Dr. Dagner Goes To Haiti

On February 16, I went with a team from Building Goodness Foundation to Haiti to build an incentive kay. An incentive kay is a small house that is built for a family as a reward for their efforts to restore Haiti’s habitat. Much of Haiti has suffered massive deforestation so one project trying to fix this enlists Haitians to plant trees. My understanding is that it takes 50,000 trees planted and growing to certain size conditions to earn a kay(house). The trees planted to earn this kay were all on the steep slopes of the mountains of Haiti which requires significant hand dug terraces to minimize erosion while the trees are growing.

Excens was the father and primary planter of the family for whomwe were building. The roughly 16’x24’ structure will house him and his wife, as well as a son, two daughters and a grandchild.

The house is built of pressure treated lumber with a tin roof, dirt floor, no plumbing or electricity. It does have a water collection system and a cistern for collecting rainwater.

This humble structure will be the envy of the “neighborhood” and was received with great joy by the family. The whole process was very rewarding for all of us and provided an opportunity for wonderful exchanges between our team and the Haitians with whom we worked. This was my second trip to Haiti, and I am pleased to say that there has been tremendous progress since November of 2011. The tent cities in Port au Prince are gone, many roads have been improved and much of the rubble has been repurposed.

I am amazed by the beauty of the people and their amazing spirit.  They are a truly remarkable inspiration to anyone who visits.