October 2012 Newsletter: With Love from Port-au-Prince
Another month has passed and thanks to your ongoing support SOIL has remained as active and dedicated as ever. We are most grateful to our friends and supporters for helping us to ensure that our emergency toilets in Port-au-Prince stay open. As the rainy season begins the threat of cholera is ever greater for the hundreds of thousands people still living under tarps in the capital Port-au-Prince. Your donations over the past month have made a real difference for the thousands of earthquake victims that SOIL continues to serve.
I recently got back from a visit to our northern office in Cap-Haitien and was absolutely amazed at the progress made there. Later this week our partners Re.source will be installing the first 150 household toilets in Shada, our compost site continues to provide the only waste treatment in northern Haiti and our farm and nursery are absorbing the compost almost as fast as we can produce it. We have over 5,000 trees and hundreds of fish benefitting from the nutrients of SOIL compost, which are now being sold and donated to communities in the north. It is so beautiful to see the ways in which our work has come full circle and we could not have done it without you.
In the past months you have helped us through several funding crises and we are so grateful. We want you to understand that although SOIL has been quite successful in funding some of our development projects, we have found it increasingly challenging to fund our emergency and educational activities, two of the most important components of our work. To effectively continue to provide emergency services to those in need and build our educational programs to bring our work to scale, we need flexible ongoing funding. In the new year we are looking into developing long-term partnerships with socially responsible businesses to ensure the sustainability of our work. This month we have a special request for those of you who work with companies with corporate giving policies to please consider approaching your employer to see if they would consider a donation to SOIL this year. Please reach out and share your passion for SOIL’s work with those around you and help us grow our network of supporters. We have a lot of work yet to do and we are confident that with your love and support it is possible. (Here is a downloadable overview of our work that you can share.)
With love from Port-au-Prince,
- Theo Talks Episode 1: Join SOIL’s Regional Director, Theo Huitema, on a sunrise stroll through the SOIL nursery in Cap-Haitien.
- SOIL is working to transform our waste treatment site at the Port-au-Prince dump into a beautiful island of botantical diversity. Read more about the transformation of Twitye.
- Experiments in composting, aka no cover material left unconsidered. Bayawonn pods in EcoSan toilets? You betcha!
- SOIL will be holding an English language EcoSan training tentatively scheduled for November 8th in Port-au-Prince. Our trainings are an excellent opportunity to learn about SOIL’s use of EcoSan technology and about our methods and experiences with sanitation work in Haiti. Please email us at [email protected] if you are interested in attending the training.
We have three days left to raise money for sending SOIL’s very own Nick Preneta to the upcoming sanitation conference in Durban, South Africa. Help us spread the word about ecological sanitation solutions in Haiti by comtributing to the Send Nick to Durban campaign. All donations will be matched $1 for $1 by the 11th Hour Project.
- The Utopia Foundation has announced a dollar for dollar matching grant to support SOIL’s ecological sanitation program: all donations through year end, up to $7,500, going through the Utopia Foundation for SOIL will be matched dollar for dollar. Learn more.
- Did you watch Theo’s sunrise tour of the SOIL tree nursery and are you interested in expanding this exciting initiative to promote food security and reforestation in Haiti? Please join us in planting 10,000 trees for Haiti. All your contributions will be matched meaning that every dollar you give goes even further in promoting long-term sustainable solutions in Haiti.
- We are deeply saddened to share the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Fre De. Please join us in taking a moment to honor his memory.
October 16, 2012 (6:58 am)
Great Work SOIL!! So exciting to hear about your progress. I’m curious how you use SOIL compost to grow fish! How does that work?
October 18, 2012 (6:18 pm)
Great question. We “feed” the fish with compost by introducing small amounts of compost into the fish pond. The nutrients in the compost stimulate algae growth, and the fish eat the algae! So our compost is helping the fish to grow.