Latest Updates


Equip SOIL for Success: We Need Your Help!

SOIL is busy these days! In Port-au-Prince, the office is buzzing with plans for rolling out the EkoLakay service, and in Cap-Haitien, SOIL staff are working at full speed to build and install over 100 household toilets every month. To keep up with these exciting developments, we need your help to meet five specific needs: new uniforms, improving our solar-power system, purchasing a new Poopmobile moto, grinding cover material to "flush" our toilets, and installing a solar-powered water pump. All of these activities are critical to the smooth and efficient scale-up of ...

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Sanitation in Schools

Schools need toilets. This may sound like a no-brainer, but the reality is that many schools in Haiti, and elsewhere in developing countries, lack safe, private, dignified places for students to go to the bathroom. According to Human Rights Watch, in Haiti "most students and teachers have nowhere to relieve themselves, wash their hands with soap, obtain clean water, or, for women and girls, maintain menstruation hygiene. Where facilities do exist, they may not be sufficient in number, may not function, or may not be clean or safe. Nearly 60 percent of schools lack ...

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EkoLakay: Meeting Social Needs through Business

You may have read that SOIL is excited to launch our EkoLakay service in Port-au-Prince in the coming weeks, and if you’ve been a fan of SOIL for a while, you know that this has been a long time coming! But if you’re new around here, you may not know what all the fuss is about! Here’s the rundown on a few questions you might have: Um, what IS "EkoLakay"? Simply put, EkoLakay is the social business model that SOIL is piloting to develop an ecologically and economically sustainable solution to the problem of sanitation access in Haiti. The brand name EkoLakay comes ...

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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 ...

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January 2015 Newsletter: A Day of Reflection

Dear friends, Today is a day of reflection in Haiti. It is a day to remember Haiti as it was before the earthquake, a day to examine the changes over the last five years, and a day to dream of a future beyond the shadow of tragedy. There are those of you who have been with SOIL since our humble beginnings in 2006 and those of you who learned of our work after the earthquake. All of you are connected to SOIL because you believe in our mission to move beyond disasters, to a Haiti where everyone’s basic human rights are respected and supported by vibrant local ...

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Lessons from the Earthquake: Transitioning from Emergency to Development

January 12, 2015: In Haiti today is a day to mourn, but it is also a day to reflect on what we have learned as a result of the earthquake that destroyed the capital five years ago. At SOIL, the earthquake taught us how to respond quickly and compassionately in the face of acute suffering. It taught us to be flexible and responsive in our programming. Most importantly, it taught us about the fragile balance between serving those in need and creating dependence. In 2010 we watched in gratitude and awe at the outpouring of international support for Haiti. We honor the ...

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Christmas Comes Early

Christmas came early this year for the Port-au-Prince compost team! We must have ended up on the "Nice" list for 2014, because we got just what we wanted - a new well at our waste treatment site! This gift came courtesy of our friends at Food for the Poor, an organization that not only feeds hundreds of thousands of people each day in 17 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, but also provides housing, healthcare, education, and fresh water to help promote long-term development in those places. SOIL's team in North Haiti had known Food for the Poor for ...

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Meet SOIL’s new EkoLakay Project Coordinator

I started out my interview with SOIL’s newest team member, Claudel Mombeuil, with the wrong question: “So, what do you like to do in your free time?” While Claudel is a very fun and gregarious person, “free time” is not a phrase that accurately describes any part of his day. When he’s not busy with SOIL, he’s working on two separate online international project management certificates, putting in around 400 hours of study time before the tests. Claudel was born and raised in Petionville, a neighborhood on the hills of Port-au-Prince. After receiving his ...

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Volunteering with SOIL

When I start to get discouraged about the state of the world - wars, racism, the widening gap between the rich and the poor - I check my inbox. Here's why: there's a good chance that someone has written in to say how much they love the work that SOIL is doing; how they, too, are passionate about making the world a better place; how they would love to come volunteer or intern for awhile to lend a hand and support our work in Haiti, and all they want in return is the opportunity to learn and be a part of things. Being reminded that there are people in the world who care ...

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Whole-hearted Support for Safe Sanitation!

SOIL Regional Sanitation Director Baudeler Magloire with Juslaine Aristil and Mauricette Jean Bidner, two participants in our World Toilet Day workshop. In case you somehow missed it on SOIL's Facebook and Twitter feeds, last Wednesday was World Toilet Day! Started in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization to bring awareness to the global sanitation crisis,  the holiday has become a day of action in support of the 2.5 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe sanitation. This year, SOIL was invited to celebrate World Toilet Day with OVIDHA (Organisation des ...

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