Charity to Build Homes for Families Displaced from the Dominican Republic
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2015) – Relief is on the way for 100 families who have been living in limbo in Fond Bayard, Haiti. The Haitian Government has donated 31 hectares or approximately 76 acres of land to the relief and development organization Food For The Poor. The charity will build 120 homes – 100 homes for displaced families from the Dominican Republic and 20 homes for families currently living in an area of Artibonite, where this new community will be established.
Food For The Poor received the signed land agreement from Haiti’s Ministere de L’Economie et des Finances (Ministry of Economics and Finance) on Sept. 8, 2015 solidifying the country’s verbal agreement with the charity to help those returning to their country of heritage.
Food For The Poor has been providing aid to Pacado and Téte-á-l’eau in the Anse á Pitre area, and in Malpasse, since the border crisis between the two countries reached its peak in July. The condition of those who have set up camp in Fond Bayard shocked relief workers used to serving in desperate situations.
“It rips at your heart to see people living in a shell of a building with no sanitation, no running water and no food, only with the clothes on their backs,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “Our job as aid workers is to serve the needs of the poor and the suffering. This land agreement with Haiti will allow Food For The Poor to help these families, and also help a number families currently living where these homes will be built. It is the right thing to do.”
The new community will have concrete block homes with flush toilets and water cisterns. Each family also will receive a solar light kit. The new residents will receive training in self-sufficiency projects, such as beekeeping, animal husbandry, aquaculture and agriculture. A community center also will be built, where vocational training in plumbing and auto repair will be provided. A small clinic will be built for the community’s medical needs as well.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 66,000 people are believed to have fled to Haiti to avoid threats of deportation from the Dominican Republic. Food For The Poor is responding to requests for help with food, water, hygiene supplies and baby-care items from the FFP-Haiti warehouse in Port-au-Prince and from a second distribution center in Cap-Haitien.
The charity is also delivering medicines and malnutrition supplements to camps along the border in the northern part of Haiti. Food For The Poor staff have been working to secure rehydration salts, rice meals, beans, corn meal, along with dishes and eating utensils. Bleach and other cleaning supplies are needed to fight a resurgence of cholera and other threats of disease.
The situation is the result of a change in the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court in 2013, which removed citizenship from anyone born after 1929 who doesn’t have one parent of Dominican blood. The country later decided that those affected could apply for a residency permit, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2015.
“With so much happening in the world today it’s easy to forget about the crisis that’s brewing on the island of Hispaniola. Closing our eyes to the situation will not make the problem go away. The people crossing from the Dominican Republic into Haiti are in desperate need of assistance and they need housing. The cost of a new double-unit concrete block home is $6,400 – but we need your support to renew and transform the lives of these families,” said Mahfood.
To help, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/crisis.
Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.
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