Where there is water....there is life!
New Strategic Approach
Deep Springs International spent the first few months of 2014 developing a new strategic direction in Leogane. We were thrilled to see that in March, the first month of fully implementing this new approach, that we had the best month in a year and a half. The new strategy includes new promotion methods, new agents, and a new credit system.
New Promotion Method: The biggest change in methodology was the suspension of household visits. Traditionally, this has been our primary method of reaching families in need of health education, water-purification products, and encouragement to consistently and properly treat their drinking water. However, in Leogane, for various reasons, this method was decreasing in effectiveness.
The new method involves community meetings instead of household visits. This approach is more cost-effective, but it seems to also be more effective in terms of education and behavior modification – as families who attend receive a lot of “positive peer pressure” from their friends and neighbors who share openly why they sacrifice their pennies (gourdes) to treat their water, and the health benefits they have seen.
Transitioning away from household visits has also led to our sales agents now working strictly on a commission basis. Agents always received a margin for sales of chlorine, but those who conducted household visits used to receive additional compensation. The new approach based solely on commission places even greater incentives on chlorine sales, which is our key indicator for both health impact and financial sustainability.
New Agents: Much of our efforts in January and February focused on recruiting and training new sales agents. We have recruited and trained over 40 new sales agents in 2014. In addition to an almost all-new sales team, the new method encourages sales via a variety of retail outlets such as pharmacies, boutiques, and schools. We even have sales points in previously unreached areas in the neighboring commune of Grand Goave.
New Credit System. We also launched a system of providing chlorine to new sales agents on credit. 28 new agents have paid for their initial stock and purchased more. The current sales numbers only include chlorine that has been paid for, which doesn’t account for an additional 1,000 bottles of chlorine that have been provided on credit. We expect to receive payment for most of those bottles this month, which would make May another high-sales month similar to March, which was our highest-selling month in at least a year and a half.
Annual Campaign Launched Lead Gift of $239,000 pledged! Soon after launching our 2013 Campaign in late May, we got the very exciting news that an international organization has committed to a $239,000 project. This was more than double the $100,000 that we had planned for the top campaign donation - and really propels us quickly towards our goal of $650,000!
If you or your company or organization have not yet had time to respond, please contact us at your earliest convenience. To discuss campaign options (including PR options for organizations), please contact Development Director Steve Bostian at 828.773.7242. Make an online donation with option of monthly or quarterly gifts or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy of the pledge form and pledge reminder emailed to you.
Water Economy Network selects Deep Springs as official Global Partner
The Water Economy Network – WEN - is a new Western PA regional organization that helps water sector stakeholders access water-sector business opportunities, encourages start-up company formation through innovative technology development and deployment, and attracts both national and international water related industry to the region. As WEN developed, they realized that their impact can be more than just regional. As they bring water industries to Western PA, they will have a national influence. But extending even further, WEN can use its expertise and resources to have a global impact. Recently they selected Deep Springs International because it is an organization birthed out of Grove City College which has strong connections with Pittsburgh and the region. By having an official Global Partner, WEN can help Network Members also develop Corporate Social Responsibility programs that include global impact. We are excited about this new opportunity and look forward to working with the companies of the Water Economy Network!
Did You Know....? HAITI FACTMore than 10% of Haitian children die before the age of 5.WATER FACTHalf of the world's hospital beds are occupied with people with an easily preventable waterborne disease; such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery. (foodandwaterwatch.org) National Leadership Conference a Success
From May 9 to 10, the leaders of Deep Springs convened in Leogane for two days of training, planning and strategizing. Leaders came from all corners of Haiti: Jolivert, Leogane, Milot, Plaine du Nord and Fonds Verrettes. Some of the activities and topics included: a review of last year's achievements, new innnovations, monitoring methods, sales management techniques, review of recent research, and options for new products. Goal-setting was done at the national, regional, and personal levels, using a new methodology. The staff was excited to learn that one of their own (Madame Eveline) will be receiving the coveted Gangarosa Sustainability Award. The team in Haiti is very committed to improving health nationwide through production and distribution of the local Gadyen Dlo brand chlorine and our Buckets of Life . It was very exciting to hear them express their desire to see every family in their country helped through proper water treatment!
The Buckets are Here!
We are so excited to be launching our new program, Buckets of Life! At just $34, this is a simple and affordable way for individuals, families, and even groups like classes, scout troops, etc. to help struggling families with water purification systems they need to improve their health. So start saving those pennies... because it only cost 3 cents a day to provide safe water for a family!!!
We are continuing our efforts to provide clean water for 900,000 rural Haitians families who are without
Some recent accomplishments include:
The recent celebration of Earth Day was an opportunity to bring the importance of abundant, potable water center stage. Most people believe that pollution is the main source of concern, but in fact, in countries like Haiti, deforestation has the most devastating impact. Most rural Haitians still cut trees to produce charcoal for cooking, the primary cause of deforestation in the past 50 years.
Our primary focus in Haiti is to make sure families & individuals have access to clean, safe water, but we also collaborate with other initiatives to educate Haitians on the importance of trees and their impact on rainfall, vegetation and topsoil.
Deeps Springs is supportive of all reforestation projects in Haiti, recognizing this as a key step in helping Haitians stabilize their water sources.
Health Agents Excelling in Haiti
Our supervisors in Northern Haiti recently met with the 21 Health Agents in the Plaine du Nord region. These Agents work jointly for Deep Springs and the Haitian Ministry of Health. To the supervisors’ delight, they learned that these Health Agents are so motivated to help save lives and improve health that they have been going the extra mile.
They have been holding community meetings with families they are not required to visit as part of their Ministry of Health responsibilities. It is this personal commitment that will enable us to reach all 900,000 families who lack clean water in rural Haiti. The demand is so great that the Agents recently ran out of our bucket systems!
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