Yesterday’s visit to Clean Water for Haitii (cleanwaterforhaiti.org) made for a rewarding day of learning, friendship and imagination. Chris Rolling, director of Clean Water, and his wife Leslie were gracious hosts and powerful teachers. They shared with me and the 3 Water=Life advisors the history of the agency, how the bio-sand filter works, its structure for development of projects in communities and how Clean Water works with community leaders and promoters. W=L advisors were asking questions left and right: of particular value to us during our 2 hours visit is Clean Water’s follow-up procedure for what Chris and Leslie call “adoption” of the filter system. Later today, Marie Estelle, Jimmy, Wadson and I will review our best practices follow-up procedure: the questionnaire, the schedule for home visits, and filing system.
Today, the team goes to the Successful New Language Institute in Kenscoff (about 30 mins from the guest house) to distribute the Sawyer filter system in Part 2 of our training. We were at the Institute on Monday all day working with 2 groups: church representatives in the morning, Institute students in the afternoon a total of 35 family representatives. Potential “owners” or stewards of the system paid attention and asked many good questions. Essential in the training/orientation is a groups discussion about the value of the filter system and the value to families in having the system. Each separate group decided what they would contribute to bring potable, or what Haitians call “pure” water, into the home. The amount is small: 20 goude or about 55 cents. This is a significant amount for many families and tells of the poverty of the people. They will decide where they want their contribution to be put to good use on behalf of their community.
After distributing filters to these folks who have chosen to make a contribution, the team will guide recipients on assembling their filter system including putting a spigot into a second bucket for clean water. With attention and interest already at work, this section will go quickly and well since participants will work in small groups to encourage and support one another. It’s rewarding to see young and old work together, to laugh at their mistakes and to find that “with a little from a friend” their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment starts to shine.
After a simple lunch of ham sandwiches, we’ll go up to Colbass District to meet with Marie Estelle’s congregation for Part 2 of training - mostly women many of whom are young mothers with babies at the breast. We’re looking forward to a good day. More to share tomorrow.