Haiti earthquake response: Safe shelters

Building safe homes for families affected by the 7.2 earthquake in Haiti

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Our Response

Thanks to your generous support, Compassion, alongside 34 church partners is providing vital disaster recovery to 12,000 families in Haiti. We are helping families rebuild their homes and recover their livelihoods after the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck southern Haiti on August 14, 2021.

Due to the large-scale impact of the earthquake, there were several steps Compassion and our church partners planned to take to provide families with disaster recovery. The first step was to build transitional spaces that would allow children to continue their education and provide refuge for families. The second step was to construct temporary housing for 11,741 families, which would provide them with a safe place to live and keep their belongings as they waited for their new homes to be built.

To assess the current structural strength of the buildings that remained after the earthquake, Compassion hired an evaluation firm to conduct a seismic assessment and geotechnical studies of the construction sites. The reports found that several schools needed to be repaired before they could be used. Due to these findings, we extended the length of the intervention to allow for time to repair the buildings that had structural damage and to allow for the construction of additional transitional schools so that students could continue their education during the repair process. During the building phase, we faced additional challenges including inflation and recurring fuel shortages that caused delays obtaining necessary building materials and supplies.

According to our latest reports, 11,741 families have been provided with shelter, financial assistance for housing repair or one-year housing rentals if needed. Twenty-six transitional schools have been built, allowing children to return to school where they can learn and play with their peers. Since November 2022, our church partners have continued to aid the affected families. The infrastructure team has already built three additional transitional schools and is conducting repairs to provide additional strong, safe, earthquake-resistant buildings at two Compassion centres.

An amendment to the budget was requested and approved to cover costs reflecting currency fluctuations and additional labour costs for this intervention.


Church repairs: Repairs were conducted on the Evangelical Baptist Church of Aquin, which was damaged by the earthquake. The entire building has been fully cleaned out, reinforcement beams have been placed and masonry work was completed.

Transitional shelters: Transitional shelters were built, allowing children to continue attending school while their permanent school building is being repaired.

School/Centre buildings: Reinforcement beams, iron posts and other structural repairs have been done on the centre/school buildings that were damaged by the earthquake. These buildings will now be secure according to seismic standards so they are better able to withstand damage from future disasters.

Your Gift Provides...

• Transitional spaces for 34 local church partners:
○ Sheet metal, wood, cement, sand and gravel
○ Transportation and labour

• Temporary shelters for 12,000 beneficiary families and 4 staff:
○ Sheet metal, wood, cement, sand and gravel
○ Transportation and labour

• Administration and implementer costs:
○ Salary, meals, fuel and lodging

Fedson, a Compassion-assisted beneficiary at HA0304

ReportA message from those your gift helped

My life was in a challenging season as my parents’ home was damaged by the disaster and they were financially limited to repair or rebuild it. I could not sleep at night and the environment I was living in did not please me at all. I was concerned for myself and my family as our damaged house was an imminent danger for all the people who were living in it. Though the damage to the school did not appear to be so much at first, the engineers told us that the work that is to be done was extensive damage, which was another risk for us.

Even though the intervention is not yet completed, I have joy in my heart when I visit the school building that is being repaired and I have confidence that I will soon be learning in a peaceful, secure and healthy environment.

This intervention means a lot for my future as I have the guarantee to continue my education. My parents will also have peace of mind each time I am attending development activities at the centre because the buildings are being repaired based on seismic standards.

This has taught me a lot of lessons. I have experienced how hard it can be when family members are living apart in the aftermath of a disaster. At the same time, I have also learned to count on the Lord.

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank those who financially contributed to help make this intervention possible. This work is not in vain.

Fedson, a Compassion-assisted beneficiary at HA0304
Reporting person's photo

ReportThank you for your generosity

Because of your support, 12,000 families affected by the devastating 2021 earthquake in Haiti are being provided with safe homes and hope for the future. Entire communities can see their homes, churches, Compassion centres and schools restored as teams are working together to rebuild.

Thanks to your generous gift, children have been able to quickly return to school and continue their education. Compassion centres, which are often used as school buildings in Haiti, allow children to connect with leaders who care for them and spend time with their peers. They provide a safe space where they can develop socially, emotionally and cognitively. Children can now learn and grow in a safe environment without fear that the building will collapse. People in the communities are amazed at the diligence Compassion has shown in providing safe places to house the local churches, Compassion centres and schools so children and teachers can have a fear-free teaching and learning environment.

Families have also been able to repair damaged homes, build new structures or rent a home thanks to your financial support. Before the intervention, some families were forced to sleep outdoors or in unsafe, damaged homes that were missing walls or roofs. Families often had to divide up and stay with different relatives. Now, entire families are back together in homes where they feel safe and comfortable. Families who are still awaiting their permanent homes have been provided with safe, temporary housing. Children and families feel great joy as they see their homes and their communities repaired.

Thank you for helping thousands of children and families see hope for their future. Because of your generosity, children are continuing their education, families are reunited and living in safe homes and entire communities are being restored. Whole communities are witnessing the love of God in action. They are so grateful!

Anderson Verger, Centre director at HA0304

ReportA message from a centre director

After the earthquake that hit the southern region in August 2021, families were worried as they had lost their homes and everything they owned. They could not imagine a better future.

However, Compassion quickly launched a shelter intervention that provided families with a safe place to live. Children and youth who were staying with relatives, cousins or friends were able to return home and join their parents in peace and safety. Then, thanks to the transitional schools built by Compassion, the students were able to continue their education while they waited for their earthquake-resistant school buildings to be updated and repaired.

Affected families have been supported through previous interventions, such as the shelter. However, the repair of the frontline church partner school building—whose structure was affected by the disaster—is an important step in the development of the centre, the church and the community that recognize Compassion’s diligence in providing a meaningful and real response in times of great need.

Once completed, this school building will help the centre continue its holistic programs and parents will feel comfortable and will not have any fear for their children to participate in development activities. The church is excited to be able to use the school to host special social events.

Even if the local church faces space limitations, the safety of the building will provide more motivation for staff who work with children on a regular basis, as they will be able to work in buildings that are stress-free, which will protect children and staff members in the event of a disaster.

We would like to thank sponsors and donors for their support for the families in the Arniquet community. We continue to pray that God will pour more blessings upon them.

Anderson Verger, Centre director at HA0304