Camp & Relocations Management

Camp & Relocations Management

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Reaching Home and Joining Forces with J/P HRO

 

The January 2010 earthquake rattled Sherley Petit-Frère’s family and household to the core. The single mom of a 5-year-old, who is also providing for her mother and younger sister, lost her home in Delmas 65 and three close relative members, two cousins and an aunt. Now, two years later, through J/P HRO’s Camp & Relocations Management Program, Sherley’s life has come full circle.

Sherley was among one of the first groups to find temporary shelter and settle in the Pétion-Ville Camp – which once held up to 60,000 residents. J/P HRO managed the camp, providing much-needed services, such as health care, clean water and sanitation, protection and education for kids. While in camp she built many strong friendships with nearby neighbors. “I remember sitting with a few of my neighbors in front of our tents at night to chat and share ideas,” Sherley says. Nonetheless, she explains, camp life brings many hardships. Punishing weather creates tough living conditions and financial insecurity clouds the effort to restart their lives.

“J/P HRO was helping people who did not have the means to move out of the camp,” said Petit-Frère, who immediately sought more information on the Relocations Program. “I wanted to find a way out of the camp.”

Sherley went through the evaluation process and was offered one of three possible housing options: rental subsidy, house retrofit or house reconstruction. In November 2011, she selected the rental subsidy package and relocated out of camp. Now she lives in a two-bedroom house with her family in Delmas 42. “Entering my neighborhood when coming from work, I feel very safe. There’s little to no noise around me and my neighbors live as a family; one looking out for the other,” described Sherley.

Moving out of the camp helped Sherley take the next step toward rebuilding her life: finding a new job. Haiti has a 40.6% unemployment rate-the 12th highest rate worldwide-and securing work is a daunting challenge. Shortly after her transition to long-term housing, J/P HRO began a search to hire additional Field Agents for the Camp Management and Relocations Program. Sherley applied and was hired.

“Never did I expect to get a job with a local NGO,” says Sherley. As the sole provider for the household, and without the opportunity to work with J/P HRO, she would be working in the informal sector as a vendor, selling goods on credit. “Recently I purchased a small laptop after saving three months of wages; it would’ve taken me a year to do the same if I was working in the informal sector,” she explains.

Sherley is now a core member of the team, explains Rachel Beach, Relocations Project Manager for J/P HRO. “We had invited Sherley to a focus group of relocated beneficiaries, to understand how we could improve the process. She was very articulate and engaged, with good ideas, so we invited her for an interview. Today I consider her one of my best agents, and she brings a unique perspective: She was once one of the camp residents she is now trying to help,” Rachel noted.”She has her heart and a personal stake in fulfilling J/P HRO’s commitment to camp families and helping them transition into safe, secure and long-term housing in revitalized neighborhoods.”

As of November 2012, J/P HRO has successfully relocated over 1,100 families. Thanks to broad support and generous donations, J/P HRO is able to save lives and bring sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively