Over a month ago, a small US-based non-profit called Spirit of Haiti Project got in touch with LIFESAVER about their cause and how LIFESAVER might be able to help.
Spirit of Haiti Project (SHP) are based in New Jersey but work with Haitians in the rural Haitian city of Mizak to 'foster citizen-desired development that will enable them to thrive'. Their outreach work includes various aspects: health education, violence awareness and women’s empowerment seminars, mediation clinics, resource management, clean water justice, HIV/AIDS awareness, literacy workshops and sex education.
Mizak is a rural mountain town just north of Jacmel, Haiti. SHP serve a very large area and most travel is done via unmaintained hiking trials. Water is often stolen along route from those carrying it from the well, on what is for some a 4 mile trip. This experience can include physical abuse, which is a common occurrence for women and children with water collecting responsibilities.
Up until now, the community in Mizak has primarily used rain catching systems to obtain water or retrieve well water. There is only one well as the other was damaged during the earthquake, so the rain caught accounts for a good amount of the water supply. The problem is that the stagnant water the community uses becomes dangerous and is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and transmission of vector diseases. SHP also hope to do outreach work with pregnant and nursing mothers as a result of speaking to LIFESAVER.
One day a week, I also volunteer for a local charity that supports women and children who are fleeing domestic violence so Spirit of Haiti Project appealed to me on both a professional and personal level. With some donations, I had collected via the LIFESAVER Haiti Clean Water Appeal and the generosity of our online customers, I decided we should support this cause and enable the project to do much more outreach work and promote safe water collection for all those involved.
LIFESAVER shipped out a mixture of LIFESAVER Aid jerrycans and LIFESAVER bottles which arrived in the US earlier this week and will be in Haiti shortly, where the project's seminars will begin and the community will be introduced to our technology.
LIFESAVER hopes with this gift that more Haitian families can benefit from this technology and support women and girls, in particular, to feel empowered, valued and have time to go to school or earn a living.
We couldn't have gifted this technology to SHP without our online customers, so thank you very much for helping us celebrate this cause and for promoting International Women's Day.