Worldwide everyone has been impacted by the global pandemic to varying degrees. In response, our staff implemented new methods to complete our work and continue training communities. Before the pandemic, our practice was to send our animators to the field to meet with communities, talk to them, teach them the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene, and guide them in developing a management plan for their well.
To prevent the risk of spreading the virus, we have rotated teams while urging our employees to take precautions everywhere: at home, in the field, and in the office. Despite their fears, our team quickly adapted to the new protocol. At times the office seemed empty as we worked remotely, but everyone remained committed to our mission.
The hardest part about this, he says, is putting many of our activities on hold. Despite the spread of the virus, we were able to continue our conversations with communities, support them, educate them about the virus and continue installing wells. Fortunately, COVID19 cases in Haiti have been on the decline, and that has allowed us to do more work, and of course still respect the recommended social protocols.
“We are proud to overcome this ordeal without closing our offices. We are even more proud not to have put any of our employees on standby, let alone let them go them as some institutions have had to do” said Mr. Rogé Michel, director of community development at Haiti Outreach.
“During this time,” says Rogé Michel, “we have inaugurated at least 4 wells in the Northeast. However, we are still not permitted to have gatherings of more than 10 people, so that has prevented us from having our normal inauguration ceremonies. Knowing that the real celebration happens daily when the people come and collect their clean water, we did not want to delay anyone from having that essential resource. So in lieu of a celebration, we organized a meeting with a representative of each of the water point committees to give them the keys to the new wells so that they could serve the population.”
“At the end of the day,” says Rogé, “we’ve all learned a lot about this virus that we didn’t know before. We have also learned to operate in different ways, with collaborations at all levels; from communities, to the facilitators and administrative staff which have been enriching for all. Personally, I would like to warmly thank all the people who have worked intensely during this period in the various departments of Haiti Outreach but also all those who allowed us to work in good conditions, from the technical and cleaning staff up to Haiti Outreach executives. ”