Letters from Sasha


A decade later, we remember

Dear Friends, Here in Haiti, this weekend is one of collective reflection and remembrance. Sunday marks 10 years since the earthquake struck, changing millions of lives here and around the world. As the sun was setting at 4:53 pm on January 12, 2010, the streets of Haiti bustled with the energy and hope of a new decade. Families made their way home at the end of a long day, tap taps crawled through the winding streets, the National Palace and cathedral cast proud shadows over the capital city. In less than a minute, the dream of a new decade was shattered as Port...

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The Strength of Solidarity

A note from SOIL's Co-Founder and Executive Director Sasha Kramer: This morning, in addition to waking up to the uncertainty and stress brought about by the ongoing instability in Haiti, our team arrived in the office to find words of solidarity and support from our colleagues all the way across the world in Madagascar. Our friends at Loowatt, a partner in the Container-based Sanitation Alliance, took a moment away from their busy day to share words of encouragement with our field staff on the ground in Haiti. This simple act of kindness reminded us of the ...

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Taking a Ride with SOIL’s Sanitation Heroes

Happy new year to SOIL supporters near and far! As we all settle into the new year, I have been reflecting on 2018 and some of the moments that most inspired me. One experience pops immediately to mind, and I wanted to share it as a reminder of the importance of all that goes on behind the scenes at SOIL that makes this work possible. As the years have gone by and my roles and responsibilities have shifted, I find I have less and less time to spend in the field. In the last months of 2018, I was honored to be able to take the time to accompany our EkoLakay collectors on ...

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Towards a Greener 2019

Dear friends, As we say goodbye to another year, it feels natural to think of the future and what it holds for us - our families, our friends, our planet. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, we share connections to each other and to the planet we are so fortunate to call home. I am so very proud to be working with partners and supporters from all corners of the globe who share a vision and a passion for creating solutions to the most intractable problems we face. In the coming years, I believe that we can build on the collaborative work we've done to build a ...

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With Thanks and Gratitude

Dear friends and supporters, On behalf of the entire team here at SOIL, thank you. Together, we surpassed our goal and raised over $17,000 in support of SOIL's lifesaving household toilet program, EkoLakay. Because of your kind support, our team will be able to hit the streets and spread the word about our growing service. This year, we're focused on reducing the costs of providing the service to clients, increasing the number of EkoLakay clients in our service areas, and testing a variety of improvements to the EkoLakay service. Our goal is to provide a truly ...

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Hurricane Matthew: Lessons Learned

On October 1st, Hurricane Matthew turned just a few degrees to the east putting the southern peninsula of Haiti directly in its path. Three days later, 142 mph winds ripped over small mountain villages and coastal cities damaging or destroying nearly 150,000 homes and more than 80% of regional crops and livestock. Communities were inundated with rains, flooding latrines and septic tanks. Less than two months later, just as Haiti disappears from the headlines, the true effects of Hurricane Matthew are starting to hit. More than 3,500 suspected cases of cholera, a disease ...

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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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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 the table through the ...

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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 from diarrheal diseases ...

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January 2014 Newsletter: Resilient as the Soil

This is a land so vibrant and alive that laugher will come bursting through as imperious as the sun and the spirit will survive resilient as the soil. - Dennis Brutus 1978 ”Love; the Struggle”   Dennis Brutus, a visionary poet and courageous activist, was also a founding member of the SOIL advisory board. Dennis’ lifetime struggle for justice inspired SOIL’s philosophy of liberation ecology and I often look to his writings for guidance.  While reflecting on the 4th anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake, I remembered Dennis’ poem, Love; the Struggle. ...

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