Dlo an Sante: Healthy Water Project

The Dlo an Sante Project utilizes a multidimensional approach to address clean water and sanitation challenges caused by structural violence

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Haiti Connection Inc.

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 250 - 500

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • United States of America

Headquarters location: City

Rockford, MI

Location(s) of impact

Haiti: St. Jacques de Majeur (near Bainet)

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Children in St. Jacques are born into a structurally violent environment where they grow up as victims of unclean water and sanitation practices. The structural violence observed in St. Jacques is the result of environmental, social, and economic distress which has led to a cycle of poverty and disease. Due to the unclean water, chronic exposure to bacteria, viruses, and protozoa create endless opportunities for diarrhea outbreaks within the community, of which, children under five years old are the most vulnerable.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The Dlo an Santé Project addresses both the social and structural components of unclean water and sanitation practices in St. Jacques. Program highlights include an educational program, construction and implementation of water filtration systems, a public well, and public latrines, as well as bi-annual community wide anti-helminthic treatments. The program utilizes existing female community leaders to act as designated "Water Women" who act as trusted, culturally relevant drivers of the program. Water Women are tasked with leading clean water classes, trouble shooting issues with water filters, managing the community well, and acting as liaisons between the community and NGO group.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Haiti Connection Inc, partnered with The Our Lady of Consolation Haiti Ministry, conducted a 10 day medical mission trip in March 2015, through which, around 1475 patients were assessed and treated over the course of four “clinic days”. Surveys showed that 65% of the St. Jacques community DOES NOT have access to clean water. (This percentage is expected to be higher because many residents reported having the filtration system, but no chlorine to add to it). To date, the Dlo an Sante Program has reached a total of at least 160 families, which has substantially reduced the number of residents without access to clean water. The Program includes a structure in which 40 Water Women are to educate and share clean water with 4 other families. Additionally, although in construction currently, the community well will add social capital to the community by strengthening relationships between families, and creating new relationships between young and old community members.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Haiti Connection was created in 2017 and is in the start-up phase of organizational growth. So far in 2017, Haiti Connection has received 100% of the donations through individual gifts. However, in the future, the organization as a best estimate would like to have the organization funded by 45% individual gifts, 50% grants, and 5% from corporate contributions. To ensure the financial sustainability of Haiti Connection, the organization will be seek funding from the sources noted above. Also, Haiti Connection is working closely with a church group that has been involved in Haiti for the past three years. This relationship is giving Haiti Connection direction as to what projects to seek funding. Obtaining this grant would be a boost to Haiti Connection organization’s sustainability.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

The multidimensional approach to ensuring clean and safe water is a major unique factor which separates the Dlo an Sante initiative from other projects in the area. The Dlo an Sante program not only utilizes "structural re-inforcers", such water filters, a well, and public latrines, but it also incorporates the vital component of addressing sanitation behavior change throughout the community, through the implementation of educational programs led by local women.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

We knew it was fate when co-founders, Alysse and Lisa, happened to bump into each other at a local airport... one was returning from Haiti, and the other was flying out to Haiti. The experiences that both women had while in the country had changed their hearts forever and had sparked the notion of "we HAVE to do something about this". After many meetings, cups of coffee, volunteer recruitment, and cultivation of community partnerships, a formal Board was created and the brainstorming began. In 2015, the group partnered with a church group, and implemented a community clinic. Findings showed that diarrhea, dehydration, and malnutrition were the most common complaints experienced by patients... all of which could have been prevented had the patients had access to clean water. More coffee and conversations later, the Dlo an Sante program was developed and implemented!

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