NEWS RELEASE: Haiti–One Year Later: OpUSA Continues Commitment to Recovery and Education



LOS ANGELES, CA (January 6, 2011)— As the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti approaches, Los Angeles-based International relief agency Operation USA reaffirms its dedication to recovery in Haiti, and specifically the City of Jacmel. Construction continues at the site of Operation USA’s largest project, the rebuilding of Ecole Nationale Jacob Martin Henriquez in Jacmel. This public elementary school is scheduled to be completed in February 2011 and will provide an opportunity for a free education for over 400 students, grades K-7. Operation USA has focused a good portion of its relief and recovery efforts in Jacmel—knowing it can make a significant impact in this smaller well-governed community.


The construction for this project has been funded by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s Corporate Citizenship initiative and built with cooperation from the City of Jacmel. Architectural designs for the school were donated by global design and planning firm Gensler. Seismic specialists Miyamoto International provided structural engineering services, and have also been serving as on-site supervisors for the construction process, bringing high performance earthquake engineering expertise that is so clearly in short supply in Haiti. Throughout the construction process, workshops have been held for the Haitian masons and laborers working on the project in numerous facets of safe building reconstruction—providing an unprecedented opportunity to educate the local workforce in seismic safety and building methods at the highest level.


In addition to the school’s construction, a scholarship fund has been developed by Operation USA to help support expenses the students may incur during the school year, including mandatory school uniforms, books and supplies. A feeding program that will provide a hot meal every day for each student and community development programs are also being planned.


In the first days and weeks following the quake, OpUSA staged 8 relief airlifts and sent 8 sea shipment of supplies—getting essential pharmaceuticals, medical, emergency and shelter supplies, generators and light towers, as well as medical personnel to partner agencies on the ground in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. Emergency items including food and cooking supplies were purchased for a number of orphanages, schools and hospitals. Relief efforts were greatly helped by generous support, products and services from many donors including Honeywell Hometown Solutions, United Airlines, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., Ball Corporation, The Lincy Foundation, Cardinal Health, Cascade Designs and many others.