Madam Elima Augustin lives in a village called Sayan with 9 children, and they were sick most of the time. She had already lost 1 child to cholera when he was 18, and now 3 more were severely ill.
She was standing in the clinic, in front of the doctor that was treating her kids, and the Doctor repeated…”Where do you get your water?”.
Madam Elima responded that she sent her kids to the river for all the water they used in the house. It’s what her family had done for generations. Now, she learned from the doctor that they were all sick because they had been drinking contaminated water. At that moment Madam Elima created a new future in her mind, a future where her family would only drink clean water. From that day forward, she walked miles to pay for clean water for her family to drink.
One day on her way to market, she saw a new well where people were drinking clean water. She immediately sought out the people responsible for that well. They told her that the well had been created by Haiti Outreach and that her village could have one also if they contacted the local mayors office.
When Madam Elima realized the possibility of having a well for her village, she began working tirelessly to create that future, working with her neighbors for months to figure out how to manage the well, finding out how many people lived in her village and educating them on the importance of clean water and sanitation.
The day the rig finally showed up to drill, the entire village watched as this amazing machine created a hole in the ground that promised to connect them to a future with clean water. Unfortunately, after days of drilling, the hole was dry and the rig moved to the next community, leaving the village of Sayan devastated and heartbroken. All that work lost.
But Madam Elima was having none of this. She saw the future she wanted for her family and enrolled the rest of the village elders into another possibility. This group traveled halfway across the country to visit the Haiti Outreach office and convince our team to try a second borehole and find water for them. They walked for miles to the nearest road, riding in trucks, fording rivers and eventually arriving at our office, right after it closed. Talk about having challenges in front of you! We housed them that night and in the morning, they convinced our team to try again.
One month later the village celebrated the opening of the first source of clean water in their history. The powerful future created by one woman, changed the lives of an entire village.