Help Build a Happy House in Haiti
Housing for the poor is scandalously inadequate in rural Haiti, and the 2010 earthquake made the situation worse. Large families live together in small, rickety shacks of cardboard, tin, rags, and straw with dirt floors, unfit for human habitation. Vermin--rats and insects--are impossible to control, and the straw roofs constantly leak or are blown away by even mild rainstorms. Space is so sparse that people often sleep in shifts.
Since 1997, the Haitian Health Foundation's Happy House program has provided clean, healthy housing for the homeless and for poor families in rural southern Haiti. For families who have lived huddled into tiny, dark, unhygenic hovels, a Happy House can be the beginning of a new life.
Happy Houses replace unstable shacks with four-room, concrete-block buildings. They have cement floors, a tin roof, windows, and doors. Recipients are selected by a vote of village committees to ensure that only the most needy receive them. They participate in building their own house by providing labor (when possible) as well as sand, rocks, and water. Imagine the joy of a family finally able to move into their very own Happy House, and you're sure to feel happy, too!
A Happy House provides humane living conditions, improved sanitation, and dignity. Even better, building a Happy House helps communities grow: improving health by improving sanitation, empowering poor families to contribute to their own homes, employing local tradesmen and laborers, benefiting the local economy through the sale of building materials, and embracing the poor as a part of society. A non-sectarian non-profit, Haitian Health Foundation does not evangelize or require a religious test from recipients. A Happy House creates a win situation for everyone!
You can help a build a Happy House! Every contribution helps, from our popular $20 way to help, all the way up to the $1,000 level, which builds one complete Happy House for a family to come home to.
Reports from the Field
August 24, 2011
In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, contributions through this Gift That Gives More™ were responsible for funding a total of 38 Happy Houses in southwestern Haiti.
"On behalf of the poor of Haiti, and the 38 families who have received the gift of improved health, security, and hope, thank you and the generous donors of the GreaterGood.org for your combined outreach to the Haitian Health Foundation."
~Jeremiah J. Lowney, Jr., Founder and Volunteer President
A volunteer effort of health professionals begun in 1982, the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) is a four-star charity on Charity Navigator. 93% of funds collected go directly to services for the poor. In 1985, after working for four years in Port au Prince, HHF moved its outreach to Jérémie, Haiti, at the suggestion of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in order to bring health care, hope, and opportunity to this especially poor and remote area.
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