Monday, August 30, 2010

Luck Mervil tries to make a difference in Haiti

Much has been said in over the past few weeks over Wyclef Jean’s run for the presidency. Yet there is another Haitian musician who has attempted to help his countrymen ravaged by earthquakes and poverty.

Luck Mervil is a Haitian-born and Quebec-raised singer best known in Canada for being a member of the band Rudeluck since the 1990s. The expat has forged a successful music career yet he will soon leave it all behind in order to launch an ambitious housing project in Haiti. Mervil’s Vilaj Vilaj project will use shipping containers in order to be used as homes for 5,000 people.

Each residence will use materials to protect families from the hot and stormy weather that tends to hit Haiti. Mervil showed off a prototype days ago in Montréal that cost several thousand dollars yet he believes that costs will be low due to hundreds of shipping containers left behind due to Haiti’s import-driven economy.

The Vilaj Vilaj project is ambitious and will rely solely on private donations, but Mervil is confident that it can be done:
"I'm putting everything aside just to do this: by (building) the village, the idea is not to put a village there and leave, we're building the village with the people," Mervil said in a telephone interview.

"We came up with a solution where everything (we need) was already on the ground and part of the solution is that people are going to build their own village."
Before Jean was barred from running for president, Mervil predicted that Jean could win November’s elections.

Image- CBC (“Luck Mervil will be working with Vilaj Vilaj, an initiative to build homes in Haiti from recycled shipping containers, like the one seen here on display in Montreal Aug. 11, 2011.”)
Online Sources- CBC, CTV, CANOE, Winnipeg Free Press

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