January 13, 2011

ACDI/VOCA Gives $30,000 to Help Job-Building Program in Haiti

ACDI/VOCA is pleased to announce that it has committed an additional $30,000 to its Haiti job-building program, REACH (Rural Economy Acceleration in Haiti).

“On this anniversary of the devastating earthquake, we want to celebrate the many people in Haiti who are working hard to rebuild their lives and their communities,” says ACDI/VOCA President Carl Leonard.

“Already, the REACH program, through its job-skills transfer and teaching of seismic-safe construction techniques, has made lasting changes in people lives,” Leonard says. “This additional contribution will help keep that program momentum going strong.”

REACH is a small-grants program funded through the generous donations of our community and staff to the VOCA Fund.

Rebuilding Lives—Literally

Last year, ACDI/VOCA worked with local partner APTECH (Ateliers Pilotes de Technologie), a Haitian educational association based in Cayes-Jacmel, to design a six-month job training program to help train workers in new building techniques important to this region, which is prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.

The REACH funds allowed ACDI/VOCA to send an expert volunteer to Haiti in October to work with APTECH and pay for the materials and supplies needed for the four-week, hands-on skills training of local trainers and construction workers in Haiti’s Southeast Department.

The training has since continued and, as part of the hands-on coursework, students expect to complete construction of a classroom in Jacmel by March.

The additional funds will allow the program to:

  • help with job placement activities for the students;
  • support the return of a volunteer to oversee the construction of the classroom; and
  • create a print guide in Haitian Creole on the improved earthquake construction techniques, including Haiti-specific construction materials and tools, for wider distribution and use.

Learn more about REACH and our other Haiti programs.

See more photos of REACH in action on Flickr.