new family home Courtesy of Tom & Sally Cole and Buerger Builders
Genese is a single mother to four children, living with her mother. The family doesn’t have any source of income and depends fully on the charitable help of her neighbors. Even though Genese doesn’t have an income, she is responsible for providing for the basic needs of her kids and her aging mother.
Because of her situation, Genese made the decision to place her daughter Guerda Merzier in an orphanage, seeking to provide for her education and wellbeing. After 10 years at the orphanage, the girl was reunited with her family in October 2020. Even though she is happy to have her daughter back, Genese (who was already struggling to provide the basic needs for the other children) will now have to seek support for the well-being of an additional child.
Genese has been living in Camp-Perrin in Haiti for decades. The recent earthquake disaster has made the already miserable living situation for this family worse. Fortunately, there was no loss of life in the disaster. Like many other families, Genese and her children are at risk of being separated if a support plan is not enacted soon.
The family of six lives in a one-room house that a community member allows them to use for free. Made of wood and covered with used, poor-quality sheets of metal, this house has been described by social workers as a “taudis,” or slum, a house that seems abandoned and which doesn’t respect any standard to shelter people, especially children. The house doesn’t have a toilet or kitchen.
None of the six family members has a source of income. Genese has made this heartbroken statement: “For sixteen years, I have been living with my four children and my mother, an old woman, in this slum at the mercy of a landlord who may evict us at any time.” It is for that reason that Overture International has prioritized Genese’s family for support until they reach social and economic independence. It is the only way to keep this family united.
Thanks to Tom & Sally Cole and Buerger Builders, in partnership with the PAULS program, Overture International will be able to build a secure home for Genese so that her family can remain united. Additionally, Genese and other family members will have access to Overture International’s Family Preservation Program, where social workers will customize a plan specifically for her and other adults in the family in order to prepare them to become independent. This plan will help these family members to be self-sufficient and get back their dignity as human beings.