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Haiti Update: Our 4-month results since the January 12 Earthquake [05/11/2010]
Craig Totten of KPFF Consulting Engineers
Engineer Craig Totten of KPFF Consulting Engineers inspects a home in Port-au-Prince. KPFF has been one of our key partners in our structural assessment work.

After the horrifying January 12 Earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we received a tremendous outpouring of support from you, our biggest fans. These are our results in Haiti over the past 4 months. Due to the sheer amount of news, this newsletter is dedicated just to our work in Haiti. An additional newsletter in June will feature our Guatemala work.

So far, we've helped train 560 local masons in how to build back better, done over 1500 structural assessments of buildings such as hospitals and schools. We've also provided rapid investments to 2 new businesses that can aid in the reconstruction effort.

Andre Filiatrault, Director of MCEER
MCEER Director, André Filiatrault in the Ministry of Justice


MCEER-AIDG Coordinate with UN on Engineering Relief Mission

A few days after the earthquake and with funding from Partners in Health, AIDG issued a call for Haitian Diaspora and French-speaking structural engineers to aid the UN in assessing the safety of key buildings – including hospitals, food storage facilities, UN and government buildings. The initial 7-day mission was joined by the head of the Multi-Disciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering and Research, who lead the charge in recruiting & deploying earthquake engineers.


AIDG Masons Trainings

  AIDG training masons to help Haiti build back better

In the weeks and months after the earthquake, it was clear that homeowners, business owners, private citizens, and masons desperately wanted and needed information on how to rebuild in addition to assessment. Most of the damaged and destroyed homes will be rebuilt by private citizens and local contractors out of masonry, concrete and steel. Without access to information on better building techniques, however, the same deadly mistakes will be made. So in partnership with Architecture for Humanity and KPFF, AIDG has begun to retrain masons in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Jacmel in confined masonry techniques. The same techniques have been used in Chile to make buildings there resistant to earthquakes 700 times stronger than the one seen in Port-au-Prince. To date we have trained 560 masons. In the coming months (pending funding) we will train thousands more.



  Supporting Local Business: Solar Start-up, Enersa

This past February, AIDG gave Haitian solar start-up, ENERSA, a $15,000 emergency loan to help it rebuild its factory damaged in the January 12 earthquake. Before the quake struck, Enersa was the fastest growing solar company in Haiti. The 2.5 year old business is the brainchild of Jean Ronel Noël and Alex Georges who met in graduate school in Montreal. In 2000, the two decided they needed to return to Haiti to start a business that could create positive change in their home country.

I interviewed JR Noel at his factory in Port-au-Prince...



AIDG backs Shelter2Home as housing solution in Haiti

AIDG's 2nd rapid investment in response to the quake was in Shelter2Home-Haiti SA. The company, which will be based in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, produces emergency and transitional shelters from light gauge galvanized steel that can later be converted into beautiful permanent homes.

Steve Lee interviewed S2H CEO Donald Stevens...

Inside Out Jazz Awards


A Night of Jazz in Support of AIDG

Lucid Seattle is putting on the Inside Out Jazz Awards. All proceeds from the effort with go to support Haiti and AIDG is one of the beneficiaries. If you live in the Seattle area, come out for a night of jazz at Benaroya Hall.

Date: May 31, 2010
Time: 630PM
S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium
Benaroya Hall
200 University Street
Seattle, WA
Ticket Prices: $15 - $35

Mother and Son at MINUSTAH Field Hospital

 10 things I learned from being in Haiti during the earthquake

In watching news reports of the situation on the ground while in Haiti, it was clear that only a small slice of the reality there was being shown to people at home. Here is a photo essay of what you may not have seen on the news and what I learned from being there for 2 months before and after the quake.

Lesson #2. You can be in an impromptu IDP camp, your world can be turned upside down, but if your family is safe, you still can find happiness.

Continue for the other 9 .

AIDG's Adajah Codio

  • Thank you to our friends, supporters and volunteers who have helped us do this work at this critical time. A special thanks goes out to Matthew 25 House for providing a home base for us and many other small NGOs, Sasha Kramer and Melinda Miles for being constant inspirations, the Haiti Response Coalition for being a strong advocate for the community, Dan Sherizen for ferrying tents, medicine, equipment and some much needed levity from San Francisco to Haiti, Wilson Hodiore, Kyle Lierman and Matt Lozier for stepping into the chaos, and the entire AIDG team for putting in very long, very hard hours in the aftermath of this disaster.
  • An "I'm so glad we found you" goes out to Jessica Lozier, our interim Haiti Program Director, and Adajah Codio who are leading the structural assessment and mason's training projects.
  • A big big huge thanks to Peter Wheeler and Commonwealth Financial Group, Al and Diane Kaneb, Partners in Health and Architecture for Humanity for their generous donations and grants that made the above work possible.
  • A hero of corporate social responsibility is Craig Totten and KPFF who have organized their engineering staff across their offices in the US to volunteer in Haiti. In addition to structural assessments and trainings, they have provided home and business owners with much-needed information on how to rebuild and repair their lives.
  • In our December newsletter, we mentioned that we were conducting a $500,000 fundraising campaign to enable us to deliver on our CGI commitments. That fundraising push is being postponed until July.


AIDG helps individuals and communities get affordable and environmentally sound access to energy, sanitation and clean water. Through a combination of business incubation and green technology R&D, we help people get solutions that will better their health and improve their lives.


Forward to a friend

AIDG in the Media
Managing Disasters With Small Steps [New York Times]
Haiti devastation exposes shoddy construction [BBC]

Make a Difference Today: Donate to the AIDG

With your help we've been able to do some very good work these first 4 months, but this is just the beginning of a long process. The news cameras may be gone, but Haiti will be rebuilding for several years. Please think about what you might be able to give as a recurring gift and let our newsletters be a reminder to make your donation. If you wish to donate stock, contact Peter at 800-401-3860 ext 701 for details.


This is the greatest time of need Haiti has ever faced. Please help us train more masons. We aren't exaggerating when we say we can't continue without your help.

Give Today.

Solar Flashlights delivered to Camp Ismarie

How many NGOs and groups does it take to get solar flashlights from the US to Haiti? The answer will surprise you. Check out the blog next week for the full story.

From the Blog
Haïti Get Back Up/Ayiti Leve Kanpe [Video]

Peter Haas (AIDG) talks about reconstruction in Haiti [Video]

Haiti Quake: AIDG News Roundup 1/12/10 - 2/5/10

Kouraj, cherie: Dispatch from Port-au-Prince

AIDG on the Web
If you are web savy you can very easily help us win some money for the mason trainings. Vote for Cat Laine in the Lionheart movie promotion! There are three prizes of $10,000 up for grabs. It's easy for you to vote and it can help us run more trainings.

Also you can always keep in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter:
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AIDG, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit organization.
AIDG, P.O. Box 104, Weston, MA 02493. Phone: 800-401-3860 Fax: 866-450-8016