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Matt's Haiti Bonus Video

Building durable homes in Haiti is challenging. In this video, Matt Risinger is at a job site in Haiti where he and his son are involved in building incredibly durable houses of cinder block and concrete. Haitian builders do most of the heavy lifting and North American crews do grunt work including sifting to get sand that can be used in concrete. There are no power tools, 2 x 4s are hand sawn. A very strong solid roof was erected, and a latrine and septic pit was added. The house will have an indoor toilet that will flush into the latrine and will also have a shower of some sort, but no running water. Risinger was given a tour of an old mission that is being taken over by the Mission of Hope. The Mission of Hope wants Haitian builders to build the houses but allow North Americans to do the aditional work, including roofs and painting. The Mission of Hope started 20 years ago and involves a school program, construction, and nutrition program—through which it feeds over 91,000 people a day. They grow small businesses and have a business mentoring program, as well as various trade schools. When Risinger was involved in building the cinder block house, thoughts of durability were front and center. Haitians have adopted better building practices post-earthquake. They now add rebar and bond beams above headers and windows. These houses will survive the next earthquake and the next hurricane. Not only are power and water problematic, there is no centralized garbage pickup, so trash is everywhere. There are no centralized power plants in Haiti. There is no reliable power that comes into homes, it's intermittent at best. There is no refrigeration or air conditioning. For those wealthy enough, there are generators that are shared. While Risinger would love for people to donate to the mission and their efforts, he really would like people to come to Haiti to help.