Haitian Man Visits Cville to Thank Building Goodness Foundation - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Haitian Man Visits Cville to Thank Building Goodness Foundation

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The Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) brings together volunteers who build houses for people all around the world.

BGF has built homes in Haiti for the last 13 years, but stepped up its efforts since the earthquake there in 2010. Volunteers are trying to build 600 homes in Haiti - a mission has especially touched one man.

Daniel Lalanne is the first Haitian project field manager for BGF. During his first trip to the United States, he wants to show his appreciation to those who have stepped in to aid his country.

"So just thank all the volunteers... all the BGF volunteers," said Lalanne. "After the earthquake,
many people lost their houses and so it was good of BGF to help Haitian people."

The projects he's helped with are personal. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti destroyed the five-bedroom home that he and his family lived in for 20 years. Lalanne's father got sick after the earthquake and died six months later.

"I've seen a lot of volunteers come down every week, every month, you know, it's a time for me to thank all the volunteers and tell them that Haitian people really love them," said Lalanne.

Since then, BGF volunteers have helped build 200 'ti kay', or small replacement homes.

"It's a chance for them to give back... they feel very fortunate and they use their skills to help other people and build community through the buildings that they build," said BGF Executive Director Kelly Eplee.

Lalanne will return to Haiti on Tuesday and he said he hopes to come back to the U.S. with his wife and daughter one day.

Many more houses, churches, and schools need to be built in Haiti, and Eplee is training more volunteers - teaching Creole classes to prepare them to work there.

The basic Creole class is called "Survival on the Construction Site." It starts Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the BGF offices at 1710 Gordon Avenue in Charlottesville.

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