Our team in Haiti is responding to Hurricane Matthew, which affected 1.4 million people. Please donate to rebuild houses and schools safer than before.
27,562 Safer Buildings
137,836 Safer People
9,072 People Trained
6,869 Jobs Created
Build Change has been working in Haiti since the earthquake in 2010 and has since become the leading implementer of homeowner-driven retrofitting and reconstruction, having built and retrofitted more homeowner-driven houses than any other agency. Our REZO program is now solidifying Build Change’s position as a pioneer in the creation of permanent change in construction through competitive business practice.
The informal sector is the largest employer in Haiti and traditional learning the first training mode. The transmission of knowledge and skills is dependent on “boss” (foremen) whose skill levels are highly variable. In partnership with CFPH Canado Technique, one of the major vocational schools in Haiti, we have elaborated two curricula for construction workers: a competency-based construction skill reinforcement course (2-week intensive course) and a competency-based construction skills development course (5-week intensive course), which have been designed respectively for experienced construction workers and those wishing to develop a new career in the sector. These courses complement the 2 vocational training centers in Carrefour and Pacot that have been in operation since 2014. In addition, we opened a training center in Trou Du Nord in northern Haiti in May 2016, which officially expanded our training program to this area.
To raise awareness about better construction practices and educate the larger Haitian community, we have implemented public awareness campaigns through radio spots, billboards, murals, flyers, posters, and t-shirts that were distributed directly to more than 50 agencies alongside being publicly displayed. A variety of technical resources to teach about simple earthquake-resistant design and construction techniques has also been developed and disseminated to communities in Port-au-Prince and other at-risk areas.
Better Building Materials
Using local materials and creating local jobs are critical to sustainable recovery after disaster. Our partners and staff have been working to improve the capacity of Haitian small- and medium-size block producers to produce better concrete blocks. The program focuses on technical training and marketing better building materials to purchasers such as homeowners and relief agencies.
There are many benefits to this program, some of which are:
- Improved quality of blocks so that they meet minimum earthquake-resistant standards
- Job creation and stimulation of the local economy
- Increase in the number of houses built with earthquake-resistant materials
- Improvement in the livelihoods of both the small-business owners and workers.
As a part of this program, a comprehensive online database for data collection and management has been developed. This database tracks information such as block making production quality baseline and improvement results, as well as business management data, like number of employees, monthly sales, and production numbers; and generates reports including results and improvement analysis.
In 2016, we published a study on the block manufacturing sector in Haiti.
REZO: Network of Certified Construction Professionals
Established by Build Change in 2014, REZO (Network, in Haitian Creole) is an affiliation of private sector businesses and construction professionals dedicated to the promotion of products and services that meet the requirements of the National Construction Code of Haiti (CNBH).
REZO partners with experts to support the business needs if its affiliates through job placement services, marketing strategies, financial stimulus packages, technical assistance, and personal skill development. Affiliates in exchange commit to maintaining exceedingly high trade standards while supplying quality materials and construction services at competitive prices.
REZO acquired 29 new affiliates in 2015, bringing the total number of affiliates to 101. We have also elaborated a business model to enable REZO to reach operational and financial sustainability and self-sufficiency within 5 years.
The devastation caused in the 2010 earthquake does not have to happen again. Preventing building collapse is possible. Since 2010, we have developed 82 new and retrofitted retaining wall solutions to help keep water, earth, and buildings in place should another earthquake occur. Over 20,000 homes have used the Yellow House Repair Guideline, which we have provided detailed and extensive comments on.
Government officials are a key component to prevention, as they are ultimately responsible for implementing and enforcing building codes. We have trained 57 government officials to oversee such codes, and supported their capacity growth to implement safer building standards.
In 2016, we opened a Build Change office in Northern Haiti—another area at high risk of disaster in the future. This area has not been majorly impacted by a disaster, and with the expansion of our operations we aim to lower the impact future disasters might have on lives, livelihoods, and education.
According to recent studies, less than 2% of aid after disasters is allocated to schools, meaning that education is often delayed due to damaged or destroyed schools. Retrofitting existing school buildings allows students and teachers to know that they are safe even if another earthquake strikes. In Haiti, we are working alongside Global Communities to retrofit 2 schools in Port-au-Prince, and aim to continue this project for many more schools across the country.
Design Review and Construction Supervision
Build Change offers design review services to other agencies, including generating detailed drawings, bills of quantity, technical specifications, and construction quality checklists. In addition, Build Change offers construction supervision services, and train-the-trainer courses for construction supervision and homeowner-driven reconstruction. So far, Build Change has provided inputs on houses, schools, and community centers designed and built by Haven Partnership, CAFOD, the French Red Cross, CARE, J/P HRO, and Save the Children.
Support Our Work
We are seeking partners in the following areas:
- Corporations and foundations
- The private sector, including engineers, builders, producers, and construction materials producers and suppliers
- Financing and insurance institutions
- Public sector institutions, including public works agencies and municipal engineers
- Implementing partners, including NGOs
The Blue Dawn Foundation
Region and Risks
Haiti is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world, as proven when a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January 12, 2010, killing 230,000 and destroying 250,000 buildings. The majority of housing is not earthquake- and hurricane-safe, leading to a highly vulnerable population.