13 years ago was my first trip to Haiti and my life has never been the same.
Six years ago I was honored to be on the founding board of the Haiti Mission Project. Working with this team of people makes me feel humbled and honored to be apart of such Christ centered work.
Two years ago a monumental earthquake destroyed the city we love in the country we are passionate about hurting the people who have become our family.
One year ago Cholera began to rise to epidemic proportions. 500,000 have been affected. Over 7,000 have died since the Earthquake.
Today, the rainy season has begun. In all honesty, heavy rains have plagued the country for the last week and today, tonight actually, as I write this, we received this announcement:
SUBJECT: HEAVY RAINS EXPECTED FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY (MARCH 30-31)The Haiti National Weather Service is predicting heavy rainfall on Friday evening (March 30) and on Saturday (March 31). The whole country is predicted to be affected, including Port-au-Prince. Please be careful, as flash flooding can occur, making conditions very dangerous.
Once the rain begins, the dirty and infected water washes down hillsides, overflows open sewer systems, floods and contaminates the rivers and small communities only water sources. Water carrying cholera will quickly spread and be used by children, youth, and adults living throughout Haiti, including the crowded slums of Port au Prince. Within hours and days, sewer systems, open bathrooms, garbage, drinking water, washing water, food waste, medical waste all washes together and lives in the same source. But with the water rushing and the rain washing it down stream, the people drinking from the river don't know that someone just crapped in it up the road. I don't know about you, but I feel deeply that clean water is a human right.
If you don't know, Cholera is a bacterial infection transmitted by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person. Many Haitians do not have access to modern toilets or working sewers and septic tanks, which helps explain how the infection has quickly become what NPR News recently called “the worst ongoing episode in the world.”
The effects of cholera include intestinal pain, severe diarrhea, vomiting and in some cases death by dehydration. In most cases, cholera is treatable by rehydration solutions, but intravenous (IV) fluids or antibiotics may also be needed. Almost essentially, clean water.
After understanding how widely the people in Haiti were effected the last two years by this epidemic, it is hard to sit back and watch, knowing that thousands are still living in tent cities and that the worst slum is sitting at the bottom of the city, where the river sources dump into the ocean. This slum being set up to the worst hit.
But we don't need to sit back. We can do something. You can do something.
The Haiti Mission Project has already established clinics ready to receive Aqua tabs. Aqua tabs are small tablets used to decontaminate water making it possible to drink and to use for food preparation. These tablets are able to be purchased for mere pennies.
Here are the tabs.
Now here is the math:
1 aqua tab will clean 2 1/2 gallons of water.
We are hoping to give 5 aqua tabs per person for the week to create clean water in the aid of preventing Cholera.
$10 will provide 300 people with clean water for a day
$25 will provide 750 people with clean water for a day
$100 will provide 3000 people with clean water for a day
If you are interested in reading about one of the doctors we are working with in the distribution of Aqua tabs you can read his blog here. We will also be working Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity along with other clinics in need of providing preventative care as Cholera cases escalate
I beg of you. If you have read this far, and this human need has touched your heart in any way, you can help by doing any of the following:
1. Please visit www.haitimissionproject.org and donate. 100% of your donation will go to providing aquatabs for creating safe water.
2. Post the safewater logo on your facebook page and a link to the website to continue promoting this very real and current human need.
3. Tell your friends, co-workers, churches, class mates, family and strangers about this campaign. Our goal is to reach $6,000 and we can't do that without getting the word out. Remember, you aren't supporting the Haiti Mission Project., you are helping care for your fellow mankind in a country that is getting hit hard with rain that will create water sources that carries the potential to kill them. This isn't about any one organization, its about people.
4. Write an article about it, write a bulletin insert about it, write a blog about it, conduct a radio interview around it. We need all the help we can get to the word out and make sure we can meet our goal in providing multiple clinics with aquatabs.
5. Please pray. We want God to be honored in this and we would love to see the power of kindness and compassion move through people and see our goal met. We want to see people's lives saved. We want to see families whose mothers and fathers are around to see their kids grow up. Please pray that this campaign can carry an impact and that people will see the value in their dollar.
Thank you for walking with us in this. Thank you for giving.