Calise’s Story | “Haven is doing a lot work of great work on Île à Vache”

Calise lives on the island of Île à Vache.  He has worked as a contractor on Haven’s housing upgrade programme, and was able to establish his own new business as a result.  Here, he shares his perspective on the difference Haven’s programmes have made on the island.

My name is Calise.  I am married and have four children.  I am from Madame Bernard on Île à Vache.

I would like to congratulate Haven, because of all the work it has done on Île à Vache since 2010.  It has worked in the orphanage, completed a path, completed surveys and found houses that needed repairs, along with latrines and water pumps.

When Haven started work on their housing programme, I was contracted to work on the programme, and have been working with Haven ever since.  I have done house repairs in places like La Hatte, Madame Bernard, Point Est and other parts of the island.

I am not the only contractor working with Haven; a lot of people have got work and this, in turn, has helped them earn money to help take care of their families.  I have about 15 – 30 people working for me on the house repair programme; they get paid US$8-10 per day.

Haven is also doing the Chache Lavi programme, which is a women’s empowerment programme here on the island.  The projects Haven is doing on the island have brought a lot to the lives of the people, inclduing me.  With what I earn from the work I do with Haven, I was able to build my house and start a small bar as my business, which now has a restaurant too.

Before Haven came to Île à Vache, I was a carpenter; I worked in Port Morgan for four years.  I used to make house furniture for people when needed.  I had also opened a professional school in carpentry and masonry.  As I had no support to continue, the school was closed.

Haven is doing a lot work of great work on Île à Vache.  It is making and repairing boats for fishermen; it has a sewing class available; and it has distributed sewing machines to students partaking in the sewing classes.

In the name of our community, as a representative of Île à Vache and as a Haitian citizen, I say thank you Haven for the work you have been doing for our community.

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