32 Square Feet Per Person

  Meeting the Aristide family.

It can be surprising to see how many people can be helped by the gift of a new home. Mr. and Mrs. Aristide have seven children ranging in age from eight to twenty-four. With nine people living under one 12’ x 24’ roof, the Aristide’s enjoy a roomy 32 square feet per person. That’s small, even for tiny house living!

Mr. Aristide is a fisherman, but he struggles to catch enough fish to support his family. He believes his biggest obstacle to catching more fish is a lack of proper equipment (e.g., nets, boats, oars).

As part of the Village of Joy project, we will be providing families with a means to sustain themselves. Food for the Poor is currently assessing options. They need to take into account people’s interests (not everyone wants to grow crops or fish) and skills (is the equipment bad or do people need training to use it effectively?), as well as physical location and environmental concerns (the soil is too salty for many plants). The sustainment portion of the project will begin after all 40 houses have been completed.

  The Aristide's living room. They have only 32 square feet per person, and part of it is used to store buckets of clean water. Notice the lack of furniture in the room.

Back to the Aristide’s…we asked them to tell us about their old house. They told us that it was awful. It was made with sticks and mud and had a leaky roof (this is a recurring theme among the recipients). They marvel at how comfortable it is now to sleep when it rains. In fact, they get excited when it rains because the water from the roof fills their cistern. A full cistern lasts the large family twenty-one days. Their living room is filled with many very large buckets filled with water they take from their cistern, so there is room for more water when it rains again. Mr. Aristide said they pray each day to God to thank him and to thank the 'blans' (foreigners) for providing them a home.

To those who have supported this effort, the Aristide family is thanking you. Know that you are making a difference in the lives of the poor!

Paula Mueller

Help 40 Families Escape Extreme Poverty

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