It has been five years since the magnitude-seven earthquake hit Haiti and locals are still suffering from the devastating impact of the natural disaster, which left 1.5 million people displaced. Now the startup New Story is determined to build houses for homeless families in Haiti through its online crowdfunding platform, designed to provide donors with a reliable, social investment experience.
After the recent scandal surrounding Red Cross’ misappropriation of half a billion dollars worth of funding intended for housing in Haiti, a completely transparent platform like New Story is a welcome initiative. The startup has already reached its initial target of funding 100 Haitian houses in 100 days, and owes its success to its business model, which allows people to donate with the comfort of knowing where their money is going and exactly who it is helping.
There are two ways to donate via the New Story site – you can meet a family and choose to fund the building of their new house directly or you can start a fundraising campaign, and set a funding goal for family and friends. After donating to a family, a video of the new homeowners is sent to the donor.
The site exposes the harsh realities that Haitians are faced with by offering a virtual tour of the displaced families’ tents, which were meant to be only a temporary, three-month housing solution before new homes were built. Those who don’t have the luxury of a tent live on the streets where they are even more exposed to sanitation-related illnesses, sex trafficking, child abduction, and severe weather.
The New Story houses, built by local contractors, offer families a new start by restoring their basic human rights like access to sanitation and shelter, providing a stable family environment for children, and creating opportunities for small business to grow.