Business, education keys to Haiti's recovery
MCC partner trains masons, educates at-risk children, recapitalizes small-businessesBy Sheldon C. Good Mennonite Weekly Review
MCC also supports the school with canned meat for students’ meals and through the Global Families program.
Zami understands not only good masonry techniques but also how to manage other workers. He leads a team of 13 masons and 17 handymen — two of whom are FOPJ graduates — and helps with masonry work as needed.
“My FOPJ training helped me secure this job,” he said. “I recommend people to go to FOPJ.”
The building’s owner, Ms. Francois, lived in a small, wooden house at the same location before the January 2010 earthquake. She plans to rent space in her new, mostly concrete building to multiple families and businesses.
“We have to give jobs to the [FOPJ] students,” Francois said.
The building has been under construction for more than two years. It sustained minimal damage — “a few cracks” — from the earthquake, she said.
Astrude Mercier, 30, graduated from a professional training school in 2003. She is now a FOPJ masonry instructor who participated in the masonry seminar.
“I learned how to build homes that can withstand earthquakes,” Mercier said.
Most buildings in Port-au-Prince are built with brittle concrete that can crumble easily from natural disasters. In the past, Mercier said, they used a basic white sand for mortar.
“But we now use river sand because it withstands weather and rust from rebar better,” she said.
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