David, Sabine and Marceline. Credit: Kateryna Perus/Oxfam

Corail: A place to call home?

Marceline, David and their daughter Sabine live in the Corail resettlement camp in Haiti. Their family was among the first to be moved from the Petionville golf club, where they faced imminent threat of flash floods, to this vast, sunbaked site about 15 km outside of Port-au-Prince. Two months on, they still live here.

"Well, life is pretty much the same here now as when we moved in," says Marceline. "We have our tent. We have enough water, from Oxfam, to drink and cook and wash. We've received food too; rice, oil, beans and flour, from World Vision. We still have the latrines from Oxfam, there are enough for everyone, although it would be nice to have our own toilet, or a toilet to share with several families, and keep it clean between us."

David, Marceline's husband, has seen his daily life change significantly since the earthquake. "I go regularly into Delmas, to all the old places I used to work at before the earthquake - I was a metalworker and then a driver - to look for work. Often I have to walk, so I leave here at 4.30 in the morning and I usually arrive around 11."


"Aside from getting work, our main priority is Sabine's education. I don't want my daughter to grow up sitting around here, I want her to go to school and learn. There is a good school in Bon Repos, I would like to take her there. But we would need money. Like before the earthquake."

Looking ahead

Marceline and David are not discouraged by the prospect of continuing to live on the Corail site. "I wouldn't mind having a house here. We like it here; we don't hate it," says David. "And we don't want to go back to Port au Prince. It is too crowded and there are no homes there. I wouldn't mind having a home here, or even building one myself."

He smiles, looking around his tent - for now there isn't much around their little home. "We would like a little place to plant trees, so that they could give us shade, and we could have mangoes to eat. And some space to keep chickens, then we could have chicken to eat."

"We need a real home. We need some privacy. We also need to be able to have fun sometimes, have some kind of recreation." He laughs brightly, "Maybe watch the world cup on TV!"

Despite the optimism, they still don't have an answer for the medium term. "But we don't know if there will be homes. There are rumours that they might be moving us again. So we don't know."

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