Letters to SOIL: From Toilets to Tuition

  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.

A few months ago, Tim Myers, the Co-Founder of the Haiti School Project, reached out to SOIL for help. Tim and HSP work with Foyer Divin School, which, like many schools in Haiti, lacks safe toilets for its students. Foyer Divin and HSP are working on a plan for constructing toilets to address this sanitation issue, and the Parent Committee (which makes many important decisions for the school) wanted some education on composting toilets and ecological sanitation. So last Friday, SOIL’s Port-au-Prince office dispatched our Sanitation Director (Bobo) and Coordinator (Jimmy) to meet with the committee.

Tim send us a lovely letter to follow up on the training, which we loved – while we’re pretty enthusiastic about EcoSan’s impact, we’ve never thought that poop could help keep kids in school! Here are a few excerpts:

Thanks so much for the training. Baudeler [Bobo] and Jimmy were great and they did a fantastic job.

A teacher from another school and a community member on the committee was so impressed that he would like one for his own home. This was very encouraging to me because he is influential in the village and others do listen to his advice.

The committee was unanimous in wanting HSP to proceed with the toilet construction and they look forward to having the new toilets ready for the upcoming school year. I think we all have a really great opportunity to work hard making these toilets a huge success.

The 6th grade teacher at the school told us how this year almost 70% of the 6th grade students had not paid their school fees for most of the year. [He] noted this was a high percentage and… noted that most of the parents were small farmers and prices for their crops were depressed and yields were low. The high cost of fertilizer was one of the reasons for low yields because the parents were not able to buy enough and at the right time of the season. While our toilets will not be able to furnish enough compost for the whole community, they will be an example of how beneficial compost can be.

Thanks again for all your help and we will keep you updated. Best to you and all the people at SOIL.

Tim Myers

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