Builders Haite construction-Extollo Intl-photoOn Jan. 12, Haitians solemnly marked the three-year anniversary of the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake that decimated their homeland.

Today, a few of the tent cities and shacks that housed refugees are gone, but many remain. For the respected San Francisco developer Sherman Balch, the work is just beginning.

“We want to give the Haitians employable skills,” Balch said. “It comes down to if you want to alleviate poverty, you’ve got to give them jobs. … They need to learn a trade.”

On his first trip to Haiti, Balch was struck by how much devastation came as a result of poor construction standards. Today, through his Christian humanitarian organization, Extollo International, he is not only supplying Haitians with permanent homes, but also hiring them and training them to do the building themselves.

(WATCH the video below or READ the story in Mercury News)

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