I just got home from Haiti on Saturday, the second trip in one month. I am encouraged by all of the things happening right now. I visited all of our Haitian partners and all of the communities: Baissin Camain, St. Martin, and Plain Matin. In Baissin Caiman, there are 18 baby goats to distribute to new families. The fourth composting toilet has been installed, and the first three are working well! The program has expanded to St. Martin.

Last June, a committee from St. Martin came to Baissin Caiman to take part in a workshop on composting toilets, led by Jilsen and Onis, the head of the committee in Bassin Caiman. After learning about this approach to sanitation, they toured the working toilets, and said this is what they need in St. Martin. On this last visit, I sat down with the St. Martin committee to initiate the education component before beginning construction on the first composting toilet.

Education is important when introducing new ideas and technologies! The people who serve on the committees understand they are ultimately responsible for the success of a new project. They chose a site outside of the church courtyard so the new toilet would be perceived as a community toilet, yet would also ensure adequate supervision to keep it clean.

I have had multiple people confirm that Baissin Caiman wants to pursue a community corn grinder business. The success of the bread oven—it has been operating for the last six years as a self-sustaining business–has prompted them to explain how a corn grinder would benefit many people in the village. Right now, the ladies have a four-hour walk with their sack of corn to the nearest place to grind their corn, and then a four-hour walk home. Sometimes, the grinder is so busy, they cannot get their load finished in one day so they have to return another day to pick up their ground corn!

There are many more stories to tell. Needless to say, God is on the move in Haiti, and we are privileged to be a part of what he is doing. I have four more trips to Haiti planned for the year, and I am excited to keep the momentum going for the communities and people we have come to know and love.

In his grace,
Jeff VanderMolen
Haiti H2O
Trip Coordinator