Irish charity to build houses in Haiti

Thu, Jan 15, 2009, 00:00

AN IRISH CHARITY is calling for 250 volunteers to join it on a house-building mission in Haiti.

Haven, a charity which is being launched today, has plans to build 125 houses in the Caribbean country and to make basic improvements to a further 250 homes, which will include the installation of concrete floors.

Haven is the brainchild of businessman Leslie Buckley, who co-founded Digicel in the Caribbean. He is funding the charity to the tune of €1 million over the next three years.

It is modelled on the highly successful Niall Mellon Trust, which has built 2,000 homes in townships in Cape Town, South Africa. Volunteers will have to raise €4,000 – half of which will go towards house building with the remainder covering flights, bed and board.

Haven plans to bring volunteers to Haiti this Halloween, when average temperatures will be around 25 to 30 degrees, says chief executive Hugh Brennan, who previously worked for the Niall Mellon Trust.

Because the charity will be providing its own accommodation and catering for the volunteers, Haven is looking for helpers from all walks of life – builders, tradespeople, caterers, cleaners and administrators.