29 results for author: SOIL Volunteer


Getting the Message Out

As SOIL's summer intern, it’s a pleasure to bring you an update about EkoLakay, SOIL’s household toilet social business pilot. This summer, I have the opportunity to participate in SOIL's marketing team, which is testing marketing strategies for all of SOIL's services and products. As you may know, selling even the best services or products doesn’t happen just by snapping your fingers. In order to achieve SOIL’s initial goal of serving more than 50 families in Ti Plas Kazo (a neighborhood near the SOIL Port-au-Prince office), the marketing team has been hard at work to get the message out and inform residents about EkoLakay. Recently, the team ...

Dubout Soccer Team Biding Their Time for a Comeback

When you walk into SOIL’s Cap-Haitien office, you won’t miss the beautiful trophy in place of pride next to the SOIL mission statement. While SOIL has won plenty of accolades for our work in ecological sanitation, this particular trophy is actually a symbol of the team’s other passion and area of expertise: soccer. Last summer, the Cap-Haitien office faced off against the local champions, the Dubout Sport Club. Dubout had recently won a regional tournament in Caracol and had taken home the trophy – the trophy that the “Ekip SOIL” (SOIL Team) then seized in a competitive soccer game at the office soccer field. SOIL’s Cap-Haitien ...

Katy the Carpenter Making it Happen

Katy Miliane laughed when I asked if her two-women toilet manufacturing cooperative had a name. “No,” she said, “this is just something that I do.” And she does it well, winning multiple construction bids from SOIL and producing over 80 ecological sanitation (EcoSan) ferrocement toilets in the past year. Last year, SOIL’s Cap-Haitien Technical Director Josaphat Augustin invited women from the nearby towns of Dubout and Limonade to participate in a two-week toilet construction training course. After the course, Katy and her partner Rosie were ready to start their business – even though it doesn’t have a name (yet!). Katy is proud of ...

Moonshot Sanitation

Before I arrived in Haiti for my Sustainable Development Internship with SOIL, my friends and family sent me a series of articles about wastewater treatment technology and the latest research on sanitation in poor countries (watch Bill Gates drink a glass of water made from poop!). A friend compared the research and development happening to address the global sanitation crisis to a moonshot, an allusion to the U.S. Apollo moon landing mission, i.e. the intense application of resources to a big technical problem that needs to be solved in a short time-frame. Moonshot investment has resulted in a range of innovative “next-generation toilets” ...

From Fields to Formulas: Part I

I am Andrew Coco, a Sustainable Development Intern with SOIL this summer.  I studied Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainability at the University of Vermont and have been friends with SOIL for the past four years.  My official title is Konsiltan Agrikilti (Agricultural Consultant) and I am assisting SOIL with map-making, compost application history, laboratory work, and photography.  My work so far has been exciting, and there has never been a shortage of ways to get involved! Last week I got to join the SOIL team at our agricultural research farm in Penye for the harvest of our sorghum experiment.  Penye, a half-hour drive outside of ...

SOIL Letters: Student Engineers for Sustainable Solutions

[box type="shadow"]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.[/box] 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 from Munjed and his fellow students below! [Note: mousing over the box will pause it, as well as illuminate ...

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 complexity that is involved with the establishment of a community. –Sara, ESF student Community is the foundation upon ...

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 parade is populated with local teens. This year, SOIL made a splash in the Friday celebrations by partnering ...

SOIL Speaks at World Water Week: Can NGOs Enable Sustainable Change?

How do we ensure that people around the globe have access to clean water? How can water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs be effectively implemented in vulnerable communities? And why is track record of international WASH initiatives marked by profound failures? These questions were at the core of the most recent World Water Week conference, an annual event hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. SOIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, was a guest speaker at the conference, and presented Haiti as a case study for international WASH interventions. Sasha  discusses lessons learned from years of working ...

Piti Piti Zwazo Fè Nich Li

Piti Piti Zwazo Fè Nich Li “Little by little the bird makes its nest.” –Haitian Proverb Last month marked the four-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. Since January 12, 2010, SOIL has provided emergency sanitation services for over 20,000 displaced people. Over the past four years, SOIL has been privileged to witness the closing of many of the tent cities we service as people have found or built permanent homes. SOIL’s emergency sanitation program is now working in only six tent camp communities in Port-au-Prince where we serve approximately 3,500 people. In the Shada neighborhood of Cap Haitien, an area that is extrem...