WMI is proud of the entrepreneurial and giving spirit Ralf Etienne radiates within his home community on the island nation of Haiti.
Ralf Etienne is a survivor of the earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010. As a result of the earthquake, he lost his left leg, and at that point, he realized that his life needed to have a different purpose: serving people and bringing glory to God.
Our WMI Graduate Scholar of the Month is a graduate of Business Management from Anderson University. Upon graduating, Ralf decided to return to his nation where his people needed him the most. He returned to Haiti with the intent to learn as much as he could, share his knowledge and make a difference in the lives of others, one person at a time.
Little did he know that less than one year later, he would have survived yet another natural disaster and be managing his own non-profit organization.
On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew clobbered Haiti. Ralf’s community on the southwestern peninsula of Haiti was hit the hardest.
With the mentorship of friends and sponsors within the U.S., Ralf created the U.S.-based non-profit organization Rebuilding Haiti.
We are a U.S.-based non-profit organization working on the ground in Haiti to empower, evangelize, educate, and promote economic development. We are empowering the people of Haiti to rebuild their homes, start new family farms, and provide for themselves through self-sufficiency.
Within the past five months, Ralf and his team have helped rebuild and place stable roofs on 650 homes! WMI was proud to provide $5000 to aid in this community reconstruction project. The rebuilding of roofs is done in partnership with the homeowner. Ralf shared that there are still thousands of people living with the devastating effects of the hurricane and are exposed to the elements. His goal is to place 1000 roofs on homes within his community!
In additional to helping to provide safe shelter, Rebuilding Haiti received a donation of 400 water filtration systems from the Wells Mountain Foundation.
With a history of providing support through a second wave of self-sufficiency aid to Haiti, WMI raised over $60,000 in a special appeal after Hurricane Matthew. As a WMI Graduate Scholar, Ralf’s organization was one of three organizations working in Haiti to which the Wells Mountain Foundation distributed 1400 water filtration systems.
Ralf continues to be thankful for the ability to serve his community.
“The Haitian people have been showing their gratefulness in many ways! One lady has barely anything to eat. She walked miles and miles barefoot to come to my house to show her gratefulness by bringing some chicken eggs and peanuts from her little farm! When I said no, she insisted that I accept her gift. Stories like that encourage me to keep going! These people are not beggars who want to live off of people, but they are hard-working people trying to survive.” – Ralf Etienne, January 19, 2017
Learn more about Rebuilding Haiti and their initiatives of rebuilding roofs, school feeding programs, providing clean water, aiding family farms, providing small loans and supporting fisherman: http://www.rebuildinghaiti.org
“I feel very proud and humble at the same time to announce that as of today we have put roof on 650 homes and we are counting!!! I still can’t wrap my mind around it! I want to thank all of you for your generous contribution towards our work in Haiti! Our work is not over yet. Let’s be grateful for our comfort, but not forget about thousands of people in my town alone that still need a roof. With $250 or less we can put on a brand new roof for a family.” – Ralf Etienne, February 27, 2017
Rebuilding Haiti is accepting donations via their website and PayPal. To learn how you can help, visit: http://www.rebuildinghaiti.org/donate
- …give $70 to help a family restart their farm
- …give $70 to provide a goat to a family
- …give $150 to provide a loan to a small business owner
- …give $250 to provide a new roof
- …give $1000 to repair a home
- …give $2500 to rebuild a home for a small family
We wish Ralf continued success, patience and courage to continue leading his community on the road to recovery and self-sufficiency.