Two years after the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people, half a million Haitians still lived in tents. Haitians continued to cope with extremely limited infrastructure, a cholera epidemic and endemic insecurity.

While the aid coordination in Haiti gained some negative notoriety for poor performance and high levels of corruption; and the UN peacekeepers weathered a reputational blow due to their association with the outbreak of a foreign strand of cholera, many organisations managed to reach the most vulnerable of the population successfully.

Finn Church Aid (FCA) is a Finnish development and humanitarian organisation that begun its school construction work immediately after the earthquake, starting with rudimentary temporary learning spaces made of tarpaulin and plywood, and later building permanent earthquake-resistant concrete schools - all the while building the construction skills of local communities themselves. Within two years, more than 24 schools (340+ temporary classrooms) were built, giving 20,000 children a safe space to study. All in all, by 2012 UNICEF and international NGOs had been able to help more than 750,000 children back to school, and helped children suffering from malnourishment and trauma.

These photographs were commissioned by FCA in January 2012. 

Read more about FCA’s work in Haiti here, and if you'd like to support FCA's work, you can donate here

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