Three years ago when Melany Boughman went to Haiti, she had no idea what to expect. But what she did see affected her and she knew she had to do something about it.
“After you’re there you just can’t ignore all the need and all the struggles that they have,” Boughman said.
When she returned home to Oklahoma, she started working toward building a family village in Haiti.
It will include ten manufactured homes, provide for education, medical needs and food.
“I spent another nine months reviewing the houses, making sure if our people in the country would want them. Making sure we could have a place for them. And then I started raising money,” Boughman said.
She partnered with Sukup in Iowa. The company manufactures “Safe T Homes” in Haiti. There are currently over 300 of the homes in Haiti – all able to withstand most natural disasters.
The homes can endure 140 mph winds and are resistant to termites and moisture.
They sleep up to 10 people and can hold about 60 people at a time, in the event of a disaster. They also have an outdoor planter to grow vegetables.
In Haiti, most families live on less than $2 a day.
“When I went the second time the lady that will get the first house, she was living in a tent, with cinder blocks around her, and basically, she would buy a cinder block every time she could afford it,” Boughman said.
Each house cost $5,700 to manufacture, plus shipping and assembly. She’s been raising money for two years and relies on all types of donations to meet her $70,000 goal.
“Our neighbors will be like, ‘Hey, I’m moving do you want any of this?’ And so, we’ll sell it. I’ve sold $18,000 worth of stuff from my front porch,” Boughman said.
The conditions in Haiti are so severe and so great, and Boughman knows she can’t fix all the problems there.
“I just, you know I feel confident that we are going to help them. And I feel confident that we are going to make a big difference,” Boughman said.
The homes are expected to be shipped to Haiti later this year, and Boughman fully intends to be there to help with the start of construction.
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