"Can you envision a land where over 75% of the buildings have been damaged or destroyed and over 80% of the population does not have electricity? This was the island of Dominica after the devastating Hurricane Maria went through a few months ago." - IDES partner mission in Dominica
Last week, we focused on the recovery efforts and stories from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Very near the island of Puerto Rico are several other, smaller island-nations, including Dominica, which were equally devastated by the hurricane. Nearly everyone on the island was affected in some way.
Thanks to your generosity and love, IDES partnered with a local school in order to help families rebuild portions of their homes.
"Our trip focused on rebuilding the roof structures on the homes of 3 students whose families live on the island," our partner stated.
Many homes on the island simply lost their roofs altogether. The powerful, Category-4 winds ripped off the rafter-style roofing materials, leaving families and their belongings vulnerable to rain and wind damage. Some homes, however, were completely destroyed.
"While we originally were going to replace roofs, one building was deemed unable to repair so they decided to change direction and build a new concrete block structure near the family home instead," our partner reported. "We started at this location (Project 1) and quickly decided we were not equipped to do masonry work with the people we had brought so we decided instead to provide the funds to purchase the materials and some skilled labor."
By being willing to hire local, skilled labor and purchase local materials as well, IDES' partner was directly stimulating the local economy of the island which was desperately needed. This model allows for both short-term and long-term recovery to develop.
"The total cost for this project was in line with what we were going to spend on another home just replacing the roof. Project 2 was replacing all of the roof structure on a family's home," our partner said. "Trusses were designed and built, then the home was decked with plywood and corrugated roofing was installed to create a very strong and long-lasting structure for this family."
"Project 3 was to replace the roof and supporting structure on another small home. We also installed tie-down straps to the roof structure so it would be tied to the concrete building better than it was originally," our partner said.
Due to the volume of your response in donating towards hurricane recovery efforts, there was enough funding to available for a fourth project.
"Project 4 became helping some of the locals who had helped us. We provided labor, advice and a little money to help get them to a point of having a dry home," our partner said.
"These homes now provide a safe and dry place for these families as well as a place for them to host guests as they come to the island to help with recovery efforts. Through the work done during this project, the Gospel is shown to others both by the love given and by the sharing of the resources God has blessed each family with now."
"We showed God’s love by working alongside the locals to rebuild their country that they are very proud of. We walked the streets of the village at all hours with no worry about safety, everyone greeted us warmly and they took good care of us. It is through His love and grace we had exactly who and what was needed for this project."
Thank you for partnering with IDES to make hope possible for families in Dominica!