Haiti (MNN) — When you’ve been working in a country for as long as For Haiti with Love has, you face challenges of all shapes and sizes. That’s why it’s no small thing for Eva Dehart to say trash and human waste are two of the biggest challenges facing Haiti.
“They’re not educated on hygiene. They don’t relate to the fact that their own waste material spreads disease,” Dehart says.
Hygiene problems are nothing new in Haiti. “I once had a world traveler tell me that no matter what island he stopped at, he could tell which islands were settled originally by the French,” Dehart says. She explained that few French settlements set a precedent for hygiene, and the problems simply haven’t gone away.
In 2010, things took a turn for the worse when locals claimed United Nations representatives sparked a cholera epidemic in Haiti. “The locals all have pictures of the UN dumping the contents of their porta potties right into the main rivers,” and the resulting outbreak is still leaving a mark on the health of the Haitian people.
But Haiti’s hygiene history might be about to change.
It started with a new house. Donors to For Haiti with Love had provided a new home for a young man in Haiti, Dehart explains. “Being in his new home, he was really aware of the sanitation issues that were going on in the neighborhood around him.”
He came up with a plan for a community latrine and hygiene education programs to implement in a nearby village. Now, the project is almost complete.
“It takes a lot of patience and a lot of education to get them to use a latrine rather than going on the ground or going in a plastic bag and just throwing it wherever it lands.” But the added education and training gives the For Haiti with Love teams more chances to introduce local villagers to the truth of the Gospel.
And the mind behind the first latrine isn’t finished. “He wants to make this a continuing project so that we can educate and clean up one area at a time,” Dehart shares. He has already started collecting funds to build a second latrine in another nearby village.
Each cement and steel structure costs $3,500, which is why For Haiti with Love needs your support and prayer. “Truly, God blesses those who give to the poor, so we would ask that they would include For Haiti with Love in their giving projects and we will do our best to spread the Gospel and hygiene with it.”