Huffington Post: Shining the Spotlight on Sanitation

Huffington Post: Shining the Spotlight on Sanitation

By Sasha Kramer, SOIL in the Huffington Post, April 22, 2014 Gone are the days of sanitation languishing in the shadows while other basic human needs take the spotlight. In the past decade, the topic of sanitation has emerged from back-room discussions among engineers at water conferences to a high-level, global dialogue among activists, celebrities and philanthropists. One of the drivers for this increased interest in sanitation is the celebrity draw, but what is it that drew the celebrities, and what keeps them interested? Many have come to...

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Letters to SOIL: “There is No Doubt in Our Minds”

Letters to SOIL: “There is No Doubt in Our Minds”

SOIL Letters is a blog series featuring some of the beautiful letters we’ve received over the years in support of the work we’re doing in Haiti. Impact. If you spend much time reading about non-profits or NGOs these days, you’re sure to come across that word pretty often. And for good reason – it’s important to know that the causes you support are, indeed, making a difference. At SOIL, we know we’re operating against incredible odds: there are only 67 of us, but millions of Haitians who have neither...

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Theo Talks Episode 27: Coconuts for Fish!

Theo Talks Episode 27: Coconuts for Fish!

Here at SOIL, we love transforming waste of all kinds. Though poop is always a favorite, we’re also working to promote composting of kitchen waste and vegetable scraps, which is easy for anyone to do at home. In Theo Talks Episode 27, our resourceful north Haiti Regional Director, Theo Huitema, takes some salvaged coconut shells that were headed to the dump and turns them into a delicious snack for the fish in our aquaculture project! We hope you enjoy this short video and then take a few minutes to check out the full Theo Talks...

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The Walrus: The Toilet Papers: Can a High-Tech Sanitation Appliance Save Lives in Poor Countries?

The Walrus: The Toilet Papers: Can a High-Tech Sanitation Appliance Save Lives in Poor Countries?

By Jeremy Keehn in The Walrus, May 2014 Magazine. We hear within us the perpetual call: There is the problem. Seek its solution. —David Hilbert, presenting his twenty-three grand challenges to the International Congress of Mathematicians, Paris, 1900 ONE EVENING last November, I went to an upscale hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo neighbourhood to attend a German Scheisseparty. The guests, most of them young, multinational, and professionally attired, milled around, awaiting a display of spectacular bad taste. They were not disappointed. Before...

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SOIL Partners with the American Red Cross to Expand Sustainable Sanitation Services in Northern Haiti

SOIL Partners with the American Red Cross to Expand Sustainable Sanitation Services in Northern Haiti

Over the past few months, loyal readers of the SOIL blog may have noticed several posts about SOIL’s growing partnership with the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, first approached SOIL last summer to design and lead a series of trainings designed to help development workers enhance environmental and social resilience to future disasters through their emergency relief work. While this exciting effort is ongoing, SOIL’s collaboration with the American Red Cross continues to...

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April 2014 Newsletter: Carnival, Social Entrepreneurship, and Permaculture

April 2014 Newsletter: Carnival, Social Entrepreneurship, and Permaculture

Dear friends, Welcome to the long-awaited springtime! There are a lot of exciting things happening at SOIL this spring and we hope you take a few minutes to check out the most recent highlights below. ‘ Also, a huge thank you to everyone who contributed during the first two days of our Spring Challenge. Please help us reach our goal of expanding SOIL’s sanitation service, doubling our waste treatment operation, testing SOIL compost on four new crops, and teaching 500 more practitioners about how to replicate SOIL’s successes...

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California Dreaming: SOIL’s Agriculture Director Heads to Sustainable Farming Training

California Dreaming: SOIL’s Agriculture Director Heads to Sustainable Farming Training

We are pleased to announce that our Cap-Haitien Agricultural Director, Romel Toussaint, has been awarded a scholarship to the Ecology Action six month internship! In this program, participants get involved in hands-on research in sustainable agriculture and closed-system food production using  GROW BIOINTENSIVE techniques. These practices maximize the effect of natural processes to improve sustainability and productivity. Double-dug beds, with soil loosened to a depth of 24 inches, aerate the soil, facilitate root growth, and...

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SOIL Letters: Student Engineers for Sustainable Solutions

SOIL Letters: Student Engineers for Sustainable Solutions

SOIL Letters is a blog series featuring some of the beautiful letters we’ve received over the years in support of the work we’re doing in Haiti. Spring break of my junior year came faster than expected, luckily for me the trip that would soon change my life was upon me. The plan was to travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with a group of my classmates who are associated with Engineers Without Borders… -Munjed, one of five college students who recently visited SOIL with Student Engineers for Sustainable Solutions Read more...

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From New York to Port-au-Prince: Environmental Engineering Students Visit SOIL

From New York to Port-au-Prince: Environmental Engineering Students Visit SOIL

Theo, the director of the SOIL office in Cap-Hatien, asked me to define the word “community.” This question caught me off guard… To me, a community is a group of people and their relationships with themselves, each other, and the land that they share. The history of the community is embedded within them… When working in international development, it is critical to understand that as an outsider, one will not have complete knowledge of what is best, and that we are not entitled to take control… This is because of the...

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OAEC Guest Blog: Symphony of “Konpòs” with SOIL

OAEC Guest Blog: Symphony of “Konpòs” with SOIL

Today’s work was to visit the SOIL composting site at the city dump in Twitye to learn about the specifics of the humanure handling and thermophilic composting practices. The SOIL Twitye compost facility is located at the city dump. The company who run the dump lost its contract about 4 month ago. Since then chaos has ensued at the dump and around the SOIL compost facility. Mounds of rotting trash were deposited in haphazard spots and people without protective gear (many in flip flops, shorts and tanks tops and nothing else) sort through the...

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World Economic Forum Blog: Why Social Entrepreneurs See the Opportunity in Waste

World Economic Forum Blog: Why Social Entrepreneurs See the Opportunity in Waste

By Sasha Kramer, SOIL for the World Economic Forum Blog. Gone are the days of sanitation languishing in the shadows while other basic human needs take the spotlight. In the past decade, the topic of sanitation has emerged from backroom discussions among engineers at water conferences to a high-level, global dialogue among activists, celebrities and philanthropists. Many have come to the table through the obvious connection between sanitation and public health. According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, over 1.5 million children die...

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OAEC Guest Blog: From Metal to Magic – Spending Sunday with SOIL

OAEC Guest Blog: From Metal to Magic – Spending Sunday with SOIL

Our Collaboration in Haiti OAEC was invited to visit to Haiti by SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods –www.oursoil.org) as an organizational exchange to help each other further current projects. SOIL’s formal mission is “SOIL promotes dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods through the transformation of waste into resources”, specifically humanure waste into pathogen-free compost that can be used to increase soil fertility. OAEC will support SOIL in a permaculture design at their Cap Haitien farm site and SOIL will...

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OAEC Guest Blog: Wynne Farm

OAEC Guest Blog: Wynne Farm

We met our translator today, Jean Arnaud. He is Haitian and has lived in the US off and on since he was 10 years old. He studied permaculture at UMASS and was part of the 2012 student team awarded the Champions of Change Challenge, part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Jean is a true ambassador for us – he straddles both cultures of the US and Haiti linguistically, culturally, ecologically; he is an experienced permaculturist understanding the work OAEC and SOIL are collaborating on, and he has worked with SOIL before...

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OAEC Guest Blog: We Have arrived! First Evening In Port-au-Prince

OAEC Guest Blog: We Have arrived! First Evening In Port-au-Prince

After surviving an overnight flight and long morning of sleeping on the infamously freezing floor of the Miami airport, we (Kendall Dunnigan, Brock Dolman and Sashwa Burrous) arrived in the late afternoon to the warm and welcoming sounds of Haitian music pouring out of the little Port-au-Prince (PAP) airport. Sasha Kramer from SOIL picked us up in the “basset mobile” (unfortunately, her sweet puppy was not along for the ride) and drove us through the bustling Friday afternoon streets of PAP to Rita’s Guesthouse. Beautifully painted...

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SOIL Welcomes the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

SOIL Welcomes the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

SOIL is pleased to welcome Brock Dolman and Kendall Dunnigan, Co-Directors of The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s (OAEC) Permaculture & Ecological Design program in California to Haiti! OAEC and SOIL were originally brought together by our dear friends at the 11th Hour Project who are committed to solving global problems by fostering new connections. This visit is an exciting development in an ongoing SOIL/OAEC collaboration that started when 11th Hour sponsored members of SOIL to attend the Permaculture Design Certification...

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truthout: SOIL Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, Selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year

truthout: SOIL Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, Selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Published on truthout.org. View original post. SOIL is proud to announce that SOIL’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, was selected as a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Every year the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship selects 20-25 social entrepreneurs achieving transformative social and/or environmental change through the application of innovative and practical approaches to benefit society in general, with an emphasis on underserved populations. In recognition of Sasha’s...

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Press Release: SOIL Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, Selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Press Release: SOIL Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, Selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year

SOIL is proud to announce that SOIL’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, was selected as a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Every year the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship selects 20-25 social entrepreneurs achieving transformative social and/or environmental change through the application of innovative and practical approaches to benefit society in general, with an emphasis on underserved populations. In recognition of Sasha’s groundbreaking work developing new social business models...

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SOIL Honored by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

SOIL Honored by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

We’re very pleased to announce that SOIL’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, Dr. Sasha Kramer, has been named a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of her groundbreaking work developing new social business models for the ecological and financially sustainable provision of sanitation services in some of the world’s most impoverished communities. Sasha’s work with SOIL is unique in that it is one of the largest and most promising tests of the paradigm-shifting hypothesis that sanitation no...

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EcoSan at Carnival

EcoSan at Carnival

In the last weeks of winter, parades, glitter, masks, Rara bands, and dancing in the streets abound in Haiti. The weeks preceding the Christian season of Lent (which is frequently observed as a season of abstinence and discipline) feature ebullient Carnaval celebrations around the country. Each year Cap-Haitien hosts a Carnaval Des Etudiants, or “Student Carnival,” on the Thursday and Friday before the grand National Carnival, which culminates on Mardi Gras Tuesday. Young children participate in Thursday’s celebrations, while the Friday...

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SOIL Toilets on the Move!

SOIL Toilets on the Move!

Business is booming for SOIL’s new mobile toilet enterprise! The mobile toilets, which are donated port-a-potties that our sanitation team has retrofitted with SOIL’s simple EcoSan technology, are our newest income-generating project. Along with our household toilet pilot business, compost sales, and marketing crops from our research farms, profits from mobile toilet rentals provide valuable revenue to support our free public toilets as well as other SOIL projects. We’ve set up mobile toilets for everything from construction...

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