January 24 2010
As some of you know, before my life in radio, I had a career in architecture for 10 years and received a degree from Howard University (hence Tarik aka The Architect) in 1996. I have a passion for architecture, design & urban planning and what it can do for society. With the recent tragedy in Haiti, people need a lot of things from water to food to necessary healthcare. However, once the situation in the country becomes stable, the people of Haiti will need to rebuild. They will need temporary structures for shelter, schools, etc. and eventually they will need permanent structures that will be designed to limit damage from future earthquakes.
One of my favorite non-profit charities, Architecture For Humanity (AFH), is taking on the challenge of helping to rebuild Haiti. They are raising funds to support efforts in the rebuilding of affected areas. AFH efforts will focus on providing professional services to support the local community organizations and NGO's who will be working to rebuild. Recently, they have launch an appeal for long-term reconstruction effort. There are 7 major points for the plan and they are:
1. Set up Community Resource Centers to bring architecture and building services to folks on the ground. See below for more details.
2. Translate and distribute of our Rebuilding 101 Manual. The manual was originally developed after Hurricane Katrina and widely used in the rebuilding process.
3. Adapt, translate and distribute a Earthquake Resistant Housing Manual for local NGOs and community groups.
4. Provide Architectural and Construction professionals to develop and build community facilities inc. schools and medical centers
5. Train and Educate Incoming Volunteers in building safely and to emphasize the need for sustainable materials and construction techniques.
6. Complete the Youth Sports Facility and Disaster Recovery Center just north of Port au Prince that was developed in 2009.
7. Design, develop and implement community and civic structures for various clients and local community partners. This includes the reconstruction and building schools given the particular loss in structures.
If you are a an architect, designer, in construction and want to offer your services, you can do so at AFH's website. If you are not an architect, you can still help by donating to their cause. There is a great article from the CEO of AFH, Cameron Sinclair, on a plan for reconstruction. A very good read.
In addition, AFH has partnered with actor, comedian Ben Stiller's Stillerstrong charity.
After the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, the Stillerstrong project is now changing its efforts to the Haitian School Initiative, in collaboration with Architecture for Humanity. We will develop and build a series of temporary and transitional schools where they are needed most. Not just responding to the vital need to get children back in school but to build facilities that protect them in the months and years it will take to rebuild their country.