele.
The work took about a month to complete. Nizile moved back into the house with her family and is very grateful to Build Change for its assistance. “Build Change helped us have a house that we are confident would withstand another earthquake,” she said proudly. “We can now sleep safely and with peace of mind, thanks to Build Change.”