DCN ARCHIVES

October 1, 2010

BUILDERS WITHOUT BORDERS

A trade school in Le Soleil, Haiti, will be rebuilt with help from the CCA.

CCA fall board meeting

Canadian Construction Association launches Haiti fundraising campaign

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I.

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has launched a fundraising campaign to complement its efforts to not only help rebuild a Haitian trade school, but also the dreams of its students.

“It is an incredible undertaking,” said Wayne Morsky, chair of the CCA.

“We encourage everyone to reach into their pockets. It’s a good cause for their country, it is a good cause for our country.”

At the CCA’s recent board meeting in Charlottetown, P.E.I, the association kicked off of its fundraising efforts to help in the reconstruction and expansion of Ecole Lakay in Le Soleil, Haiti.

The school was severely damaged earlier this year when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti, killing an estimated 230,000 people and injuring another 300,000.

The Haitian government estimates that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings either collapsed or sustained severe damage in the disaster.

L’Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ), the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA), Builders Without Borders and the CCA have teamed up for the reconstruction project.

They hope to raise $500,000 for the demolition and removal of collapsed buildings in the school project area and to undertake the required refrigeration, ironwork, woodworking, new storm drain and main wall construction and repairs to workshop cabinets and the school roof.

A security fence has already been built around the site. Project partners want to start construction work in November and have it completed by May.

Manley McLachlan, president of the BCCA, said the question has been raised about whether or not taking on such a project is worthwhile.

“There are a number of answers to that question,” he said to the meeting attendees.

“Think about (the cost of) the last foursome you took out on the golf course. Think beyond the public relations opportunities for associations from federal to local. There is a fundamental right thing to do here.”

The trade school offered carpentry, cabinetry and electrical installation instruction before it was forced to close after the earthquake.

It was founded in 1988 and operates on a US$83,000 budget per year.

Besides having an opportunity to learn a trade, students receive a hot meal three times a day, can take a bath, have clean clothes supplied to them and are provided a safe place to sleep.

The cost per student is an estimated US$3 per day.

A web page will soon be unveiled on the project. Updates will be made available through the CCA’s weekly e-newsletter.

Online donations via credit cards will also be possible.

“It is a beautiful initiative which will go a long way,” said Pierre Boucher, chief operating officer for the CCA. “It will be something to be remembered for a long time. A lot remains to be done. We would like to reach out to our partner associations, too. Engage your employees as well.”

A second phase of the project would be enlargement work, including construction of two new dormitories, washrooms, a dining room for 200 students, six classrooms and a guard room.

For now, though, the first phase of project work is the focus of the project team and fundraising, noted Pierre Hamel, president of the ACQ.

A parallel project underway in Haiti is a training mission that the ACQ has launched to evaluate setting up an introductory masonry program.

Hamel said this $40,000 program would help meet the manpower requirements for the reconstruction of Haiti’s infrastructure post-earthquake.

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