First off, we want to thank everyone who attended the Loving Haiti fundraiser last night in Corvallis. It was definitely a group effort and we thank everyone who contributed to make it a success. We could not run Loving Haiti without the help of awesome friends and family…so THANK YOU!
It’s time to start raising money for the new WELL! While we were in Haiti, Denny met with an employee from a organization called Haiti Outreach. Haiti Outreach is run by an American man who has lived in Haiti for many years and they just happen to drill wells. What’s even cooler is that the company resides in Pignon, just a few miles away from Pastor’s compound.
FYI: NEARLY ONE BILLION PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT CLEAN DRINKING WATER!
You may be asking, how are the people sponsored through Loving Haiti getting water NOW?
Good question 🙂
Actually, there IS an existing well at the compound. However, it only produces about 1/10th of the water that the compound needs to function well. And, the generator that pumps the water from that well just broke a few weeks ago and is too expensive to fix. Because the generator just broke, Pastor has had to pay people to go down to a different well in the town and pump water(which only certain kids in the compound are allowed to do because it isn’t exactly safe). So really, the timing couldn’t be better to get the compound a new well.
The small volume of water produced (from a well that is now not functioning) means that there is only enough water to bathe the kids once a week. ONE TIME every week. If you consider your living situation in a clean house with clean sheets and clean clothes and air conditioning you might not think one time a week isn’t so bad. But jump out of your home and travel down to Pignon, where the temps hover around 100degrees and the humidity is all consuming. A place where you sweat all day long and you play in the DIRT, not grass. A place where there is no trash system so the streets are covered in garbage and where people often urinate wherever they want. A place where it’s HARD to feel clean. Now, think about what your body might look like only getting to bathe once a week.
Think of that huge cut you just got on your leg because you just fell down on that uneven rocky dirt path on the way home from school. You were lucky to find a band-aid to try and cover it up but remember it’s so stinking hot and humid that your band aid lasts all but 10 minutes. Now take that cut outside with you when you walk down the long dirt road into town to buy some rice for dinner. That cut is now starting to look infected, but it can’t be washed for 5 more days because you already had your bath for the week. Some dirt gets rubbed into it when you are carrying the big bag of rice home but the dirt happened to carry some nasty bacteria that is making your cut way worse. Even though it’s hot, you try and find a clean pair of pants to wear when you get home to try and protect your cut. But wait, remember there are no clean clothes because laundry day is 5 days away and the small amount of clothes you do have, are dirty. So now your cut is oozing like crazy which is just what those 5 ants were looking for that are now crawling up your leg and will eventually hang out in their new home. Just imagine with me how infected your cut will become in the next five days and how eventually it will become so infected it will be hard to walk, play, or sleep. (Yes, I saw and treated MANY kids with burns and cuts that were extremely infected with ants all over them, that took MANY MANY MANY days to heal.)
That didn’t get you? Okay, let’s try this. Imagine eating the same food almost every single day. No going out to eat, no gourmet kitchen to cook with, no getting to play chef with surprise ingredients, no going to the grocery store to pick out food. Literally, you eat the same food nearly everyday. Now imagine what might happen if you had a garden? Oh wait, you can’t have a garden because you have no water to water the plants. Remember that the little water you do have, you need to save for drinking water. But wait, what’s that?,you just found out you’re getting a WELL that produces 9/10 more water than the one you have. What’s that you say? Now I can have a garden? Now I can grow my OWN food? Now I can grow vegetables?! Now I can teach my kids how to garden and we can make our home more sustainable? Now we can eat more nutritious food? Wow. Maybe we can even grow enough stuff to sell at the market? (Pastor has a great spot for a garden and many kids who are eager to learn how to garden but they don’t have the water to do so.)
Okay, last one. If this doesn’t work you must have no idea what the word “water” even means. Imagine being 8 years old and peeing your bed. Better yet, imagine being 10 years old an peeing your bed. Wait, you say, 10 years old? Stop exaggerating. But wait, remember how when you were 4 years old your mom couldn’t afford to pay rent so your landlord locked you and your mom and your sister in your house when you were sleeping, poured gasoline on the roof, and lit the roof on fire. YES, I said LIT THE ROOF ON FIRE. Luckily, somehow, you managed to escape but your sister is so severely burned and your mom is so poor that she drops you off at an orphanage and sends your sister to a different orphanage where they can better care for her wounds. Suddenly, you are in a new place, without your mom, without your sister, and scarred by that terrible, terrible night. Yep, you’re 10 now but that memory is forever scarred into your brain, your body, your emotions. Sometimes you have nightmares and wet yourself. And instead of your mom running in the room to hold you, clean you up and change your sheets for you. You are surrounded by other kids who are also peeing their beds because something just as painful happened to them before their caretakers dropped them off at the orphanage. Since you’re sleeping in the same clothes you went to bed in (because you dont have enough clothes to wear because there is not enough water to wash all the clothes) you try and fall back asleep in your urine soaked clothes. When you awaken the next morning you go out and play but now your mattress is filthy from the urine, your clothes are filthy, and you start to smell. You wish your sheets could get washed but you won’t have enough water for 5 days. You wish you could change your clothes but there are no clean clothes to wear. Finally, you wish you could bathe yourself but you remember washing day isn’t for 5 more days. (Yes, there is a boy in the orphanage who lived through the tragedy of his landlord lighting his roof on fire -his sister lives at an orphanage down the street. And yes, kids of all ages at the orphanage pee their beds.)
As you can hopefully imagine, there are MANY reasons these kids need a new well.
The things they could do with a new well seem to be endless: From sanitation to hydration to food production.
Please come alongside Loving Haiti in supporting the many people affected by the lack of water in Francois’ compound and help us drill a well!
How much will this cost?
Well, here we go: $20,281
I know that’s a ton of money, but here’s why:
1. That’s what the quote said 🙂
2. This pays for: Drilling, Water tank, Pipes, and Enough solar panels to operate a solar pump( so that they don’t have to use a generator, which also requires gasoline).
3. As with all projects through Loving Haiti, we want to support and create a sustainable community, which is why we want the pump operated by solar panels instead of a generator)
4. We want to drill through Haiti Outreach because they have a great organization, are supporting Haiti’s economy, and drill great wells!
Consider what it would be like living with very little water.
Consider what it’s like for all those sweet kids living at Francois’ compound.
Thank you so much!
(If you decide to give through “Just Give” remember to type -Haiti Well Project- where it says “Designate your donation.”)