Almost 11 months after a catastrophic earthquake leveled buildings and killed thousands in Haiti, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has decided to give $800,000 to Architecture for Humanity to go towards their Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince. Recovery in Haiti has been a slow process for many reasons — governmental roadblocks, lack of resources and housing complexities abound — and thousands of people are still living in makeshift camps as a cholera epidemic sweeps the country. $3.5 billion in international relief was pledged to Haiti after the events last January but even still, few buildings are being erected. Architecture for Humanity’s hope is to help the Haitians rebuild their own country by teaching them safe, sustainable construction techniques. Kudos to the presidential fund for seeing promise in their vision.
In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, President Barack Obama asked former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to join together to help raise money for the ravaged country. At the same time Architecture for Humanity — a non profit dedicated to teaching safe, sustainable building practices across the world (they also openly share their information on their Open Architecture Network) set up the Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince. In the center they teach construction classes, provide building plans and assist in safely rebuilding primary and secondary schools across Haiti.
Much of the destruction that occurred in Haiti was a result of poor construction practices – as the quake struck, unsteady buildings crumbled around the country. The rebuilding process is focused on making sure that as Haitians reconstruct their cities and towns they do so in a way that will safeguard their communities against future natural disasters. In the 11 months since the disaster the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has switched their efforts from focusing on immediate relief towards ensuring that as Haiti rebuilds they do so in a way that will provide Haitians with a safe and reliable economic future. Giving money to the Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince will help Architecture for Humanity to put the decisions, tools and jobs in the hands of Haitians. The generous Clinton Bush donation will give 5,000 Haitians work in the next three years and will benefit the lives of 30,000 people.