Van Duzer, Saloojee, and Comazzi to assess Haitian refugee camps

John Comazzi, Ozayr Saloojee, and Leslie Van Duzer (all Architecture) will travel to Haiti on Friday, April 16, 2010 for a five-day assessment of camps for people displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake. The School of Architecture faculty members will assess the shelter and community living conditions of two camps in Port au Prince and Fond Parisien managed by the American Refugee Committee, an international humanitarian assistance and training nonprofit with offices in Minneapolis. The assessment will focus on overall camp structure, access to water and sanitation, living structures, how health care services are delivered, the availability of child-friendly spaces, recreational areas, and provisions for temporary educational facilities. The faculty members will also consult on how to best help displaced communities rebuild.

Child-friendly space at Terrain Acra. Andre, a teacher and journalist, is living at Camp Hope with his son, Sebastian (right), his wife, and their two other sons. Their house was destroyed and they lost everything in the earthquake. Photo courtesy Miguel
Child-friendly space at Terrain Acra.
Andre, a teacher and journalist, is living at Camp Hope with his son, Sebastian (right), his wife, and their two other sons. Their house was destroyed and they lost everything in the earthquake.
Photo courtesy Miguel Samper/American Refugee Committee.

"The people of Haiti have experienced unthinkable trauma, seeing their homes and communities destroyed and living in makeshift camps, a state that poses a range of challenges," says Van Duzer. "Our goal will be to provide workable solutions to help individuals and communities address current camp and shelter challenges and rebuild in an safe and effective manner."

"The rainy season will bring mudslides, floods and a rapid spread of disease," said Daniel Wordsworth, president of the American Refugee Committee. "Shelter is a critical issue, and we're pleased to partner with the University of Minnesota to look at ways to provide safe and healthy living conditions for the people of Haiti."

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