Clean Water for Grande Saline
The families who live in the remote area of Grande Saline, Haiti have very few resources and lack even the most basic necessities, including access to clean water. At this time, residents of Grande Saline obtain their water from the local river which is contaminated by waste and garbage. Clean water will help to prevent a host of diseases that are caused or exacerbated by ingestion of dirty and contaminated water.
This project seeks to bring clean water to the entire community by delivering and setting up a Pall Aria AX1 water treatment/filtration system that can provide up to 30,000 gallons of clean water each day. This project was made possible be an incredibly generous donation of equipment, engineering time, and funds from the Pall Corporation. The equipment has been delivered to Grande Saline (thank you Geodis!) and the system is now up and running in Grande Saline. At this time the water system is providing the people of Grande Saline with over 10,000 gallons of clean water each week. We estimate that we serve about 800 families.
Please see the Health for Haiti Blog for updates and pictures.
BDDP: Bridge to Haiti is a unique collaboration between SUNY Broome Health for Haiti and Bridging the Digital Divide (BDDP). BDDP is the result of SUNY Broome and Binghamton University partnership that strives to increase access to technology. The goal of the Bridge to Haiti project is to set up solar powered computer labs and provide basic computer literacy training for children and young adults in Haiti.
Through donations of new and used laptop computers from Geodis Wilson, Pall, and SUNY Broome, we have started several pilot computer projects in Haiti. The computers are refurbished by BDDP volunteers led by Jack Rappaport. The current computer centers are in Grande Saline, Cite Soleil, Home of Destiny Orphanage, La Feve School and Amazing Grace Academy. Computer literacy training documents created by BDDP staff are being translated into Haitian Creole by Haitian students and will be used by Haitian teachers to offer basic computer training. Lesson have also been created by students from George F. Johnson Elementary School in Endicott and by SUNY Broome Business students.
The computer lab in Grande Saline currently consists of about 200 children working on twenty computers powered by solar power. There are about 45 young adults taking lessons at the computer center in Grande Saline.
The computer lab in Cite Soleil has thirty computers and serves about 200 children. The computer classes are now part of the graded curriculum for the school children. The computer lab is also available for young adults from the community in the afternoons.
Bridge to Haiti is also partnering with local elementary and middle schools to create a learning community that will allow children in the United States and children in Haiti to share information and learn from each other. Children from George F. Johnson School in Endicott, NY have purchased digital cameras for the children in Grande Saline so that they can participate in an exchange of PowerPoint “lessons” where they will share information about their lives.
Future project needs include creation of additional training materials, certificates of achievement for children who have completed training levels, support for teachers ($150/month), support for Internet service (~$80/month), solar power equipment for Cite Soleil..
To learn more about the Bridge to Haiti project, please click here to visit the BDDP website.
Health Clinics and Education
SUNY Broome Health for Haiti students work with Haitian doctor, Dr. Robinson, to provide free medical services in rural and urban areas in Haiti. Students also provide education on personal hygiene, oral health, nutrition, malnutrition, cholera, clean water, sanitation and reproductive health and safety. In January 2016 Health for Haiti brought a dentist (thank you Dr. Tom Bucker!) and five dental hygiene students to Haiti. The team worked with Professor Hankin to provide critical dental services for rural and urban communities in Haiti.
New Classrooms in Grande Saline
SUNY Broome Health for Haiti supported the construction of two classrooms behind the church in Grande Saline. The classrooms, together with the church, will provide a space for nearly 200 children to attend school and take computer classes. The 2016 Health for Haiti students used the new classrooms to provide educational lessons and arts activities for the children of Grande Saline.
Solar Power Installations
Working with Dr.Gay Canough of ETM Solar Works in Endicott, New York, Health for Haiti has completed two solar installations in Grande Saline, Haiti. The solar installations support the school and computer center, which serves nearly 200 children. We installed 4 solar panels on the roof of the church in 2015 and two additional panels on the new school in 2016. Thanks to Dr. Gay and to ETM for bringing power to the people! We hope to complete a much larger solar installation to power the water filtration system in late 2016.
Hand Washing Station
The availability of clean water has made it possible to create a station for the children in Grande Saline to wash their hands. Hand washing can prevent the spread of deadly respiratory and diarrheal diseases that are the leading cause of death for children in the developing world. Health for Haiti students worked with Dr. Bill Hollister and Lafaille Schneider to build this tippy-tap. The tippy-tap is operated by a foot lever and allows the user to wash their hands with less than 40 milliliters of water and by only touching the soap. The Health for Haiti students also provided lessons about proper hand washing techniques and how to stay health by avoiding germs.
New Bathroom in Grande Saline
In late 2015/early 2016 Health for Haiti also supported the construction of a 4 toilet bathroom in Grand Saline. The bathroom is located near the new school and the tippy-tap. Health for Haiti students painted the new bathroom and provided an education program about hygiene and good sanitation. Access to a bathroom is important for both human health and dignity, and will provide the community members with some privacy while using the toilet. Bathroom facilities provide and alternative to open defecation can reduce the spread of diarrheal diseases.
School Scholarships in Grande Saline
There are many children in Grande Saline who’s families cannot afford to send them to school. This is especially true of single parent families. It costs about $70 a year to pay school tuition for primary school and to provide the child with a uniform, socks and shoes. A scholarship benefits the child who can attend school and helps to support the local school and teachers.
Community Garden/School Lunch Program for Grande Saline
The children who attend school in Grande Saline do not have adequate access to good food. Health for Haiti has supported the creation of a community garden that will be used to grow healthy food that can provide a school lunch for the children.
Thanks to donations from Health for Haiti supporters, we have rented a large piece of land, purchased some tools and irrigation equipment, and hired some local farmers to assist with clearing and planting the land. As of August 2016 the community has harvested 504 pounds of beans and over 500 pounds of corn from the garden. We are now growing our first crop of rice in the garden. The garden has also produced a lot of melons, peppers and pumpkins! The produce from the garden is now part of the school lunch.
Adopt a Miracle Initiative: The Mighty Moringa Tree
The mighty moringa tree grows well in Haiti and is incredibly nutritious. Almost every part of the tree can be consumed. It contains protein, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin A and has also been reported to have multiple medicinal uses. Health for Haiti, in partnership with Biology professor Diane Kelly, is working to plant moringa trees in Haiti and educate communities on the many uses of the tree. It is our hope that the moringa tree may help to address the chronic malnutrition that exists in Haiti.
Sewing School in Grande Saline
In August 2016 the Centre Couture de Rossignol (CCR) opened in Grande Saline. CCR has two experienced sewing teachers and, according to the plan made by a CCR committee in Grande Saline, will consist of three classes of students. Each class will meet three days a week for about an hour and a half each day. The students must complete four six-month sessions in order to graduate from the program. Participants will pay a small monthly fee that will help to support some of the school expenses. The sewing machines are powered by solar power.
ProjectP is a Health for Haiti initiative developed by SUNY Broome Art of Science and Health for Haiti students during the fall 2016 semester. ProjectP provides women and girls with accurate education about their reproductive health and a hands-on workshop where they learned to make reusable sanitary pads. Over 100 women and girls in Haiti participated in ProjectP in January 2017. Each participant made a pad and also received a take-home kit with a bar of soap and supplies to make a second reusable pad. Local sewing groups tested the template pattern, donated material and supplies, and even made pads that we were able to share with the younger girls at the orphanages. We were able to give each of the younger girls one or two pre-made pads and a pair of underwear in their kits. Most girls (especially the ones at the orphanages) knew nothing about their anatomy or their period. They are often frightened and ashamed when they begin menstruating. ProjectP empowered women and girls by providing accurate information and confidence in their bodies. The reusable pads will give girls the freedom to stay in school even while they are menstruating. For more information, please visit www.projectp.org.