Today, March 15, 2023, is a significant day for the Health for Haiti team. March 15, 2015 was the first day that our water filtration system, donated by the Pall Corporation in Cortland, New York, started filtering and cleaning water from the Artibonite River, making it safe to drink. Now, eight years later, we are grateful for the many donors, supporters, and partners in Haiti who have made safe drinking water and better health a priority for our community partners in Grande Saline.
The past eight years have been filled with success but also many challenges. Through it all, the team has persevered. Even though we still cannot run our Health for Haiti class and take students to Haiti, SUNY Broome students and staff have found ways to continue to partner with our neighbors in Grande Saline. For our friends in Haiti, simple daily life is more of a struggle than ever. But even though everything is more difficult, hope, patience, and optimism remain.
While we wish we could also recognize this day by announcing the completion of our “Solar for Water” project, we must instead mark the occasion by appreciating the incredible progress we have made so far. Conditions in Haiti continue to deteriorate and this project has faced many obstacles. Banks are often unsafe to visit. Roads between Port au Prince and Grande Saline are controlled by dangerous armed gangs, and movement of people and equipment is incredibly difficult. Safety of our team is paramount, and we are proceeding with care and caution. But we are proceeding and progress is being made.
We look forward to sharing an update when the project is complete, but given the circumstances in Haiti, we thought it was important to share some images of our progress so far. We also want to thank our partners in Haiti for bravely facing danger and the many sacrifices they have made to move this project forward. This project has been in the works for many years, and although it is not quite complete yet, we want to take this special day to recognize the remarkable support we have have received from donors and the tireless and heroic efforts of our partners on the ground in Haiti.
As we celebrate eight years of clean water and better health for our friends in Haiti, we also remain hopeful about what we can accomplish next if we continue to work together.
“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”Vaclav Havel