Vision Ninety: Helping to Bring Hope to the Men, Women, and Children of Haiti
Vision Ninety is a movement that started when a group of friends went on a missionary trip to Haiti. While there, we visited a village named Minoterie. As we walked through this village, we found a number of worn-down blue tents where families had been living since the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, which destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes across the country.
The tents had been put up as temporary shelter and had only been meant to last for around three months…but have been used by many Haitians for close to five years. On average, five to six people live in these small tents. As we visited the families living in these tents, we were saddened by the sickness and disease caused by the horrible conditions. In the first tent we came upon, we found a four-year-old girl who was lying on the dirt floor of her tent. She had a genital infection that was so painful and severe that she couldn’t walk. She lived with her mom, who was expecting another child in a few months. The tent was so stifling hot that we couldn’t see how the little girl would survive living inside it.
We knew out of all the needs we saw that week that viable shelter was at the top of the list. I remember exactly where we were standing when three people from our group committed to building homes for the earthquake survivors.
My friend Lisa and I had been to Haiti several times before and highly trusted an organization called Mission of Hope, which had been helping Haitians for almost 20 years—with everything from planting trees to providing clean water. They had also built homes in another village. We talked to their leadership team and told them that our group wanted to raise funds to get the villagers of Minoterie out of the tents (90 altogether) and into real homes.
In June 2015, Vision Ninety was born. Five days later, we purchased 11 acres of land for $29,000 and began to share our exciting vision with the world.
We need help to finish our project. We have raised over $200,000, and we need $640,000 total to complete the project. Our goal is to raise this amount by the end of the month.
So far, we have built 15 out of 90 homes. It costs $6,500 to build a block home. All of the money stays in Haiti. The materials are purchased there, and the laborers are all local. This is a win/win for the country.
I am hopeful that our initiative will eventually ensure that 90 displaced families will be able to move into permanent concrete homes on land they can farm—and be empowered to create new lives in which they can be healthy, happy, and safe.