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The La Gonave Children’s Orphanage Celebrates its Grand Opening

Extollo Trains 67 Men and Women to Build an Orphan Village for 80 Children

April 2, 2013 – Extollo International and Okipe,
a co-operative of non-profit organizations, celebrate the opening of the La Gonave Children’s Orphanage. The orphan village, built by 67 local men and women, is located on a 4-acre parcel of land near the town of Anse-à-Galets. 

completed la gonave children's orphanage campus

Through Extollo’s training program, local residents built the 15 structures that comprise this children’s village. The community includes 10 family-style orphan homes, a multi-purpose building, gazebo, water tower, guard-house and storage building. Off-the-grid utilities include water capture & filtration and solar power.

Each home houses 8-10 orphans and a caregiver, providing new hope to the 80 children previously living in unsafe and overcrowded conditions near downtown Anse-à-Galets.

Our completion date for this project was March 31, 2013. We moved over 80 excited Haitian orphans into their new home on April 2nd!

Project Results:

  • 67 men and women trained in construction
  • 7,800 days of employment
  • 25 people employed by new startups
  • 20 people employed by business expansion
  • Over 1,000 family members impacted with food, clothing and education
Trainees were tested and graded on how well they can build a lead. 
Is it plumb, level, straight, and with proper mortar joints? As a comparison, Extollo's trained masons built the wall on the left and untrained Haitians built the wall on the right. Masons mastered their skills building a security wall around the perimeter of the property. This water cistern holds 35,000 gallons of captured water which is filtered and re-distributed to the village. The workers learn how to make concrete cylinders for strength testing. The team celebrates their roof work on the multi-purpose building. The gazebo offers a place for prayer and community in addition to providing solar power to the village. Madame Soliette introduces the boys to their new home on inauguration day. Each family-style orphan home houses 8-10 children and a caretaker. In addition to a dining hall, the multi-purpose building has a kitchen and laundry facilities. Inside the homes, each bunkbed is outfitted with beautiful new sheets and a plush toy. Of the 67 men and women trained on the project who have gained sustainable construction skills, eight have graduated to become trainers on Extollo's new project.

Project Overview

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Trainees were tested and graded on how well they can build a lead. Is it plumb, level, straight, and with proper mortar joints?
As a comparison, Extollo's trained masons built the wall on the left and untrained Haitians built the wall on the right.
Masons mastered their skills building a security wall around the perimeter of the property.
This water cistern holds 35,000 gallons of captured water which is filtered and re-distributed to the village.
The workers learn how to make concrete cylinders for strength testing.
The team celebrates their roof work on the multi-purpose building.
The gazebo offers a place for prayer and community in addition to providing solar power to the village.
Madame Soliette introduces the boys to their new home on inauguration day. Each family-style orphan home houses 8-10 children and a caretaker.
In addition to a dining hall, the multi-purpose building has a kitchen and laundry facilities.
Inside the homes, each bunkbed is outfitted with beautiful new sheets and a plush toy.
Of the 67 men and women trained on the project who have gained sustainable construction skills, eight have graduated to become trainers on Extollo's new project.

Press Release: Extollo International Completes Children’s Orphanage

La Gonave Island, Haiti, April 17, 2013. Orphanage project trains 67 Haitians and provides 7800 days of earned income for Haitian workers.  Read Full Press Release

Haiti Update: Extollo International Completes Children’s Orphanage on La Gonave Island

Orphanage project trains 67 Haitians and provides 7800 days of earned income for Haitian workers

La Gonave Island, Haiti, April 17, 2013

Extollo International, a non-profit humanitarian organization, has completed its latest building project on Haiti, a children’s orphanage on La Gonave Island. Under a building agreement with Okipe, a cooperative of non-profits who purchased the land to build the village, Extollo trained and used almost 70 Haitians to complete the project on time and on budget.

The children’s orphanage consists of 10 individual orphan homes that each will house up to ten children and a caregiver, plus a multi-purpose structure, a gazebo with solar panels, a guardhouse, property wall and all facilities for water, electricity, and waste removal.

Extollo’s mission in Haiti is to train locals in key construction skills, so that they may obtain much needed job skills. 90% of the labor on the village project was provided by Haitians who were being trained and paid to complete the job. Incorporating classroom and on-the-job training, Extollo provided 54,825 hours of employment equaling 7802 days of earned income for Haitian workers. The project infused over $600,000 into the local economy through purchases and employment.

“With unemployment in Haiti between 60 and 70%,” said Sherman D. Balch, Extollo Founder and CEO, “we realized quickly after our founding in 2010 that more than new construction, Haiti needs job skills and jobs. We have already seen some of the men we’ve trained being hired by other firms in Haiti and starting their own construction companies.”

“Extollo International was the perfect solution at a critical time for Okipe,” commented Bill Cody, Okipe chairperson. “ When those of us in the Okipe co-op dreamed to build a children's village for orphans in Haiti, we simply didn't realize how much value Extollo would bring to the project.  We needed professional expertise and construction management.  We got that and so much more.  Because of Extollo's passion and mission, in the end our project also provided the opportunity to train and hire Haitian workers, which stimulated the local economy and gave them critical construction jobs skills.”

About Extollo International

Extollo is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to creating a trained workforce in Haiti with employable skills so Haitians can rebuild Haiti. We create jobs, training nationals with employable skills. We employ nationals in our projects, stimulating local economies. With Haitians participating in the process of “raising up” buildings, we believe Haitian dignity and self-respect can be instilled and restored. (Extollo means “raise up” in Latin). Using our design/build techniques and vast experience in construction, development and training, we partner with established organizations to build structures that are cost effective, high-quality, permanent, expandable and earthquake and hurricane resistant.

www.ExtolloInternational.org

Contact: Bruce Kirkpatrick, Director of Communications, 925.244.9100 or bruce@ExtolloInternational.org

The orphanage as of May 2015

The La Gonave Children's Orphanage as of May 2015.