New Year, New Opportunities
In 2018, our Partner Community constructed the first 15 latrines of Phase 2 of the Latrine Initiative with the help of the monthly giving of our C2C Neighbors and Global Giving’s philanthropic investors. Now there are a total of 85 families, who’ve built their own latrines, within the community that have access to proper sanitation on a daily basis. The community has 55 more latrines to construct in order to complete Phase 2 of the initiative, establishing a total of 140 latrines for 140 families.
I was fortunate to be one of six C2C Team Members to travel to Haïti during our July 2018 Partner Community Visit (PCV) to see in real time, where the contributions of our C2C Neighbors, including myself, are going to ensure our Partner Community achieves proper and sustainable health and sanitation. I witnessed one of the 15 latrines in its first phase of construction and got to meet the family chosen by ODCP, the Peasant Association who represents the community, to receive one of the latrines.
As I listened to a father and mother share the importance and need for a latrine for their family of five, I began to understand the impact our collective investments are making, to ensure their family’s health, but the entire community’s health as well. During our conversations with the Peasant Association, we learned the community had not only been dealing with Cholera but cases of Typhoid, due to lack of latrines and proper disposal of waste. Families were forced to remove their waste by digging holes and burying it near their living quarters or bagging and dumping waste in the canal water near their homes that they use for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and more.
With Phase 1, the first 70 latrines, complete and Phase 2, another 70 latrines, underway, ODCP reported a significant decrease in Typhoid within the community and zero instances of Cholera. The first 70 families are sharing their latrines with other families in the community, who have the ability, and are on the waiting list for the materials, to construct their own latrine to ensure proper disposal of waste continues to keep their community clean and healthy.
During our December 2018 Year End PCV, we held a community-driven meeting where we learned from the Peasant Association and community members that since beginning the Latrine Initiative, their status of ‘no instances of cholera’ has continued. When asked about the status of her latrine, one woman whose family received materials to construct their latrine said, “Before it was difficult for us as a family of seven to use our old plastic latrine (an old porta-potty). With this latrine that my husband and I have built, a burden has been lifted. This latrine is good for our health.”`
The overall community’s health has significantly improved with the growing number of latrines for families. There has been a particular increase in children’s health, which is leading to more opportunities for them to thrive in school. Thus, the community and Peasant Association proposed a new initiative, a trade school. Although education is critical, learning a trade to get work once the children finish school, is even more beneficial. They want to provide both opportunities for their children. The trade school would focus on plumbing, electrical work, sewing, landscaping, and ceramics.
This suggestion could not have come about if the community did not have their health in order. By addressing the first immediate need, health, and sanitation, the possibilities are limitless on what they can do because they are healthy enough to do it themselves. That is why completing the next 55 latrines this year is crucial. Our goal is to raise the next $12,000 for another 15 latrines by July 2019.
The philanthropic investment in latrines today, by our C2C Neighbors and other partners, makes economic development and healthy, self-sufficient individuals and communities possible this year.