Thomas Awiapo: CRS Connecting People, Building Bridges in Haiti

Haiti Bridges

CRS staff Thomas Awiapo interacting with the engineers and community members building the bridge for the people of St. Jean Du Sud in Les Kayes – Haiti. Photo by Kim Lamberty / CRS

As the saying goes, “No Man is an Island.” Unfortunately, the people of St. Jean Du Sud, Haiti, were completely isolated from the rest of Haiti when a bridge connecting them to school, market, and hospital collapsed.

The situation became unbearable during the rainy season as social and economic activities came to a complete halt.

Educational and health facilities became inaccessible to community members. At this point, the leaders of the community cried out for help and I am glad to let you know that CRS Haiti came to their aid. With $200,000 from CRS, complemented by communal labor and other contributions from the community, a very solid bridge is near completion.

This project when completed will link about 35,000 people to the essentials of life such as school, hospital and market, and restore normalcy to their lives. An impressive aspect of the project was the fact that 80% of the unskilled labor was hired from the community and thus providing temporary jobs for members of the community and infused a lot of cash in the community.

It was nice visiting the project and chatting with the people working so hard to finish the bridge before the next rainy season. I commend the community of St. Jean Du Sud for being so proactive in seeking support for its people and praise God that CRS was able to assist them. The truth is, CRS was in the position to help because the generous support of the American people. Ultimately, the credit goes all who gave generously to Haiti through CRS.

– Thomas Awiapo
As a child in Ghana, Thomas Awiapo was a beneficiary of CRS school feeding programs. Now, as an adult, he works for CRS Ghana and travels to the U.S. annually to tell his inspiring story to American Catholics at schools, parishes and communities. Thomas will be a featured guest blogger and will be reporting from Ghana about the issues he witnesses firsthand.

Watch the video: Empowered for Life: The Thomas Awiapo Story.

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