Haiti’s future rests in the hands of her most valuable resource—Children. Yet, the children of Haiti continue to bear the brunt of poverty and misery. One year after the earthquake, many children are roaming the streets of Port-au-Prince without proper homes, schools, and clean water.
Having grown up in Haiti with worms and exposed to waterborne diseases, I understand the acute dangers of living without clean water. I remember vividly the small worms that we had to remove by hand in the water buckets in our house. The frequent trips to the local clinic were a constant reminder that each sip of water was a risk and could be the last. As such, ensuring that the water source is safe, secure, and sustainable for my younger Haitian brothers and sisters has always been a personal and professional priority. International Action has granted me the opportunity to do just that.
In Haiti, one child out of every eight dies before the age of five of preventable diseases (such as diarrhea, typhoid, malaria) - the highest mortality rate among children in the Western Hemisphere. According to their respective reports, the World and Pan American Health Organizations ranked diarrhea as the second highest cause of death among children under the age of 5, accounting for 20% of deaths. The cholera outbreak, which has already killed more than 4,000 people, multiplied these figures and continues to put the lives of Haiti’s children at extreme risk.
To protect the lives of Haiti’s children, International Action is installing water tanks in schools throughout metropolitan Port-au-Prince and surrounding vicinity. We are currently providing clean water to 73 schools in the Cité Soleil area. Last month, we distributed 13 more 150-gallon water tanks to schools in Cité Soleil. Among the recipients –Ecole Mixte Frère en Jesus, Ecole Mixte des Vaillants, Ecole Mixte Evangelique de Secours, Collège Mixe Le Samaritain en Action. In total, we have 73 water tanks in schools in Haiti’s most impoverished and densely populated commune in Port-au-Prince. Our water tanks are providing clean water to 13,000 students in Cité Soleil.
Most schools in Haiti have no access to running water. Hence, lack of hygiene and sanitation has become a major problem for Haitian students. Many students fall sick regularly and are unable to attend classes. Consequently, they do not perform well at school. Our Campaign for Clean Water in schools is giving students the opportunity to get an education without fear of waterborne illnesses.
President John F. Kennedy once said that children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. In Haiti’s case, there is no doubt that her young people will lead her rebirth. Nearly half of the Haitian population is under 18 years old. The median age of the total population is 20.2. International Action is inviting you to join the Campaign for Clean Water for Haiti’s students and to be become equal partners in the belief that they are the best hope for the future. Consider making a donation to the children of Haiti today!
Wesley & the International Action Team
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