I first came to Haiti with Project Hope a year before the earthquake and knew I would be back. After retiring from nursing, I looked for a place in Haiti to volunteer with and came across a young Haitian American's mission, Mission Starfish Haiti.
This past July we finished an installation in a small town of Fabias in Saint Marc. We were contacted by a local church in Hagerstown, MD to help bring clean water to a school that they sponsor in Fabias. We were inclined to help because this was near the area where the chlorea outbreak first appeared. We made a site visit to access how we could help them and we went back and did an installation of a 2,000 gallons reservoir and chlorinator which are fully functional. Water from the well is pumped up twice a day to fill the reservoir.
In the last couple of months we have made great progress in advancing our mission to de-worm Haiti. Much of Haiti’s population is infected with intestinal worms that can take almost 20% of a person’s daily nutritional intake. This is especially damaging to children who then suffer from malnutrition and even risk death, despite already struggling to be fed.
Jeffery Sejour, Associate Director, being interviewed on CNN
Last month, International Action Director, Jeffery Sejour, had a very successful trip to visit our operations in Haiti. Not only was he able to oversee a brand new clean water project but was also able to contribute to a very special CNN report on the continuous clean water and cholera crisis in Haiti.
Every year Haiti’s rainy season brings a new wave of challenges to Haiti. Here, rain means days spent inside, rain boots, and avoiding getting splashed by cars while walking down the street; in Haiti, the rainy season is far more than a nuisance, it is devastating. The rainy season brings a fresh wave of cholera and other diseases as well as the constant threat of flooding.
World Water Day (Saturday, March 22nd) is almost here! This week, International Action will be remembering the hundreds of millions worldwide who struggle each day to survive without one of the most basic of life necessities - clean water. Using the momentum of this important day, we ask that you please support World Water Day and International Action’s vision of universal access to clean, life-saving water.
International Women’s Day is this week and with this in mind it is important to remember what great things can happen from empowering girls. The majority of people in Haiti don’t have access to clean drinking water. The water that they have access to is potentially incredibly dangerous. What this means is that instead of being in school, many young girls are at home, sick. We are trying to bring a safer, brighter future to Haitian girls in more ways than one. Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries with many people live on less than $2 a day.
Jean is 12 years old. His story is a resonating one, which offers hope and shows how chlorine is so instrumental in improving health in Haiti. Jean lives with his 7 brothers and sisters and his father, who is slowly going blind.
“Heroes of the Sun” is a film in the making by award-winning filmmaker and producer, Fabienne Lips-Dumas. She travels into the heart of Haiti’s biggest slum Cité Soleil, where life is plagued by poverty and violence. Featured in the film are International Action and other non-profit groups. The documentary tells a story of promise and light capturing the resilience, pride and solidarity of Haitians in the midst of their struggle to survive.
The communities we work with are teeming with excitement as the chlorine distribution center comes closer to completion. Gaining access to safe water saves people’s lives. It also empowers them if they have the power and responsibility to maintain their clean water supply themselves.
The solar panels at St. Laurent. These panels power the solar pump.
We have found an affordable solar pump system that works with our chlorinators. This is a way for us to bring clean water to communities without access to electricity or gravity-fed pipe systems. It will cost $25,000 to install the next nine solar pumps and chlorinators, which will be in the Artibonite region.
We are creating the Chlorine Distribution System because we cannot forget the 900,000 Haitians that already have chlorinators -- the devices do not maintain themselves. Haitian neighborhoods that have a chlorinator want to ensure that they will be able to use their chlorinators indefinitely. The Chlorine Distribution System will provide this assurance.
Sadly, one third of the children in Haiti have Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD). VAD diminishes the immune system’s ability to fight infections, contributes to maternal mortality, and if severe enough, can cause permanent blindness. Next week, we are transporting enough vitamin A to help over 21,000 Haitian children.
Saturday January 12th, 2013 marked the third year anniversary since Haiti was victim to a catastrophic earthquake. We ask that you please take a moment and remember the people that lost their lives and those that were affected by the tragic event.