Jésula Antoine is a 32-year-old single woman who has a 5-year-old little girl. She and her daughter reside in the commune of Saint-Raphaël. Though she is a single mother, she has family close by. Her mother, named Mrs. Dieudonné Belle, two sisters and brother also live in her community. Unfortunately, her father, Mr. Annéus Antoine passed away. Jésula and all of her family members are farmers.
Jésula and her family used to draw water from a spring called Masse. This spring is located about a half a mile from their homes. Every day, she traveled over an hour away with a container to collect the water and walked another hour with the 32-pound bucket on her head. Her family was not the only one to gather water from Masse, and many others would go there in the morning. To prevent some of the congestion, she gathered her water during the afternoon hours when there would be fewer people present.
One day, she went to draw water around 2 PM. The sun was exceptionally hot and gave her a throbbing headache. That day, the journey felt longer than usual. Distracted by her migraine, when she entered the courtyard near her house, she didn’t notice the clothesline that was up and walked right through it. The bucket fell off her head. Not even a drop of water was left. Weary and dehydrated from the long walk and the heat, she couldn’t move. She sat and sobbed for quite a while. Due to the lack of water, she was unable to do many of her chores including cooking that day.
She knew a well would be so helpful to her and her family, but it would be much too expensive! One day, a neighboring community named Digué held a public meeting about how they could get access to drinking water, through a connection of Mr. Dorvil Hérode, the local mayor. This opportunity was just too good to pass up, Jésula had to know how her community could get a well too. She met with some of her neighbors to learn more, and then gathered people from her community of Pòt 2 for a meeting. The members of Pòt 2 saw the value in her idea and agreed to participate. They contacted Mr. Dorvil Hérode who told them to send their request letter to Haiti Outreach.
Their request was granted, and her community spent 4 months in training to learn about proper sanitation practices and to generate a plan to manage their well sustainably. Jésula now serves as the treasurer of the committee.
Her community is so grateful for the impact this well has made on their lives that they want to give back by raising awareness among teachers and students in her area to encourage them to participate in the management training program in the schools, and in the promotion of a clean and healthy community in general.