submitted by Sara Lockwood

As part of our continuing series spotlighting the human face of our work in Haiti, we’d like to return to a program that we’ve already discussed here at IMPACT—the CLEARS program, that is funded by USAID and executed by our partner CHF International.

Haiti's newest generation of heavy equipment operators.

Adrien Olguine, 25, is one of 40 graduates who have been trained in operating heavy machinery and equipment by CHF International as part of USAID’s OFDAfunded CLEARS program.

Before the earthquake, CHF saw that there was a serious shortage of heavy-equipment operators in Haiti and realized that there was a tremendous opportunity to give a group of Haitians a badly needed skill-set and a chance at a better future. CHF partnered with HayTrac and set to work training 40 Haitians in how to operate heavy machinery like back-hos, bulldozers, and other equipment that would be necessary for critical new construction projects in Haiti.

Once the earthquake struck Haiti, these needs became even more acute. Graduates from the CLEARS program sprang into action and put their new skills to use clearing collapsed buildings and rubble. Here’s what Adrien Olguine, 25, one of the 40 graduates said about her ability to meaningfully contribute to Haiti’s relief and reconstruction effort:

After my training, I am now able to maneuver a mini-charguese with no problems. In all, I have really made a lot of progress. Before, I was suffering from stress and trauma (after the earthquake) . . . but today I am in great form and am very happy to have participated in this program. Because of this training, I now have a diploma that will guarantee employment for my future.

Through working together with the people and Government of Haiti, we can, and will, help Haiti realize its potential to become a prosperous nation. The CLEARS program is just one of the ways we’re helping the Haitian people to build back better.