BACK TO HAITI — Victories in clean water, health and hygiene

As the second anniversary of Haiti's massive earthquake approaches (Jan. 12), we're taking a look at the work God accomplished through Food for the Hungry in the past year.


If you've been around FH for a while, you know we don't give a lot of handouts because they're simply not that helpful in the long run. Instead, much of our work is to encourage and equip people to educate their own children, to strengthen their family relationships, and to provide for themselves.

The same often goes for clean water, good health and proper hygiene. Because of Haiti's extended state of emergency following the quake, FH did give some handouts in order to save lives. This became especially necessary when cholera broke out in late October 2010. The below statistics are for October 2010 to September 2011.

In places like Petionville (above), FH gave out oral rehydration packets containing a special mixture of salt and sugars to easily, inexpensively treat dehydration associated with diarrhea.

These little packets save lives.

31,700 people received the following:

  • bars of soap to combat cholera and other communicable diseases
  • water-treatment tabs to make dirty water drinkable
  • Tippy Taps, simple hand-washing stations
  • packets of oral rehydration salts to sustain bodies dehydrated from diarrhea
  • packets of chlorine to decontaminate water kept in cisterns, preventing cholera and other waterborne diseases

100,775 street-food vendors and community members (leaders as well as young people in churches and schools) participated in awareness campaigns on how to prevent cholera.

29,700 community members were trained on proper hygiene and the prevention of cholera through hand-washing, water purification and food hygiene.

100 people were helped by the restoration of their clean-water systems after the earthquake destroyed them.

Hygiene kits help schoolchildren protect themselves from illness.

800 students among four schools benefited from new, permanent latrines, providing much-needed private, safe, and sanitary toilet facilities. FH employed Haitians to build the latrines.

96 temporary latrines to meet basic human needs were placed in strategic locations — near schools, churches or other places where people regularly gathered.

With a spirit of staunch resilience and in collaboration with FH, Haitians have made many great strides in the past year, but there is so much yet to be done. To join the reconstruction and come alongside Haitian families and children, please consider joining Poverty 180.


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