The 4th Annual Deep Freeze Dunk: A Splashing Success!

January 18, 2013

On January 12th, 2013 supporters of Haiti Outreach took a leap into the chilly waters at Fish Lake Park in Maple Grove as part of our 4th Annual Deep Freeze Dunk! From brave people in just bathing suits to those decked out in actual suits, it was great to see how much fun everyone had with the event. Thank you to all who participated – whether you were a Dunker, a Chicken Dipper or one of the generous donors to a friend’s fundraiser!

We raised a grand total of $18,757.45!

All money raised from the Dunk will be used to further the Haiti Outreach mission of providing sustainable, community-managed  water and sanitation facilities to rural Haitians.

You can see photos and videos from the Dunk at these sites:

  • CCG Creative took professional quality photos at the event.  The photos are now posted on their website.  They are available for purchase with all proceeds going to Haiti Outreach.
  • Our Deep Freeze Dunk FaceBook page has photos as well! (Be sure to ‘like’ the page too)

News coverage of the event can still be seen at these links:

We extend our deep appreciation to our event sponsors:

Cholera in Haiti and How We’re Making a Difference

August 1, 2012

For most Americans, the threat of cholera is as remote as the threat of polio, tuberculosis or any other formerly catastrophic disease. If you live in Haiti, however, the story is different. More than 7,000 Haitians died from a recent cholera outbreak, and thousands more continue to fight this infection that literally starves the body’s cells of life-sustaining water.

The most common cause of cholera in Haiti is contaminated drinking water from polluted rivers or mountain streams. Regrettably, most Haitians still rely on these water sources for their daily needs. Which is why Haiti Outreach continues the work it began in 1997 to bring clean, safe water to the Haitian people.

Using three well drilling rigs and a community-based well ownership and maintenance system, Haiti Outreach has already helped bring clean, available water to more than 150,000 people. In addition, and with the help of thousands of donors and volunteers, Haiti Outreach has helped rebuild municipal water systems and repair wells damaged by hurricanes.  Most recently, Haiti Outreach participated in World Water Day, raising enough money to secure the building of two more wells. And, more wells means less threat of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

We wish to thank everyone who has helped make this important work possible, and we ask you to consider supporting Haiti Outreach again in the future. Together, we can move cholera in Haiti from the headlines to the history books.

Photo ©Haiti Outreach 2012

Learn Basic Creole with Haiti Outreach!

June 26, 2012

Whenever you visit another country, it’s always fun and less stressful to know at least some bits and pieces of the local language. Whether you travel with us to Haiti or on your own, we think it might be useful to learn a few Creole phrases to get you started on your journey! Check out Traveling Haiti for an extensive list of basic Creole as well as a pronunciation guide!

Here are some basic Creole phrases:

Bonjou means Good Morning. A nice way to greet someone at the start of the day!
Bonswa means Good Afternoon/Evening and is typically used after 11 AM
Komon ou ye? is a way to ask someone How are you doing?
N’ap Boule is a very common greeting and response meaning Good!
Wi means yes while Non means No
Mesi means Thanks and is a great way to be polite!
Souple means Please, another easy way to be courteous.
Merite means You’re welcome which can be used after Mesi
Pa gen Pwoblem means No Problem!
Oke means Ok. You could use this when someone asks you to do something.
Eskize mwen means Excuse me! Which would be nice to use in a crowded area.

These are basic, everyday phrases that can be very helpful in your travels! Try some phrases out together and see how easy it easy to hold small conversations with just a small knowledge of Creole!

Haiti Outreach Featured in Minnesota Business May 2012

June 5, 2012

Recently, we had a feature in Minnesota Business who did a section on standing out and those who inspire others. Their short piece on us, Haiti Outreach: How Technology Enabled Success, focuses on our organization implementing a social media strategy. After functioning fine for years without one, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, we realized we needed a new way to reach out to our community. This article discusses our transition to an online world and how we utilized social media tools to engage our community and successful outreach and fundraise. To read the piece in it’s entirety and the rest of May’s issue of Minnesota Business, click here.

Utah Valley University Students Visit Haiti Outreach

May 17, 2012

A student group from Utah Valley University visited Haiti recently and saw first-hand the work of Haiti Outreach and other NGO’s  there. They had a valuable experience, saw the complexity of trying to do the right thing, and learned about our community development model.

Mallory Black, Assistant New Editor, wrote an article about their experience in the UVU REVIEW. Here is an excerpt from her article, talking about Haiti Outreach: “ Initially, the request for assistance comes from the people, but it all goes back to who will be held accountable for it’s maintenance – the Haitian community. The organization is about community participation and engagement, not about giving things away, which is the all-too-often held belief of many nongovernmental and nonprofit agencies, both by the agencies themselves and the people who donate to them.”

We are always grateful when groups visit with us and see our work, as we get to share the important lessons we have learned in the arena of development, and how that work differs very significantly from relief work being done in Haiti and elsewhere in the world. To see her entire article, Click Here.

In Celebration of Clean Water in Haiti

January 9, 2012

By: Jeffrey Brown, Haiti Outreach President

On January 4, Haiti Outreach, Water.org, and the Haitian community of Ravin Joubè celebrated the inauguration of their clean water well. In attendance at the celebration were Water.org’s co-founders, some of their board members, supporters, and staff, plus many of our own Haiti Outreach team members. This is the second inauguration I’ve attended since joining Haiti Outreach in May, 2011. Both were incredible celebrations of the vibrancy, pride, and joy that a well brings to people.

The community of Ravin Joubè is in a rural area near the town of San Raphael, Haiti. The inauguration and opening of their well was the culmination of the community’s management training and preparation that took place for months under our guidance and support. The new well will bring fresh, safe water to 300 people – people who previously had to walk to rivers to collect dirty water for their daily use.

The new Ravin Joubè Well is part of a joint project between Haiti Outreach and Water.org. The project consists of drilling new wells and rehabilitating dysfunctional wells to bring safe, potable water to 18,000 people in the rural area around Haiti Outreach’s hometown of Pignon and the neighboring town of San Raphael. Our partnership with Water.org began in May of 2010 after they evaluated and certified us as an organization that has demonstrated a long and lasting commitment to developing Haitian communities to maintain sustainable water sources and sanitation facilities. Together with Water.org, we share the belief that community engagement and development create lasting change in how community members work together to create solutions to their own challenges – and that this ability can extend beyond the immediate work we do in water, hygiene and sanitation.

What is so important about Clean Water Well Inaugurations?

Haiti Outreach helps nearly 40 to 50 communities inaugurate wells each year.  The inaugurations are opportunities for the community members to demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to manage and maintain this vital resource. They’re an opportunity to celebrate the well’s multiple benefits with music, dance, skits, songs and speeches. The benefits of this easily-accessible, safe drinking water for the community include:

  • The possibility for children to go to school because they no longer need to spend hours every day walking long distances to the river to get water,
  • Improved health as water-borne illnesses are eliminated or greatly reduced
  • A newly-instilled feeling of self-sufficiency and an ability to work together as they gain collaborative management skills and concepts.

For me, the inaugurations put all our work into perspective. We’re helping Haitians help themselves on their path to establishing, managing and sustaining a better life because they now have safe water – something that so many of us take for granted. This water is their water – they worked for it and they own it, and as a result they’re committed to assuring it’s there for the long run. It’s humbling, and I’m proud to be working with my Haiti Outreach colleagues and our supporters who make this possible.

You can help us bring safe water and pride of ownership to more of our Haitian neighbors by donating now to Haiti Outreach.  And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. With each of these, you can flow with us!

One Day, One Gift, One Clean Water Well…Together We Can Change Lives

November 6, 2011

A special opportunity to make an incredible difference is coming on Wednesday, November 16 during “Give to the Max Day” – a special day for non-profits based in Minnesota… and Haiti Outreach will be participating.  On this day you can join with others and help Haiti Outreach achieve its goal of $10,000 for a new well that will provide clean water for a village of up to 500 people.  Donations made on Nov. 16 will also enable Haiti Outreach to receive a matching grant of at least $3,000! A variety of other additional grants will be awarded in contests throughout the day.

Please pledge your donation here today. Then we will send you a reminder on November 16. Thank you!

GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day amplifies your giving impact in a number of ways:

  • Matching Funds! We have $3,000 in matching funds already pledged for the first $3,000 donated on Nov. 16. So your donation will be doubled if you donate early!
  • Win a Golden Ticket! $1,000 will be given to a donor’s charity randomly selected every hour (24 hours starting at Midnight November 16 until Midnight November 17). You could be that donor! Morning owl? Donate around 3-5am! Night owl? How about midnight on the 16th?
  • Put us on the Leader Board! $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 prize grants will be awarded to the top three nonprofit organizations (colleges and universities excluded) that receive the most dollars in 24 hours during Give to the Max Day.
  • Setup your own fundraising campaign for Haiti Outreach and create support with your friends to raise $10,000 for one new community clean water well on Nov. 16, and we will mail you an official Haiti Outreach t-shirt and feature a picture of you and a story about your achievement in our December Monthly e-newsletter and on our web page! Here’s how you can setup a personal fundraising campaign for Haiti Outreach:
  1. Visit Haiti Outreach’s GiveMN webpage for Give to the Max Day at: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Haiti-Outreach
  2. Click on the white “Fundraise” button in the right hand column.
  3. Fill out all the information
  4. Share with your friends – tell them what you are doing and that you will ask on Nov. 16 for them to give.
  5. Send us an email and tell us your goal. We will help support your efforts using our social media channels too!

If you’ve ever dreamt of impacting lives, please consider participating in Give to the Max Day November 16 and supporting Haiti Outreach. GiveMN is easy to use, and your gift to Haiti Outreach will make a huge in the lives of the people in need of clean water  in Haiti.

Haiti Outreach Management Model Recognized Nationally!

November 2, 2011

Ceremony in Pignon Begins National Certification Process

On October 11, 2011, the General Director of Direction National Eau Potable et  Assenisman (DINEPA), Gerald Jean-Baptiste, arrived in Pignon to give official recognition to the water management committees that oversee the first 42 community wells that complied with the new government by-laws, rules and regulations that DINEPA created, based on a Haiti Outreach model.

Honors Bestowed

Present for the ceremony and signing process were 2 or 3 representatives from each community’s committee who came from the Pignon, San Raphael and La Viktwa areas, along with Director Jean-Baptiste and Haiti Outreach staff, including President Jeff Brown and Director of Special Projects Neil Van Dine.   The wells managed by the committees recognized were all community wells that Haiti Outreach had drilled and community management committees that we trained!

“This is a very special day for Haiti Outreach, the Haitian government and all of the people of these communities,” said Brown. “The national government has just created this standardization program, certifying and officially recognizing that these wells are being managed according to their rules for sustainability and transparency. These wells are the first to be certified and we are very proud of that .”

Neil Van Dine added, “Haiti Outreach has pioneered this effort, developing and perfecting our community well management program and shared the results with the national government. They were impressed with what we have accomplished, and we worked together to finalize their new system that will now be implemented for the whole country. This is a major achievement and is a wonderful pay-off for the many years we have been working toward this goal.”

How It Got Started

DINEPA is a department of the Haitian ministry of public works. In 2010, DINEPA published the Haiti Outreach model as an inspirational guideline for creating and training the community water management committees and wrote a letter recommending that non-profit and for-profit organizations that drill wells use it. The new certification system, called Committee Pointe Eau (CPE) is for individual water points, such as a single well. It is based on 4 principles with which the committees must comply in order to be certified: 

  • Authority- through DINEPA
  • Responsibility- a community based water committee
  • Accountability- having a business plan that is followed
  • Transparency- being in honest and open communication with the people in the community about what is happening

What’s Next?

As DINEPA moves to implement this new process, they will eventually train inspectors to replace the Haiti Outreach inspectors. This will strengthen the government and make these clean water projects more sustainable- moving us that much closer toward our vision of Haiti as a development country!
DINEPA is also working on a similar training and certification process for water systems in small and large towns. We are working with them on these projects, as well as continuing to develop the water systems in Pignon and San Raphael.

Community Water Management Committee Members Signing For Certification

General Director of DINEPA Gerald Jean-Baptiste, Haiti Outreach President Jeff Brown and Director of Special Projects Neil Van Dine (r to l)

 

 

Live! January 12, 2011 Podcast Interview with Dale Snyder of Haiti Outreach

January 13, 2011

 

Listen to the interview of Haiti Outreach Executive Director Dale Snyder with The Conversation Hub, as they discuss Haiti, the work of Haiti Outreach staff and volunteers, and our hope for the future development of the country of Haiti.

 

 

 

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