A couple of months ago we sat down with Marckindy, SOIL’s Composting Supervisor, to talk about his work, his connection to SOIL, and his thoughts on the role sanitation and compost can play in Haiti’s future. Marckindy has been a part of the SOIL family since his first internship in 2012, and he’s known of SOIL for even longer through his brother, Job (SOIL’s Composting Manager). A condensed version of his interview follows, translated from Haitian Creole into English. We hope you enjoy getting to know Marckindy as much as we enjoy getting to work with him!
Tell us about yourself and how you came to work with SOIL?
My entire family is from Northern Haiti – I grew up here and studied here. Through my brother and SOIL’s activities in and around Cap-Haitien, I’ve been aware of the organization for a very long time. When I was completing my studies in agronomy, I spent several months working with SOIL as an intern and completing a research project comparing the effects of SOIL compost and other compost options on local peanut species. After I received my degree I came back to volunteer with SOIL and was then hired on as an Agricultural Research Assistant, a role I played until the conclusion of SOIL’s Agriculture program, when I applied and was hired to be the Composting Supervisor.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Every day starts with planning for me. I am a supervisor, so my main responsibility is coordinating and overseeing activities for my team and ensuring that all of the data we collect is correctly entered into our tracking system. I am responsible for entering most of the data we track, from temperature readings throughout the compost piles, to the record of when each pile is turned, to recording how many containers are coming into the compost site and getting emptied, and many more.
Each day has its own activities, as well. For example, we only empty containers from Monday to Wednesday, in line with the [EkoLakay] collection team schedule, and on Thursdays we sieve finished compost. We typically only turn piles one or two days a week, though we don’t have specific days when we do it.
I also seem to spend a lot of time replying to emails!
What is the impact that SOIL has in Haiti, and how does it relate to agricultural sustainability?
Programs like SOIL’s can strengthen communities, because they are adding in something useful that can make a positive impact. The compost SOIL produces allows farmers to make their land and their work more sustainable. It also helps to protect the environment and make it healthier by reducing soil salinity and increasing its stability and resilience.
I believe this work is important because it helps make people aware of some of the issues we are facing, and also offers solutions to help resolve those issues. People in the community see our work as extraordinary – we hear “chapo ba” (“hats off”) often on the job. Every person at SOIL values the work, and through our work we touch every person in the community.