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Haiti Update: Extollo International Completes Children’s Orphanage on La Gonave Island

Orphanage project trains 67 Haitians and provides 7800 days of earned income for Haitian workers

La Gonave Island, Haiti, April 17, 2013


Extollo International, a non-profit humanitarian organization, has completed its latest building project on Haiti, a children’s orphanage on La Gonave Island. Under a building agreement with Okipe, a cooperative of non-profits who purchased the land to build the village, Extollo trained and used almost 70 Haitians to complete the project on time and on budget.

The children’s orphanage consists of 10 individual orphan homes that each will house up to ten children and a caregiver, plus a multi-purpose structure, a gazebo with solar panels, a guardhouse, property wall and all facilities for water, electricity, and waste removal.

Extollo’s mission in Haiti is to train locals in key construction skills, so that they may obtain much needed job skills. 90% of the labor on the village project was provided by Haitians who were being trained and paid to complete the job. Incorporating classroom and on-the-job training, Extollo provided 54,825 hours of employment equaling 7802 days of earned income for Haitian workers. The project infused over $600,000 into the local economy through purchases and employment.

“With unemployment in Haiti between 60 and 70%,” said Sherman D. Balch, Extollo Founder and CEO, “we realized quickly after our founding in 2010 that more than new construction, Haiti needs job skills and jobs. We have already seen some of the men we’ve trained being hired by other firms in Haiti and starting their own construction companies.”

“Extollo International was the perfect solution at a critical time for Okipe,” commented Bill Cody, Okipe chairperson. “ When those of us in the Okipe co-op dreamed to build a children's village for orphans in Haiti, we simply didn't realize how much value Extollo would bring to the project.  We needed professional expertise and construction management.  We got that and so much more.  Because of Extollo's passion and mission, in the end our project also provided the opportunity to train and hire Haitian workers, which stimulated the local economy and gave them critical construction jobs skills.”

About Extollo International

Extollo is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to creating a trained workforce in Haiti with employable skills so Haitians can rebuild Haiti. We create jobs, training nationals with employable skills. We employ nationals in our projects, stimulating local economies. With Haitians participating in the process of “raising up” buildings, we believe Haitian dignity and self-respect can be instilled and restored. (Extollo means “raise up” in Latin). Using our design/build techniques and vast experience in construction, development and training, we partner with established organizations to build structures that are cost effective, high-quality, permanent, expandable and earthquake and hurricane resistant.

Contact: Bruce Kirkpatrick, Director of Communications, 925.244.9100 or

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