International Action

International Action collaborates with partner groups and local communities in Haiti to build up local capacities in water resource management; raise the public's awareness of water-related health issues; advocate for water-related policies and development priorities that ensure equitable and affordable access to clean water for all; and support community-based water purification and distribution projects. We have also been involved with rural water projects in Honduras and China.
Apr 28, 2014

Education and Clean Water the Key to Prosper Haiti

Water Tank at school in Jacmel
Water Tank at school in Jacmel

One child out of every eight dies before the age of five of preventable diseases, such as diarrhea, typhoid, and malaria – the highest mortality rate among children in the Western Hemisphere. To make matters worse, most schools in Haiti have no access to clean water. Lack of hygiene and sanitation has become a major problem for Haitian students. They fall ill regularly and are unable to attend classes or fail to perform well.

International Action has made it its goal to stop this and keep children in school by providing clean water and allowing them to receive the education they deserve to build a prospering Haiti for the future. In the past, we have provided and installed water tanks in some of Haiti’s most impoverished and densely populated communities in the slum Cité Soleil. Out of over 194 schools that we have protected in the past, in 2011, we collaborated with the Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network member Architecture for Humanity to install the first clean water system for the Southeast water project at École La Dignité, a primary school in the town of Cayes-Jacmel. With our installation, the students now have safe, treated water to drink during the school day. They can also bring water from the tank home with them to protect their families and to quench their thirst at night. École La Dignité is headed by Mrs. Vivianne Vieux who says that the 2,000-gallon water tank means that her 227 students no longer will have to worry about waterborne illnesses.

Please help support education in Haiti with clean, safe water by making a donation.

Mar 27, 2014

Cost-effective Pills Saving Thousands of Lives

Boy getting de-worming pill
Boy getting de-worming pill

One of the most common afflictions affecting Haitians are intestinal worms that are acquired because of a lack of clean water and proper sanitation systems. Children are especially vulnerable to this. Some people may be familiar with seeing small children from developing countries with bloated bellies on their televisions. This is caused by intestinal worms that can take up to 20% of a child’s daily nutritional intake in their already malnourished diet. These worms also give children painful abdominal cramps and diarrhea that keep them at home and away from school. They don’t receive their proper education and perpetuates a cycle of poverty.

International Action has worked vigorously to fight this pattern and aid communities with both infected adults and children.

One tablet of Albendazole will rid the body of intestinal worms and prevent infection for up to six months. Together with our ongoing and expanding water sanitation projects, this medicine helps to ensure a healthy, productive, and thriving Haiti. Over the past five years we have been able to distribute almost 1.5 million tablets to Haitians that has contributed to countless of adults being able to go back to work and children going to school. In 2013 alone we were able to provide close to 300,000 pills to over a dozen schools, public facilities, and organizations.

In the last couple of months we have worked to distribute nearly 8,000 tablets to two local schools and various Haitian groups, such as the Haitian Technicians Union, that have realized the importance of ridding intestinal worms. Earlier this year we gave tablets to GOALS Haiti, a youth soccer program for kids in Haiti, who were able to deworm 401 children in Leogane. We also donated 1,000 albendazole pills to Mission Starfish, a group focused on the children of Haiti, who were struggling to find the much-needed medicine. One volunteer, Judith Knickerbocker, expressed her relief in an email:

“We ran out of medicines at our clinic…So many people needed de-worming medicine and I had none…. I found International Action and they were able to supply me with the medicine we needed. Thanks to them I was able to give everyone the medicine…!”

These cost-efficient pills are able to make a huge impact on peoples’ lives. We thank you for your continued support.

Mar 6, 2014

The Fight to End Cholera

Technician checking chlorine level
Technician checking chlorine level

For the past four years, Haiti has been trapped in a horrible cholera epidemic, one that has been labeled the worst cholera epidemic in recent history. This epidemic has already claimed around 8,300 lives and has infected hundreds of thousands more. But, how did this all start? Cholera is spread through infected human waste; in this case, it started with waste from a UN Peacekeeping camp that entered the water supply. When this happened, anyone who came into contact with the water supply was at risk of contracting cholera. All of this is exacerbated in a country like Haiti where public hygiene, sanitation, waste management, and proper sewage disposal are almost nonexistent. This disease spreads exceptionally fast and can kill within hours if not diagnosed. Because of this, it is extremely difficult to contain and remains a huge threat to Haitians.

However, there are things that can be done to try to contain the spread of cholera. The most important action to take is to ensure that the water supply is clean and kept separate from any human waste. With these objectives in mind, International Action is committed to preventing the spread of cholera by providing clean water to the people of Haiti. We do this by using cheap, sustainable, and effective chlorinators to decontaminate the water so that people may drink it without fear of becoming infected. These chlorinators are long term solutions that we are hoping to make even more sustainable by creating a system that allows the maintenance of these chlorinators to be community led. Already, we have brought clean water to over 300,000 Haitians who are now able to go to school or work on a regular basis because they are not constantly ill. It is our hope that by bringing an uncontaminated water supply to Haiti, we can help eradicate cholera in that area.

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