Three Things We’ve Learned by Helping Thousands of Families Access Clean Drinking Water in Haiti

Through our blog, we’re bringing you stories from the field that amplify the voices of our Haitian staff members and highlight the work they’re able accomplish on the ground with your support. Below are the reflections of Stanley Liste, our Infrastructure Program Coordinator.

Dear Friends of Hope for Haiti: 

Through Hope for Haiti’s Infrastructure Program, I distribute Sawyer Water Water Filtration Systems, and train Haitian families on efficient and safe ways to access clean drinking water. Last year alone, we distributed nearly 2,800 systems, which now provide clean water to over 13,500 people. I am pleased to write to you today to share with you three things I have learned while partnering with communities in southern Haiti:

  1. Treat people with respect. Respect is at the heart of my work with new communities.  The reality is that while all Haitian communities are similar, we may have different dialects, customs, and traditions. We have to understand and respect these before we’re able to integrate into the community. One of the most important things I do in my community trainings is speak to people in a respectful way, especially when I’m teaching them how to use Sawyer Filters for the first time. Our partner communities are thankful for this, and always welcome me back with stories of how a small filter can change their lives. 
  2. Communication and Customization are Keys to Success. Different communities require different motivational intervention strategies. No two communities operate the same, and they all have different local political and administrative authorities. I’ve had to learn to become a better communicator so that we can customize our trainings and programs to best fit each of our partner communities for successful outcomes.
  3. Small Changes Can Make a Large Impact Over Time. There is no single and immediate solution for the numerous challenges in Haiti, but small changes can make a huge impact. Just like planting seedlings today means fresh food in the future, training families on the use of Sawyer Water Filtration System means clean and safe drinking water for years to come. I’ve had hundreds of parents approach me to say that the filters have made their families healthier, and that makes me proud that we’ve done our job. 

    Through the support of our donors we’re able to make positive changes that improve and save lives in our partner communities. I am proud to be part of a staff that works to better the health and the education of the Haitian people, especially children. 

Stanley Liste (Infrastructure Program Coordinator) 

You can make an immediate difference with a recurring gift! A small gift of $20 a month will provide one family with a Sawyer Water Filtration System.