Back Print

One couple's heart for Haiti means more housing in Riceville

Posted: Thu, Nov 8, 2018 9:30 AM
Janet and Paul Pickar work on the interior of the house

Paul and Janet Pickar of Riceville are in the final stages of building a new house, but not for themselves. They are building the house in order to sell it and donate half of the proceeds to Rural Haiti Development, a non-profit organization devoted to partnering with native Haitians who are inspiring their communities to work together for a better, sustainable and dignified way of life. 

The idea to construct a house in order to raise funds for RHD was conceived when the Pickars noticed a significant need for housing in Riceville. Couple that with their heart for Haiti, and the Pickar's dream became a reality when they purchased property in Riceville in 2016. The double lot was split into two single lots and the idea to build and sell not just one, but two houses for RHD was born. The Pickars anticipate the first house being available for purchase December 1st.

Janet says, "We have stepped out in complete faith with this project. The initial funds to purchase the property and remove the existing house & poor trees was our own personal investment. We have paid for construction of the house and the cement work, but all other labor (sheet rocking, cabinet settings, trim work, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, interior painting) has been donated by ourselves, friends, family & our church family members."

The money raised by the sale of the Pickar's two houses will help fund a micro-farming project in Dufour, Haiti, one of the six rural communities RHD works in. "This will be a test project that will eventually continue in five other RHD communities as we learn and raise more money," says Janet. The basis of the project is community development, with an emphasis on self-sustainability -- helping rural Haitian communities to locally provide their own food, clean water, and education.

"There are many needs locally, and we do not deny this need, but we feel called personally, to reach out to this area of Haiti," shares Janet. "There is no greater feeling than to help those in need."

The Pickars are hosting an informal open house with refreshments at their "Haiti House" on Sunday, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The house is located at 702 Walnut Street in Riceville. Paul and Janet will briefly share about RHD's work in Haiti at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend and walk through the house.

For more information on Rural Haiti Development, visit their Facebook page at

The first "Haiti House" is nearing completion
The early stages of the kitchen