Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
One of the sites ARCHIVE work is Haiti, which has the highest per capita TB burden (TB incidence is 306/100,000 of the population) in the Latin America and Caribbean region. After HIV/AIDS, TB is the country’s highest infectious cause of mortality in both youth and adults (6,814 deaths in 2007). In January 2010 an earthquake (magnitude of 7.0) struck the country, leaving 300,000 dead and over 1.5 million people homeless. On the 6-month anniversary of the earthquake, ARCHIVE along with UN Special Envoy to Haiti launched a global open innovation project to draw attention to and solicit designs for housing strategies that could minimise the risk of TB transmission in Haiti. ARCHIVE has since then successfully been engaging hundreds of community members, through workshops and dialogues about the link between living conditions and health. Its work is implemented though close partnership with a local community based organisation that has a 10 year history of engagement with local population. The ARCHIVE’s founder and director was also born in Jamaica – the nearby country and exposed to many of the same cultural, climatic and socio-economic and political challenges faced by Haiti. Combined, these allow ARCHIVE to work sensitively and methodically in delivering its work.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Peter has seen it and lived it. Born into a low-income Jamaican community, he saw how houses nearby were built on low-lying dry riverbeds and thus vulnerable to flooding and water-borne disease. Living in a 5-sibling household with poor housing conditions, he saw how housing led to his father to contract the rodent borne disease Leptospirosis. When at the age of 8, he said to his father that he wanted to be like that man across the street hand-mixing concrete to build his house. His father replied: ‘No son you mean you want to be an architect’. After the disease left his father paralysed and housebound for 7 years until his death, Peter saw that their house failed in both cases – the ability to prevent disease and to alleviate the disease burden. He knew that for many other Jamaicans the challenge was worse. As a caregiver for his dad during his illness, he saw how simple improvements may have drastically improved his health and spared his life. Subsequent travel to slums in Brazil, Morocco, Vietnam and Mozambique has shown him that this is not Jamaican challenge but a global one. As an architect that has practiced on 5 continents and designed projects ranging from $3000 to $3 billion, he was certain that he was well positioned to understand and lead an ambitious effort in preventing disease through housing improvement. Working for institutions such as the World Bank on housing and the UNAIDS Secretariat on heath disparities, he honed his critical understanding of these issues. However, what he wants above all is to make a real difference in people’s life.