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.