Enduring Hope

Still homeless as a result of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, the people of Capvva have not given up hope

Children play together outside one of tents. These children have learned to adapt to live in a temporary shelter village. © Francis Mitra 2013

A mother prepares charcoal to sell to her neighbors as her son looks on. People in Capvva sell goods and wares to provide food for their children. © Francis Mitra 2013

Three years. That’s a small percentage of a life span but it has been a long, grueling period for a group of people who have lived in a temporary shelter camp following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

For the people of Capvva, the name of the camp that lies just outside of the Haitian town of Cite Soleil, those three years have been spent surviving and hoping.

Hoping for a better tomorrow. Hoping that the government or an international organization would relocate them to homes where they could restart their lives.

That hope, because of an unwavering trust in God, has not diminished even amidst the hardships—and neither has their resolve to keep fighting each day.

And now it appears their prayers are being answered, though in ways no one could have expected. They’ve been served an eviction notice from the Cite Soleil mayor to leave the encampment. In exchange for their departure, the people have been promised land by the mayor, land that they will be able to build on. Such an opportunity was never previously available.

Plans are nowhere to being finalized. Where in Cite Soleil. Who is paying. How to get people out. These are some of the dilemmas being discussed.

While discussions are ongoing between the mayor and international organizations with ties to Capvva, the people wait, anxiously and excitedly. They can taste change. They can taste the blessings a permanent home can bring.

To get to this moment has not been easy. The people here have had to be resilent and reliant on each other throughout. When one person has food, that person shares. That sort of communal nature has allowed them to overcome.

Capvva hit its hardest moment last fall when pounding rains of Tropical Storm Isaac hit, followed closely after by Tropical Storm Sandy (a storm which later developed into a hurricane by the time it struck the New Jersey/New York area).

Aided by Join the Journey, several members have been able to move out and move on, taking advantage of a rental grant proram to secure permemant housing for a year. Zette Joseph and her children are one of those. Viton Chery and her family was another. Their kids get to have a bed at night and they get to share meals in the peace of their home.

That type of reality, the peace of home, is what all of those here in Capvva desire. Holding ever-so-tightly onto faith, they know that God will provide.