Notre Dame engineers helping Haitians build safer and cheaper homes

Years after an earthquake rocked Haiti, a group of Notre Dame engineers are working to help Haitians become self-reliant and build stronger, more affordable homes.

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 2:26 p.m.

A group of engineers from the University of Notre Dame are working to help communities in Haiti protect themselves from earthquakes like the one that rocked the country in January 2010.

The group, called Engineering to Empower or E2E, is designing homes that are both stronger and more affordable than the houses that have previously been built in Haiti, The Elkhart Truth's news partner WNDU reported.

"No one had given them an alternative mode of construction until we came to town," Tracy Kijewski-Correa, a co-founder of E2E, told WNDU.

The group designed houses that cost $5,000 to make, rather than the average price of $20,000 of other homes.

E2E consists of more than 20 people, including Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students studying engineering, business and political science, a team of runners who raise awareness of the E2E cause and a few volunteers

The group also includes Haitians who are interested in starting businesses building homes that the engineers designed.

"We are actually seeking to empower Haitians to reconstruct by helping them establish businesses and doing it themselves as opposed to waiting for aid that may never come in their lifetime," Kijewski-Correa told WNDU.

Find out how many homes need to be rebuilt and how the group is working on a house prototype on WNDU's website.

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