I know. You’ve probably already done your part, and since January 12th other disasters have claimed the spotlight, as they always do. As we always knew they would. We all knew we would forget about Haiti, as did I for the most part. Then, through a chance meeting I was introduced to a person who asked me to come along to help and to document a loose group of individuals who were heading down to rebuild Madame Baptiste’s house.
Madame Baptiste is a 75-year-old woman who lives in Jacmel, Haiti, which is just 60km south of Port-au-Prince, and which was struck with the same force as the capital city. Her house was crumbling, unsafe to live in, and nothing was going to be done about it. As nothing is going to be done about much of the destruction in Haiti. Massive amounts of money was raised to help the Haitian people, but there is little-to-no evidence of it. 6 months after the earthquake, this group headed out with privately raised cash to build Madame a new home. Great care was taken in the designs, contact made with the Jamaican Red Cross to discuss hurricane proofing standards and with California building experts in order to make the house earthquake safe. Madame Baptist is childless and has no one else to care for her, except maybe us.
The point of the project is simple: To build one woman a house that will withstand either disaster, and to train Haitian workers on standards and practices in order that they may gain contracts to build more such houses in the community.
When we arrived and demolished the house to prepare for the build, there was a snag. The foundation, which from the outside showed no damage from the quake — when exposed, showed itself to be beyond saving. A new foundation needed to be laid. With the cost of materials so incredibly high, this snag has made the project run over-budget and over-schedule. Some of the volunteers (including myself) have already had to leave with the house not completed. We can use a little help to put the project back on track. In fact we need your help.
As I’m a photographer and have nothing else of value to offer you, I’m holding a print sale, where you can choose from one of these 8 images in various sizes to help get the rebuilding of Madame Baptiste’s house to completion. If you can’t afford these prices and would like to simply throw a few bucks our way, you can do so via PayPal at curdiogenes [at] gmail.com. Know that all of the funds received will go directly to the feeding of the Haitian workers, who are volunteering their time in order to gain this knowledge, or to the buying of materials or wages to trained Haitian masons and carpenters to complete the house. I’ll be sending every spare red cent that I make at work this week down to help, I’m not asking that from you, but anything you can do will be of great help. And it won’t disappear into the NGO ether, it is real, practical help for Haiti.
The project is due to be completed midweek, and I’m trying to send all the cash I can get on Monday, so not much time left. Sorry if this comes across as some Save the Children guilt-trip. I appreciate your help in advance.
[Clicking on the images will bring you to an outside website where you will be able to purchase prints directly. Between $20-$100 US depending on size.]