ELLINWOOD – Two years after a devastating earthquake rocked impoverished Haiti, Ellinwood-based Star of Hope has completed repairs and structural improvements in its schools and children’s homes damaged in the disaster, said Star of Hope President Barry Borror. Thursday marked the second anniversary of the trembler.
This work included demolition, repair and new construction. “The emphasis was to get the children back to school in a safe environment with safe water,” he said.
The most devastated projects have new classrooms, sanitation and water facilities. Borror said two of its schools were completely destroyed and for others were damaged.
The recovery efforts continue with additional new buildings planned. The new and repaired buildings have taken the place of the temporary shelters Star of Hope provided immediately following the earthquake.
“They have been able to provide sufficient space to resume normal schooling for the 4,000 children that depend on these schools for basic education,” he said. The new buildings are being built with access for those with disabilities.
The reconstruction program has provided structural repair and improvement to buildings in four projects. This includes hardening the buildings for earthquake and hurricane resistance.
In the areas hardest hit, two new school complexes are being built in phases. School modernization and improvement are under way with new preschool buildings and larger classrooms in two projects. The schools are still in need of library, school clinic, kitchen and dining, administration, and storage rooms. These are planned in the next phase of recovery along with playground equipment and books and school supplies.
StarTeam volunteers from Kansas, including five teams from Barton County, have made multiple trips to Haiti to assist in the recovery and emotional healing of the children.
The January 12, 2010, earthquake resulted in the deaths of 222,570 and injuries to 300,572. There were 2.3 million people homeless with some 293,383 homes destroyed or heavily damaged. Of the 4,992 schools affected in the country, 3,978 were destroyed or damaged so severely that they had to be closed.
Borror said three of the children Star of Hope works with were killed.
In Haiti, Star of Hope supports three children’s homes and six school projects in some of the poorest areas of Haiti. Star of Hope is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ellinwood. Together with affiliated partners they have projects in 18 countries across the world. Star of Hope equips children across the world with knowledge, physical well-being, spiritual growth and social skills through educational programs and local and international partnerships.
For more information, contact Star of Hope at 866-653-0321 or email@example.com. Information and pictures are also available on their website www.starofhope.org.