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Haitian Perspectives: Opportunities in Agriculture

When SOIL employee Joasil “Tidou” Lucny and I sit down together once a week, he patiently teaches me Haitian Creole and I help him to improve his English. He told me that he dreams of becoming an agronomist, so I asked him if he would like to write about the topic below to share with our followers, and he was very happy to share his experience and insights! “How did you begin working in agriculture and why do you think that agriculture is important for young people in Haiti?” Tidou: I feel at ease in writing about this subject because it is my area of ...

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A Shout Out to the Explorer in All of Us

This is a special week in Washington as National Geographic celebrates the 2014 class of  Emerging Explorers.  SOIL’s work was honored in 2011 when SOIL Co-founder and Executive Director Sasha Kramer was recognized for our team’s groundbreaking work in waste transformation. The Emerging Explorers Program acknowledges and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring young adventurers, scientists, photographers, and storytellers who are making a difference in the world early in their careers.  From the deepest oceans to the farthest realms of outer space, from valiant ...

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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 ...

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Finish Your Holiday Shopping AND Help SOIL!

This year, SOIL is thrilled to have holiday gift options to suit everyone:   1. Robbie Simon Jewelry's new Diyite Collection "Diyite," the Haitian Creole word for dignity, is a new collection launched by Robbie Simon Jewelry to benefit SOIL. The Diyite collection includes both handcrafted jewelry made by artisans in Haiti, as well as limited edition designer pieces that are inspired by Haitian art. Designer Erica Simon says that getting informed about the root causes of poverty in Haiti inspired her to work towards changing its image. The Diyite Collection is a chance ...

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Local Contractors Take Over Household Toilet Production

SOIL is proud of the research and promotion work that we have done over the past 6 years with ecological sanitation (EcoSan). However, for EcoSan to take root as a viable response to Haiti’s sanitation crisis, we must provide long-lasting economic benefits as well as health and environmental value.  This week we celebrate a step in that direction as local contractors begin to take over the production of our toilets using all locally available materials. We are pleased to announce that we are now subcontracting out the building of our wooden and concrete EcoSan ...

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SOIL Gives Us Hope

SOIL is an organization founded in Cap-Haitien in northern Haiti that works with ecological sanitation (EcoSan) and agriculture. SOIL started out doing great work with EcoSan in Cap-Haitien by constructing toilets for people to use that are different from toilets they may have used before. SOIL’s first toilet model, “twalet sech” (dry toilets), separates urine from feces, and the second model “twalet konpos” (compost toilet) is also a dry toilet but it keeps urine and feces in the same place. After the great earthquake hit the country, SOIL decided to enter ...

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SOIL is a School Where You Find Many Teachers

I'm Jimmy Louis, and I work as the full time Sanitation Coordinator for SOIL in Port-au-Prince. I was integrated into the SOIL family in 2010 after the earthquake. I've come to see that SOIL is not just an office where you come to work and then leave; SOIL is a school where you find many teachers. When I joined SOIL, I found a solid team and family, and I was happily working and learning in no time. I feel that SOIL expands my autonomy in all of my work and for that, I commend the team. In the ecological sanitation trainings and classes that I have done with a wide ...

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The New Poopmobile Makes for Happy Microbes!

We now have an improved routine for getting water to our compost site in Port-au-Prince thanks to your outstanding response to our Poopmobile emergency donation drive in May! With the new Poopmobile, our compost team can transport multiple heavy cisterns of our own water several times a week rather than pay for a water truck to visit the compost site once a month. This means we get more water to our compost for less money. We used to spend $200 a month on transporting water to the site, and now we only pay for gas to get there on the Poomobile! How it works: Fortui...

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10,000 Trees for Haiti

In January 2012, SOIL partnered with Trees, Water & People, Positive Legacy, and Jam Cruise passengers to plant thousands of fruit trees in northern Haiti using SOIL's EcoSan compost (human manure, aka "humanure"). These citrus trees have matured and are now being planted. But, local community organizations and farmers' cooperatives have asked us to do even more to help make the mountainsides of Haiti green with trees again. We envision planting 10,000 more seedlings, hosting tree-planting days, and creating an agricultural education center that can host EcoSan ...

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The Newest SOILies!

Today the Port-au-Prince office is all aflutter as we welcome the newest members of our team: the chickens! Our three new friends are named Sgt. Pepper, Soli, and Cora, and they will live in our beautiful backyard. The chickens will feast on black soldier fly larvae, harvested with our new BioPod. The Pod is a combination food composting box and Black Soldier Fly trap. The trapped flies lay eggs in the composting food scraps, and their larvae munch on the scraps, aiding the composting process. Then the larvae become tasty snacks for our new chickens! To learn more about ...

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