Jésulène Pierre is a married 52 year old mother of 6 who resides in the Municipality of Ouanaminthe, North East department, Haiti. In her community of Chiffonnette, Jesulene is viewed as a very wise and honest lady. To provide for her family, she grows peanuts. For most of her life, her water source came from a spring called Gouerant. Her children used to wake up early to collect water and again at sunset. This source is always full of people gathering water.
One day en route to the stream, her youngest son, 12 year old Raphaël Kensonn went to draw water. The road was really dangerous with deep slopes. Unfortunately, his feet slipped from the ravines and he fell down. He injured his right ankle and foot, and had to spend 30 days in an air cast. The medical expenses put great strain on the family, and they had to forgo purchasing materials to cook food which increased their hunger. Raphaël not only endured hunger and lack of clean water to drink, but felt deep sadness when he saw other children playing soccer while he couldn’t move.
One day, Jésulène received an invitation to come to a community meeting. There she learned that a committee of her neighbors had contacted an organization called Haiti Outreach who would be drilling a well in the Chiffonette area. The committee had agreed to take ownership of the management of this well, and were in the process of writing their plan for that and learning about proper sanitation and hygiene practices. The water point committee worked diligently over the following months to ensure that their well would be cared for and the community would have sustainable access to clean water. In October, they held the inauguration ceremony for their new well. Everyone was overjoyed by this new change!
“Today we are happier than ever” (Jodia nou kontan folds pase nenpot lot moman) one of the community members exclaimed! Having this well close to home will give Jésulène more time to cultivate her peanut farm to earn money to care for her family, and children like Raphaël will not have so many risks to worry about when gathering water. The time they used to spend walking to the stream can now be used to help them do more valuable activities such as earning income or attending school. The community members of Chiffonette are very relieved and grateful for this new well!