It may not be surprising to know that education has proven to be one of the most effective ways to empower girls and women in developing countries. But what many may not realize are the barriers that girls in Haiti have to overcome just to pursue their studies, and the direct link that having clean water has on their ability to learn.
Take Daphne’s story, for example. She is a 12-year-old girl from northern Haiti, and this past June her community inaugurated their new well! Before her community had collaborated with Haiti Outreach, she had to walk miles to fetch water before school. Daphne shares her morning chores with her brother and sister, but also with many other children in Haiti who are usually responsible to collect water.
Daphne reported that, “the nearest water source was far from home and sometimes we had to go back and forth so that there was enough water in the house for the whole day.”
Many women and children regularly travel up to 2 miles on foot to get to the nearest water source. “We often arrived at school late and tired,” she says. As a very dedicated student, she did not like being late. Since the inauguration of the new well for the community, Daphne is pleased to say that she has arrived on time to school every day!
Access to clean, safe water is essential for the development of children in a community. Haiti Outreach raises awareness among communities about the importance of water quality and helps hundreds of households each year obtain access to clean with with-in 5oo meters of their homes.
Mr. Kirinus Accilien, one of our field supervisors, explained, “In many of the communities where we work, water is the responsibility of girls. When they are no longer forced to travel long distances, not only do they save time each day, but they are no longer at risk of hurting themselves through rugged trails, steep ravines, being attacked by animals or assaulted.”
Daphne is overjoyed that she no longer has to travel long distances to reach the nearest water point. She beamed when she expressed, “I can now arrive at school on time, and follow the lessons much more easily! Thank you, Haiti Outreach!”