After losing wife and mother to cholera, carpenter embraces hand-up to better life in Haiti
PIGNON, Haiti — In areas where The Fuller Center for Housing’s Global Builders program sends volunteers to work, it does not replace local employment opportunities in those communities. In fact, these trips create work for drivers, hotel staffs, restaurants and various sellers. Because these trips accelerate construction, local laborers and construction workers remain just as busy, if not more so.
For many years, Haiti had been one of The Fuller Center’s most popular Global Builders locations. Volunteers who worked in the Caribbean nation fell in love with its people and also were struck by the tremendous need for decent housing throughout the nation. The scourge of poverty housing there exacerbated other problems, especially health complications.
However, the pandemic and then political strife and disasters put a hold on Global Builders opportunities in Haiti. Meanwhile, the problem of poverty housing grew. The Fuller Center’s local leaders in Pignon, Haiti, though, doubled down on their use of local laborers to keep answering the cries for help in their community. One of those local laborers was Ronaldo.
The hard-working carpenter proved himself to be a dependable laborer through at least 16 different house builds, demonstrating particular skill in roofing. What local leader Geral Joseph did not know, though, was that Ronaldo was dealing with housing problems of his own.
“When I went to visit him, I couldn’t believe that someone who was so good at roofing did not even have a safe place to sleep at night,” Joseph said.
Ronaldo was sharing a thatched-roof shack with his two sons and two of his brothers. Having lost both his wife and mother to cholera, Ronaldo knew that a simple, decent home would help keep his remaining family safe. He had not only seen but also had worked on plenty of such homes in Pignon. He was selected to become one of our newest family partners in Pignon, and today the family has a safe, new home in a thriving community.
Better still, Ronaldo is repaying the costs of the home in a way that benefits both his family and his community — by helping to build more Fuller Center houses in Pignon now in the years to come.