The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) office in Dominica handed off keys to a home for a family of five in the village of Laplaine during a special ceremony on January 31, 2023. The Hypolite family had been living in a temporary shelter on their property after Hurricane Maria destroyed theirs and hundreds of other homes and buildings in 2017. The category 5 hurricane killed dozens of people, damaged roads, bridges, and left residents with harsh living conditions.
More than 37 families have been assisted with repairs on their homes thanks to an assistance from ADRA partners and the Adventist Church, said Pricilla Prevost, ADRA Dominica director. “This present project is the first of four homes to be completed with funds from ADRA United Kingdom and the East Caribbean Conference,” she said, adding that the Hypolite family has been a special case. ADRA Dominica was happy to assist the family with 50 percent of the cost of the existing structure. “The Hypolite family prepared and funded the foundation and the lower structure on which the house stands, and provided blocks for the main structure.”
Prevost continued, “While significant development has taken place in the country, visible to locals and visitors alike, some people are still grappling with the impact of that major disaster.” Since the major need, post-Hurricane Maria, was housing, ADRA mounted a rebuild project in three phases. This handing over is part of the third phase, which is rebuild and repair, funded by ADRA UK and the East Caribbean Conference.
From 2018 to 2019, ADRA Dominica embarked on a reroofing-and-repair program through local funding partnerships with other organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Red Cross, Rotary, the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in the USA, and the South Caribbean, South Leeward, and East Caribbean conferences.
Dr. Alexander Isaacs, the ADRA director for the Caribbean Union Conference, stated, “It has been a very exciting period for ADRA in Dominica, especially when we have been able, through this intervention, to make a significant difference to people’s lives and to help them strengthen their resilience to natural disasters.”
Moving vulnerable families into better dwellings has given residents security, comfort, and a better way of life, said Pastor Anthony Hall, president of the East Caribbean Conference, which oversees the church in Dominica. “There are still many challenges, and we have a long way to go in our work to reach out to vulnerable and marginalized households, but we are working on it.”
Attendees at the special ceremony included dozens of supporters, family, friends, volunteers, local church leaders, the Laplaine Village Council leaders, and the architect.
ADRA Dominica is currently overseeing the work on a structure in the village of Portsmouth, and another home is scheduled to be built in the village of Marigot, according to Prevost. “The design of the home structures prioritizes sustainability; the homes are built with a resilient, concrete roof, three bedrooms, and related amenities,” she said.
“We are stronger together,” said Hall. “This is more evident than ever as ADRA Dominica, the local Adventist churches, and many other supporters and partners have come together to respond to this crisis.”
ADRA is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the world by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.
The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.