Aug 18, 2017 | News Story

NYC Firefighters, Ironworkers, Carpenters, and Police Officers Travel to Build School in Haiti

This Thursday, a group of New York City workers traveled to Haiti, where they will build a school to be operated by a local orphanage.The group is comprised of FDNY firefighters, two retired Port Authority police officers, and union ironworkers and carpenters from the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

All of the participants belong to Healing Emergency Aid Response Team (HEART) 9/11, a nonprofit disaster relief organization that aims to bring relief to suffering communities in the same way the world helped NYC in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in lower Manhattan. With the help of local builders in Haiti, the crew will build a school for 600 children in Fond Parisien, which will be operated by the orphanage Miracle Village. HEART 9/11 was founded by a 9/11 first responder, and has made trips to Haiti since 2013 to build for Miracle Village.

One of the firefighters on the trip, Weaver Debe, is an immigrant from Haiti. He feels a special connection to the children who will benefit from his labor, knowing from personal experience that many children in Haiti are forced to study outside due to a shortage of learning facilities. “We’re going to be working long, hard days,” he said. “But it’s great to travel and work with firefighters and police officers—they know how to focus and get things done, and the ironworkers and carpenters have the special skills we need.”