A number of you have been asking about the nature of our response. While it is still early, taking lessons from the work in Bam, after the Tsunami and on the Gulf Coast, here is our current plan.
1) Fundraise We’re going to start by fundraising. We do need donations to get rolling.
2) Create a central base Send a team down to identify a site/partner(s) to house a recovery center likely in Port-au-Prince.
3) Provide technical assistance Use a small full-time team to direct volunteer efforts in damage assessments, safety training and basic building training. (first 6 months- 1 year)
4) Design Services Provide sustained, long-term design services from the recovery center to local groups, NGO’s and local officials to assist and support the rebuilding process (6 months- 3 years)
Our main concern right now is that NGO and volunteer groups will be coming to the area to rebuild. But do they really have the professional skills needed to build safely in a seismic and hurricane zone? Our aim would be to source volunteers to provide damage assessments, safety training and basic building training as we did on the Gulf Coast.
Rebuilding is a long process. It will take years and a lot of manpower. Once we get past the initial stage, We’d like to get as many volunteer professionals connected to projects as possible. Ideally, again, through a recovery center and local partners.
So that’s the game plan…How much we can do really depends on donations.
After Katrina, it was the $10, $15, $25 donations that kick started our reconstruction program on the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans possible… Can we do that again? I’d like to think so. That’s what the conversation here has been focused on…