Mr. François Saintilmond is a 53 year old farmer, husband, and father of 4 (2 girls and 2 boys). He is originally from an area named Lory Nan Polo which is located in the 2nd communal section of Roucou, in the commune of Trou-du-Nord in the North East Department of Haiti. He now resides in Lory Dibuisson. Devoted to his family, he not only works as a farmer but also earns income by providing public transportation on his motorcycle.
His family used to fetch water from a dug well at a neighbor’s house. During the rainy season, the well had a propensity to dry up, so they often had to walk more than one-half mile to fetch water. The long walk caused his children to arrive late to school. Because their tardiness was habitual, one of his daughters was expelled from her school by the director. She lost an entire year of school, and this caused great sadness for the family.
One day, Francois was invited to a public meeting that was taking place for his community. He found out that Haiti Outreach was going to drill a well for his community, but they needed to elect a leadership committee to manage it. He was surprised and delighted by this news, and volunteered to participate in the management committee. Throughout the management training, Francois and other committee members learned about the value of proper sanitation and hygiene to prevent illness. They had never realized that where they go to the bathroom could have an impact on the cleanliness of their water and by default impact their health too! Francois and his family built their own latrine and have decided not to defecate anywhere else. They consider it not only a matter of concern for their family, but their neighbors too as they have learned that germs can spread easily, and they want to protect everyone’s health.
Since their well was inaugurated, Francois has experienced peace in knowing that his family is healthy and that his children can arrive at school in time. He shared, “Today, more than ever, I have a happy heart because in this community that has access to drinking water closer to home. My children arrive on time for school and my wife finds water more easily to prepare the family food. I am very happy to offer all my time to serve my community.”
This new well not only has a positive impact on his wife and children’s health and education, but also his farm. He shared, “Since we got this well, I use the water not only for better drinking and cooking food, but for better banana plantation in the home garden.” This year he plans to plant approximately 300 feet of bananas. Which will allow him to save more money to take better care of his family.