September 2014 Newsletter: Thank You for Investing in Us
Looking for a job in Haiti can be a heartbreakingly difficult task. Every year thousands of talented young people graduate from Haiti’s universities trained in agronomy, engineering, economics, education, and medicine, yet, despite their eager efforts, their chances of finding a good job are extremely limited. According to the Economist, “around three-quarters of Haitians are either unemployed or try to make ends meet in the informal economy.” Supporting sustainable market-based solutions in Haiti is critical to supporting Haiti’s long-term economic development, and SOIL is dedicated to researching social business solutions that can support local entrepreneurs in building businesses and creating jobs across the country.
But that’s not SOIL’s only job creation effort. Every morning we walk into the offices of SOIL to the smiles, “Bon jou!”s, and laughter of SOIL’s 67 employees. When we evaluate our impact in Haiti we tend to focus on the success of our programs, but this personal impact is one that is perhaps dearest to our hearts. For a job in Haiti is not just a job. SOIL’s employees are sending their children to school, building homes, supporting family businesses, feeding their extended families, and furthering their own educations. In the face of incredible odds, the bravery, good will, and enthusiasm of SOIL’s dedicated team keeps us all going.
In this month’s newsletter we have two heartwarming articles on SOIL’s staff development efforts to share with you. Thank you for investing in us.
With love from Haiti,
From ensuring that all of our employees can read and write, to supporting staff finishing their high school and college educations; from teaching classes on Excel spreadsheets, to providing group English lessons; from helping employees access specialized training in a DNA lab in California to sending them to Cuba for permaculture training, we seek to equip our employees with the knowledge and skills that will help them succeed not only with SOIL, but for the rest of their lives. Learn more in Erica’s recent blog post on SOIL’s Staff Development efforts.
Back to School
Here in Haiti, families are paying their school fees, fitting uniforms, and making other preparations for the school year to begin in a few weeks, and we are looking forward to seeing the bright smiles and oversized backpacks of children going to school in the morning. In honor of the season, it’s also back to school time at SOIL. In a busy series of workshops and educational activities, we’re making sure all of our staff are equipped with the skills they need to support SOIL’s planned project expansions for the fall. Learn more.
Liberation Ecology in Unexpected Places
Those of you who have been following SOIL for some time may know that we align with the philosophy of liberation ecology, a paradigm in which “waste” does not exist. We live this philosophy when we transform human waste, a source of so many public health problems, into a sustainable solution for soil regeneration. Another example of liberation ecology in action is SOIL’s transformation of old donated porta-potties (remnants of short-lived attempts to provide sanitation in post-earthquake Haiti) into EcoSan toilets!
Smart Phones, Soil Testing, and Ink
We have three big in-kind donation needs this month: an iPhone, a soil conductivity meter, and printer ink. Check out this blog post for more details. Thank you!
In order to empower through education and accelerate change, we are committed to supporting continued innovation globally by sharing our lessons learned and project outcomes widely. This month we’re excited about two recent posts about SOIL’s work in Haiti: the Hystra report, “Designing the Next Generation of Sanitation Businesses” and Foundation Beyond Belief’s article that “SOIL is Not Just About Poop — It is About People“.
Join the SOIL Team!
SOIL is seeking a Regional Director to manage our Port-au-Prince office and a full time EkoLakay Project Manager to support the scale up of SOIL’s social business pilot for providing sustainable household sanitation in Port-au-Prince. Please send these postings on to anyone you think might enjoy this opportunity! We appreciate your help finding the right people to join our passionate and dynamic team!
SOIL is a small organization getting an incredible amount done on very little and your support means the world to us. Please consider making a contribution today.