Children helping to bring tank lid to their school
Back to School! For students starting the new school year at Collège Chrétien Emmanuel, Ecole Nationale de Thozin, and Collège Vision Moderne, back to school supplies include… paper? (check)… pencils? (check)… uniform? (check)… and clean water? CHECK! In July of this year we installed clean water systems at these three schools, ensuring the 2,193 students would have access to clean, safe water for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.
Can you imagine having to include clean water on your school supply check list? Many Haitian students cannot check off clean water as something they have to begin the school year. 16% of all children-under-five deaths in Haiti are caused by waterborne disease, according to the UN Special Task Force to Haiti. This must be improved. Under our watch, it will be.
In October 2010 we started our Clean Water for Schools project. Working with American Institutes for Research (AIR) and other partners we have helped provide clean water to 43,494 children at 161 schools throughout Haiti. Watch this video from Haiti. These kids are so excited about having clean water they are helping us carry the water tank lid up the hill! They are excited because this is the first time they get clean drinking water at school. What a great year this is for them. They will study in a new school assembled by American Institute for Research and quench their thirst with safe, clean drinking water from International Action.
They can hardly wait for the semester to start. Can’t you feel their excitement?
Remember…..Your support has made this possible.
Here is how the program began:
October 2010 – In the communities where we had installed a chlorinator, children had access to clean, safe water. However, children were still getting sick because they were traveling outside their home community to go to school and were drinking untreated water at school. We started our Clean Water for Schools program to address the issue quickly.
How it grew:
April 2011 – By this point we had installed water tanks at 73 schools in Cité Soleil, the most impoverished community in Port-au-Prince. These schools together serve 12,994 children. We had also started to install clean water system in schools built by AIR – they had constructed 60 schools, with a grant from USAID, that were in need of clean water.
Where we are now:
August 2011 – 49,325 children now have access to clean water after less than a year of work – all because of YOUR support. The project with AIR has been completed. Now, other schools are asking for our help. 54 schools in the South East Department of Haiti have sent us help request letters. There are over 24,000 children at these schools without access to water. We have responded and plan to start installing in January 2012.
None of this would have been possible without a full-team effort by our board members, our staff, our partners, teachers and parents in Haiti, and you. We thank you greatly for your help.
Warm regards and deepest thanks,
The International Action Team