How SOIL is Responding to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact people around the world, we wanted to reach out to our community and share an update from SOIL’s operations on the ground in Haiti. Though there has yet to be a confirmed case of the virus in Haiti, our neighbors in the Dominican Republic have begun to report cases with an alarming frequency. While we are closely monitoring the situation in-country, SOIL’s team is working around the clock to prepare a robust organizational response to protect our colleagues, customers, and communities.  

As we focus SOIL’s efforts on increasing resilience through the most critical elements of our work, safety is our top priority. All SOIL staff have been trained to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from COVID-19, and as of yesterday all non-essential activities have been suspended; those not needed for critical service functions have already begun to work from home. Although all SOIL employees are eligible for paid sick leave, any absences related to COVID-19 will not count towards an employee’s allotted sick time; employees will be paid in full for any days they miss due to the outbreak. To safeguard the provision of SOIL’s lifesaving sanitation service in the face of growing uncertainty, we are cross-training our staff and hiring additional team members on short-term contracts to develop a robust contingency and ensure continuity of SOIL’s essential functions. To support these efforts, SOIL is working to rapidly acquire additional Wi-Fi hot-spots, personal protective equipment, and other necessary materials to see us through this challenging time.  

There is still much we do not know about COVID-19 and what the coming weeks will bring, but we do know that its impact will be felt most by the most vulnerable among us. We know that COVID-19 is devastating health systems far more prepared and resilient than those we have in Haiti, which are under-resourced and already overwhelmed. For most families in the country, the reality is that stocking up on essentials is simply not an option. 

What is clear is that we must come together to support one another. SOIL is prepared to respond to whatever may come next with creativity, bravery, and love. We say it a lot, but we mean it more than ever: thank you. Thank you for your continued solidarity and support as we work to uphold our commitment to the communities we work alongside, no matter the circumstances.  

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