I am just back from Haiti, where we set up plans for building, maintaining, and repairing forty rural water tanks to prevent deaths from cholera-infected water. The idea, and it is working effectively, is to capture natural spring water (which potentially has cholera in it after any disruption to the water table by hurricanes or cyclones – all of which are common in Haiti) in cement tanks built by local Haitians. The water in those tanks can then be treated before and after any storm to kill the cholera. Since the start of the project, deaths from cholera (which had been rampant before) have dropped to ZERO in the region. One Hundred For Haiti plans to keep it that way.
The project was originated in 2011 by our friends at Peacework Medical. One Hundred For Haiti paid for ten tanks to be built in 2014, bringing the total number to close to thirty tanks. When Peacework mentioned early this year that they were going to have a smaller footprint in Haiti, I said that One Hundred For Haiti would take over the building of any new rural tanks (this week we identified ten new tank sites), as well as maintaining the ten tanks we paid for last year, and doing upkeep and repairs on twenty earlier tanks.
What’s the best way for you to support this work? Sign up for a recurring monthly donation. The link is on the right. Some people donate $100 a month, or $20. Some donate $5, and others $1 a month. It all adds up more than you realize all those donations are used for raw materials for building the tanks, for Haitians to work on the construction, and any chemicals needed to treat the water. One Hundred For Haiti is a fully fledged 501(c)3 non-profit.
Think about it: for the price of a few coffee drinks a month, you can contribute to a major health initiative with long ranging effects and direct impact for people in rural Haiti.
We will be posting more photos and videos soon about the project and about this past week there!
Two boys use leaves to direct a trickle of water into a plastic jug. We plan to build a tank here to catch this water. The tank when filled can be treated with chemicals to kill deadly cholera in the water.
At a rural site, a tank paid for last year by One Hundred For Haiti is flowing strongly with clean fresh water. Water is life. Imagine the effect of forty (or possibly more) of these tanks on the communities they serve and the tens of thousands of people protected as a result.
It is May 11th 2015 and One Hundred For Haiti is heading to Haiti to look into expanding The Rural Water Project and accepting full control of it for the future. We have been a supporter to a partner organization in the past but an opportunity has come up which will allow us to keep the project going entirely on our own.
In the past we have paid for tanks to be built which catch natural spring water in areas where cholera infection in the water is a huge threat (the water gathered in these tanks can be treated before it is used by local people. The treatment kills the cholera and prevents unnecessary illness and death. Since the start of the project, cholera deaths in the region have dropped to zero).
One Hundred For Haiti is looking this week into taking on the entire Rural Water Project on as our own and focusing on whatever needs to be done to complete, maintain, and expand the project.
The point of this trip: to meet with local people who can work for One Hundred For Haiti to repair any tanks in need of fixing in the rural areas served so far, and to insure that new tanks are built to provide rural people with safe, clean, water. Tens of thousands of people will have access to clean water as a result of this work.
To make it happen we will need your help.
We will be providing updates from Haiti and will update everyone very soon on how you can spread the word in your community and on your social networks about this critical and life-saving project and help us expand the number of recurring monthly donors in our network who help us achieve our goals of saving lives and serving rural Haitian people. A recurring donation per month of less than the cost of a latte can be incredibly powerful when magnified by similar donations from dozens or hundreds of other people.
In addition to The Rural Water Project, we hope to have word this week about another critically important initiative which we are funding in the south of Haiti to prevent child sexual assault.
Details on this work will be forthcoming. Child rape has been a huge problem this past year in the south of Haiti and One Hundred For Haiti is funding extensive trainings over the better part of a year in rural communities to educate leaders, parents, community organizers, and local citizens about process and behavior around sexual assault and how to prevent it, support survivors, and how to build stronger communities.
More soon…you are the driver behind this journey. Thank you so much for your ongoing support.
Forgive the lack of photos, but we want to keep the recipient of this particular update anonymous. Today your donations to One Hundred For Haiti paid for six months salary for a woman employed to do laundry at a safe house for former child slaves in the south of Haiti. We will be renewing her contract for another six months as well if she is happy with the work.
Why did we support one woman’s salary with donations? Because her young daughter was recently raped by a family member and the mother’s inability to earn a living on her own was contributing to an extremely unstable living situation for the girl who survived the assault.
This job gives her mother independence and security, which means the victim/survivor has a stable place to go home to and thus can feel safer. Healing begins in the heart and the mind. Safe and protected: that is the goal. Next: support for activist teams heading into rural areas to train people in rural communities about how to stop child sexual assault.
#commitment means helping beyond the point where the headlines fade.
Bailey Richardson joins us to do research and outreach and a list of other tasks and we are really excited to have her on the team. Fluent in Swahili (!) and devoted to non-profit work, Bailey has already pushed to have Ten Thousand Villages do an info night and benefit for One Hundred For Haiti. We think Bailey is cool.
One Hundred For Haiti: 2014/2015
What we’ve done and what we will do, thanks to your support!
Accomplishments since we last spoke…
In the last two years One Hundred For Haiti experienced a profound shift from relief work to development work. The change is significant: rather than only give supplies (which is how we started), we now focus whenever we can on helping create opportunities. Many of the following stories are explored in greater detail on this website (http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org), but those which are not are explained here, some for the first time.
You made all of this happen. We cannot be more emphatic about that. Without your ongoing support, none of this would have been possible.
The Rural Water Project: saving lives from cholera
While visiting Haiti in the early spring of 2014, we spent a week helping to build a medical clinic with Peacework Medical. Pam Burwell, director of Peacework was well underway building the new clinic there – the only one for dozens of miles around – and Greg flew in with Michael Scott, long time One Hundred For Haiti supporter to help level the new floors of the clinic and begin to paint the walls and entryway. While there we all discussed the need for cholera to be eradicated. Introduced into Haiti’s water table accidentally by a UN worker from Nepal, cholera had killed thousands of people: deaths which were entirely treatable.
One of the easiest ways to prevent cholera is to simply avoid it, and Pam told us about her desire to build cisterns around the Ranquitte region into which potentially cholera-infected water would flow, be treated by a low-grade chemical, and then taken from the cistern from a tap. We loved the idea and immediately agreed to fund all of the tanks they wanted to build. As of today, 15,000 people in Ranquitte region now drink cholera-free water due to your donations and the tanks we were able to fund. The success of this program has led us to commute to building ten more tanks. All told, by the time the project is complete and we build the new tanks and hire a local Haitian to monitor them, between 25,000+ people will no longer have to worry about death due to cholera-contaminated drinking water. Donations that come in from this point forward will fund that second round of cisterns.
Individual support: saving hearts, minds, and bodies
In 2014 we focused whenever we could on individuals and small groups as well.
We were able to provide barbed wire fencing to protect the former child slaves and orphans living at the Little Footprints, Big Steps safe house in Les Cayes. Robbers had been scaling the walls and harassing the boys as they slept. We felt that their young lives as orphans and slaves had been enough and that harassment from thieves was too much. We paid for barbed wire to be installed by a Haitian worker around the compound, and we paid for him to take it down someday when the safe house – which is renting the space – moves to a new location, so that the safety of the barbed wire can go with them when they outgrow their current space.
In addition, we helped individuals in two very significant ways:
- We found out about a young man named Josh who was suffering from a heart condition in a hospital in Carrefour, just south of Port-au-Prince. This was the nephew of Josue Lajeunesse who we had helped int the past in his village through installing our Moto Logistics Program. Josue told us that this young man wasn’t able to pay his medical bill at the hospital, and as a result wasn’t able to leave. This was a problem because he as at an inferior hospital, and we wanted him moved to Bernard Mevs, in Port-au-Prince, one of the best hospitals in the country. One Hundred For Haiti paid for his medical bills in Carrefour so that the hospital would let him go and he was able to receive life-saving quality care at Bernard Mevs. You saved him.
- Finally and arguably MOST importantly. We heard about a young woman who was raped in Les Cayes. Her home life was completely unstable because her mother was out of work and she (who shall remain nameless for anonymity) was on the streets. The rape came as a result of her exposure on the streets. One Hundred For Haiti agreed to pay for immediate medical care for the girl as well as psychological counseling. In weeks that followed over the last month, we heard of two other cases as well. This is when we decided to take action.
What is coming in 2015?
We are hoping to work with a new consortium of organizations in Haiti to develop child sexual assault crisis prevention work in rural areas. We want to turn the tide and protect future victim/survivors from ever having to experience the primary instance of assault in the first place.
We will be building more water tanks with The Rural Water Project. This will save thousands and thousands of people from dying of cholera. This is really help, in real time, for real people who need it most.
All of this is possible with your help. The most important thing you can do is to spread the word: share this email with your friends and social networks. Like us on social media and read what we post. We are a small NGO. We do what we can, with what we have, when we have it: so your attention and focus goes a long way.
In terms of donations, we’d love to have you consider our recurring monthly donation option, where you can set paypal to donate anywhere from $1 to $100 a month on a regular basis. We’ve also set up employee matching programs so that your employer can match your generosity. If your company is interested in being involved, write us anytime through our contact page on the One Hundred For Haiti website.
We also partner with Amazon.com so that if you go to http://smile.amazon.com and set One Hundred For Haiti as your charity of choice, a small percentage of EVERYTHING you buy will go to us. It changes nothing about how the Amazon.com site works for you, but it helps us significantly, especially if enough people sign up to donate.
Thank you for your interest, your support, and your commitment: that’s why we are still here doing what we do. We said we would help in Haiti and we didn’t give up or forget, even after Haiti was out of the news. And we will continue to be here doing this work for years to come.
All the best,
Greg and One Hundred For Haiti
Phase 1 of our Rural Water Project with our partners Peacework Medical is complete. Phase 2 will be starting soon with a coordinated fundraising campaign!
We just received photos from Ranquitte Haiti, including this one of a little girl collecting CLEAN water from one of the cisterns that YOUR donations funded. She, along with thousands of her neighbors will never have to worry about cholera being in their water source again. The cisterns allow for cholera-infected water to be treated before it comes out of the tap, and as a result, thanks to medical monitoring by Peacework Medical, the number of deaths from cholera in the region has dropped to zero.
Spread the word about this success and let your friends know that in the next few months we will be coordinating the fundraising for Phase 2. We want to build ten more tanks like this one at least!
One Hundred For Haiti has been supporting the work being done by our friend and partner Morgan Weinberg at ‘Little Footprints, Big Steps’ in Les Cayes Haiti for the last few years, and this newest piece of news is an addition to that relationship which was possible entirely thanks to your support.
In January 2014, we visited the new rented safe house where Morgan has been living with the former slave boys, runaways, and orphans that she saves from the streets of Les Cayes Haiti. We heard Morgan mention that there was no barbed wire around the safe house, as there often is around houses and properties in Haiti. Morgan told us that people had been scaling the walls at night and stealing things from the compound and harassing or attacking the boys there. We were stunned…that these kids had been through so much and still their difficulties never seemed to end.
We asked Morgan if we could pay for barbed wire to be installed on top of the wall around the property. She said yes, but expressed concern about putting money into a rental property. We had an idea: what if we hired a Haitian worker to not only install the barbed wire, but also gave money so that the same worker could someday, when Morgan and the boys move out of the house, take down the barbed wire and more it to a new location? And thus this idea was born…it has now become reality.
This is the man we funded to put up and take down the barbed wire, and here are a few words from Little Footprints, Big Steps about him and what the process meant to him:
“The father of this family is the man we hired to put up barbed wire (all funded by One Hundred for Haiti). This was one of the only jobs he has had in months and significantly helped in him being able to send his children to school. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to afford his children’s education. He took us to visit his children and we wife; they were so grateful that we hired him. They really prioritized their children’s education and seem like great parents! We will definitely hire him when we remove & re-install the barbed wire!”
That’s a victory as far as we are concerned. And you made it happen. Thank you!