23 July 2010
As the British Red Cross recovery programme in Haiti is developed, survivors say that what they want first and foremost is a way of making a living.
David Monnier, British Red Cross Haiti programme manager, said: “Of course people need water and sanitation, and shelter is another urgent need, but when we talk to people what they want most is a job.
“So we decided to start a cash programme, offering them grants. The first cash grant is unconditional so that people can pay their debts and meet their immediate needs. The second two payments will be conditional and based on them putting together a business plan, which will be accompanied by training.”
As well as the cash programme, the British Red Cross is employing people, giving people like Monique Saintime work. Monique lives in Automeca camp and is employed to clean the toilets.
For the past five months, Monique, 43, has been maintaining the latrines installed by the British Red Cross, which is running the sanitation in the camp of 14,000 people.
She said: “After the earthquake I had nothing, so I needed a job. This has made a difference to me because the small amount that I make I can use to feed my children. I can’t send them to school yet because it is too expensive, but I hope to be able to in the future.”
Over the next two years the British Red Cross will be helping people get back to work and back to their homes where possible, or finding other places for them to stay until their homes can be rebuilt.
David said: “The shelter programme is still being developed and there are many challenges. In Automeca camp, the owner of the land wants his land back and he is starting to evict people.
“In other areas it is not clear who owns the land and there are no land titles. The rubble is also a huge problem. However, we are trying to find a technical solution and partners who are willing to invest a lot of money to help us clear the rubble.”
Read stories from survivors of Haiti's quake