On September 18, Dominica was devastated by hurricane Maria. Coverage of the island’s recovery efforts has dwindled but the Living Water Community hasn’t forgotten Dominica. The TT-based NGO recently launched the Rebuild a Home initiative through The Mercy Foundation and The Global Business Leadership Forum.
Using crowd-sourced funding, the initiative aims to raise money to rebuild at least 200 homes in those Caribbean Islands severely affected by the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. Living Water Community’s founder Rhonda Maingot said while goal is help Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands, the first new homes will be built in Dominica.
“Initially our focus will be on Dominica because not only were they the most devastated, they don’t have a ‘mother’ country whereas the others do. I think 30 percent of Dominicans lost their homes while much of the island’s housing infrastructure sustained varying degrees of damage.”
Asked about the estimated cost per house, Maingot said, “We have an international consulting agency, Build Change, helping us (evaluate) different estimates. We’ll be finalising the cost of the homes but it may be around US$30,000 or $40,000 per home. Donations can be made through our website, www.rebuildourhomes.com or you call The Living Water Community at (623-4677) for more information.”
Maingot was speaking with Newsday during the Rebuild a Home launch last week at Government Plaza, corner Richmond and Queen Streets, Port of Spain. The idea for this initiative came about during conversations between Nigel Salina – founder and chairman of The Mercy Foundation, a division of The Living Water Community – and Mark Johnson, partner and chief operating officer at the NY-based Align Entertainment Group.
“Nigel Salina and I had been kicking around the idea of a music festival in the Caribbean,” Johnson told Newsday at the launch.
“The latest setback was the recent hurricanes.
“So we started talking about what we could do to help rebuild the islands.”
“We came up with the idea of doing a crowd-sourcing campaign because this way, we could enlist the support of the millions of people around the world that had come to the islands previously, had a great experience and would want to help. We felt that we could raise more money if we used social media to harness that power to allow people from any location to participate. Align had the privilege of being the very first ones to donate on the platform.”
Qnary, a provider of executive social media management solutions, is handling the crowd-sourced funding for Rebuild a Home.
Ashton Todd, an account manager at Qnary, told Newsday they chose Generosity.com as the site through which donations can be made because, “it’s the completely non-profit arm of Indiegogo – the largest crowd funding site in the world.”