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Photos: who is Lucie?

In January 2010, Galet Greffin, a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Port au Prince, was largely wiped out by the Haiti earthquake. Concern Worldwide have been working closely with communities there since the earthquake struck. Eight months on, we look at how the people of Galet Greffin are picking up the pieces.

Introducing Lucie

Marie Lucie Saintaime is a 27-year-old native of Galet Greffin. Known as Lucie, she is the only market stall merchant in Galet Greffin, selling everything from wool to toothpaste. One of the first things you notice about Lucie is her smile. It is a smile that doesn’t waver, even as she describes the worst day of her life: when the Haiti earthquake struck in January this year and completely destroyed 75% of Galet Greffin.

Though her house was wiped out, Lucie is still able to see the positive. She says:

If I [had been] inside the house, I would have died – we all would have died, but thanks to God we are here.

Tabarre Issa 

The United Nations International Organisation for Migration secured a 30-acre plot of land across the road from Galet Greffin. Concern came here six weeks after the earthquake and managed the development of this site, now known as Tabarre Issa. It was designated as a settlement site for earthquake-affected families who were at risk of further flooding or landslides.  

Concern set up tents for families in Tabarre Issa and Galet Greffin, and implemented health, education, water and sanitation programmes in both communities.

Better housing

Eight months on, the conversion from tents to transitional shelters has begun. Concern has designed sturdy houses built on concrete foundations made of high-quality timber frames reinforced to withstand hurricane-force winds.

The most vulnerable members of the community are being housed first. This has meant that Lucie, who is almost fully paralysed on her left side, and her family are among the first to receive one of these new shelters. Lucie is ecstatic to have been selected for one of these shelters:

The committee told us that the houses Concern is building will be good for at least three years. So we know that for that time we will be safe, we can be at ease.

Future plans

As for the future, Lucie says:

I would like to go back to school and I would like to have a shop that sells more goods.  I would like for my sister to go to school and for my brothers and my uncle to have work. Then we can have money to build a better house her