Stories of Change

Lorius and his family in their new home.

“This house means a lot to us.”

The wind can blow, hurricanes can pass, but this house will not have any problems,” says Lorius Charleron 

That’s exactly the peace of mind that we hope to hear from Haitian families living in sturdy houses that CWS helps them build. Families like Lorius’s lost their fragile homes in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. “Our house was destroyed on January 12, 2010,” he says. “Then we used tin roofing sheets to prepare a closed space. The house was partly built with mud and sticks, and partly with rocks. We continued to live there until we moved into this house.”  

The family’s temporary home wasn’t fit to be a permanent house. “Where we were living was not pleasant,” recalls his 19-year-old daughter Loudine. “This house means a lot to us. The other house was not good. I am young, I have friends, but you don’t want to bring them to such a house as where we were living. I have already brought friends here.” 

Lorius has a large family; 12 people are living in his house, including Lorius, his wife, their children and two nieces. The family helped build their new home. “We prepared food for the construction workers, we gave them drinks, we dug the foundation and we worked as laborers. I paid 400 gourdes ($ 4.50) for two days of digging of the foundation. My sons and I dug the foundation for the columns. I also contributed 40,000 gourdes ($ 440) for the purchase of materials. Our relationship with the construction workers was very good,” he says. Lorius has even started working as a construction worker on other houses that are being built through the program. 

“I don’t know when I would ever be able to build a house, and even then I would not have been able to build such a house,” he says gratefully. “After January 12, construction had to be done differently, with more safety. In the community there were no houses like this one. This is another kind of house.”