Daily Archives: June 14, 2016

Day Four: M&E, the Azil, and the Girls’ Orphanage

Today’s post, to recount Monday, June 13, 2016, is written by Nathalie Danso ’17 and James Hood ’19:

Early in the morning, we headed off to Clory to finish our Luci Light distribution and monitoring and evaluation of the biosand water filters. The roads were washed out after

Hiking up to Clory.

Hiking up to Clory.

the torrential downpour of the night before so we hiked most of the way to the village from the main road. On our way up, the biosand group stopped to visit some of the houses with filters on the hill. We continued visiting filters for the rest of the morning in Clory and in Pandiassou, a town in between Clory and Hinche. Most of these houses had filters that worked well and seemed to benefit the households. However, there were some instances where the filters had broken or were not being used. One household had tried to move the filter had dropped it on a rock and had broken it in half. There is no way the technician could fix this so the family has been without a filter since September of 2015. It is still being used, though, by a hen that now roosts in its remains. Another house also did not use their filter because they said that they did not trust it. Our monitoring and evaluation of the filters has shown some important lapses in communication, but as we finished collecting the data, we all felt an overwhelming sense that the filters, apart from a few bumps, are part of a successful intervention.

Once we reached the school, the Biosand groups headed off to complete more of their M&E by talking to more families. The Luci Light groups stayed at the school. Ryan and Helen talked with Manno, a community leader, about the upcoming distribution and execution of the clean cookstove project. The remaining ‘19s spent time with the children who had just finished their exams. Ray, Kara, Madeleine, and I used a small book to say

Practicing Creole with the kids of Clory.

Practicing Creole with the kids of Clory.

funny phrases in Creole and the children would in turn say unusual phrases in English. Then, after the 7th graders finished their last exam, Ray, Madeleine, and Ryan gave a quick tutorial alongside a translator on how a Luci light works and how to take care the best care of it. At the same time, Helen, Kara, and I asked a few questions to the teachers of the school relating to attendance and whether they thought the Luci lights had been effective before they broke. I could tell the teachers were thinking very carefully about the answers to the questions and after the questions ended, they told us what they thought would be most helpful to their students. Their greatest visions included a library, computer lab, and effective and complete feeding system. It touched me to see that these teachers expressed no concern for their own wellbeing and devoted their whole attention towards the well-being of their students. I am not sure if I could be that selfless in their circumstances. We distributed the rest of the Luci lights we took with us and departed from the school nervous and excited for the distribution of clean cookstoves tomorrow. After a tasty lunch, the biosand groups went to the Azil Malnutrition Center and the Luci light groups went to the Maison Fortune girls’ orphanage in Hinche.

Nathalie Danso: The Azil – 

This was my third time at the Azil Malnutrition Center. When we arrived, the children had just finished eating. Bursting through the door to the little outside play area where we were waiting, one little girl in a green dress immediately ran towards Ingrid and jumped on her. The other children were a bit less outgoing, but after five minutes we all had our own little gaggle. Some kids tried to use Mr. Boland as a jungle gym while he pushed a little boy in a toy car across the room. I played with several little girls, who all enjoyed being bounced on my knee, but one little boy stayed with me the entire time. I held him on my lap while I played with the other children and carried him on my hip whenever I got up. When it was time to go he would not let me put him down, and started to whimper as I walked away. Leaving him was heartbreaking, but playing with those children and that little boy will always make a memorable part of my last trip to Haiti.

James Hood: Girls’ Orphanage –

When we arrived, we gave out nail polish, coloring books, and bouncy balls. The smaller girls played patty cake with Kara and Madeleine and also attempted to braid their hair. The older ones brought out a soccer ball and played soccer on the pavement using stones as goal posts with Ray, Ryan, and me. We all had fun and ended up drenched in sweat. When talking to a little girl named Julie, she pointed to my arm braces curiously. Since I had absolutely no way of telling her I broke both of them playing soccer in Creole, I used hand gestures. I said “futbol,” pretended to fall back on my wrists, pointed to them, and made a snapping gesture and sound. She thought that was hilarious and must have imitated my gestures at least a hundred times. She would come up to me, point at her wrists, and make the breaking gesture and sound. Eventually we had to leave the orphanage and come back to the Midwives for Haiti house. We ate dinner, recorded M&E responses and ate cake that Madeleine so generously baked to finish our day.

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Day Three: Clean Cookstoves, Water Filters, and some Basketball

Written by Helen Shaves ’17 and Ray Fitzgerald ’19 to recount Sunday, June 12, 2016:

Today we had the chance to sleep in late, and I even had time to make myself an egg sandwich and a mango! The majority of the villagers in Clory attend church on Sunday mornings. Due to this, we were not able to continue our Luci light and Biosand water filter interviews today. Without much of an early morning agenda, the ‘17s were able to relax and play a game of hearts with Mr. Boland which brought back fond memories from the last two trips. Meanwhile, the ‘19s were given a lesson in Haitian Creole taught by Kelby,  IMG_3106one of the translators who has been assisting us with the Luci light distribution and M&E in Clory. It was so much fun to begin to learn a new language and it helped to make communicating with everyone around us a little easier. Soon after the end of the lesson, the ‘19s joined in on the game of hearts with the ‘17s. It was an amazing experience for everyone to get to know each other better, and it gave us a great relief from the overwhelming heat in Clory yesterday.

Mr. Boland, Ryan, and I headed back out to Clory when Mr. Bruce from D&E Green Enterprises (International Lifeline Fund) arrived at the Midwives for Haiti house with the order of clean cook stoves. We drove to Clory and once we parked beside the school, we helped Mr. Bruce and his team unload the eighty cook stoves and stored them there in the

Unloading the cookstoves at the Flower of Hope School.

Unloading the cookstoves at the Flower of Hope School.

Flower of Hope School until distribution happens on Tuesday. Meanwhile students and other locals gathered at the school to see about what all of the commotion was. Mr. Bruce then set up one of the cook stoves and gave us a very thorough tutorial explaining how they work, what fuel to use, and he highlighted the financial, health, and environmental benefits of clean cook stoves. He also told us about his fascinating business model and the work they have done with other communities in Haiti. It was so gratifying to see all of our hard work for this project finally come together for the community of Clory. Mr. Bruce and his team made popcorn for the observers who gathered and the stove produced almost no smoke and heated very quickly. Mr. Bruce also used green charcoal made from sugar cane to cook the popcorn. These clean cook stoves will burn the fuel slower which has the potential to save over $100 USD for the user over a year, which is a significant amount for rural Haitian families. Also, their limited smoke production will decrease risk of upper respiratory diseases and itchy eyes for the mothers and children who cook the meals. The villagers’ intrigued and delighted faces lighting up at the sight of the stove and popcorn promised hope for their transition into the community and all of the extensive benefits they will bring to the villagers. We are now more excited than ever to introduce the stoves to the community, teach the villagers how to use them, and how the stoves will improve their lives.

IMG_3110: Video of Unloading the Cookstoves in Clory

Around 2pm, the ‘19s, along with Mrs. Hopkins, took a tour of the local government hospital in Hinche. This hospital is the main referral hospital for this region of Haiti, which means any local clinic would refer patients to this hospital if there was need. This hospital was actually funded by the U.S. military in 1925 while the U.S. was occupying Haiti. Since then there have been many partnerships to help expand and keep the hospital up and running, including with Partners in Health and even Ohio State University. Extreme differences between the American hospitals and this hospital in Hinche are easily noticeable, such as patient privacy and family support. For example, many of the wards of the hospital have no doors, and when a woman is delivering, family members are not allowed to come in and visit the mother. As we toured we were able to see the true state of the condition of health in Haiti which really opened our eyes and exposed us to conditions in limited-resource settings. This experience showed us why we are truly here and made us even more eager for the upcoming trips.

Once we came back from the hospital, we had a couple minutes before we loaded up again. We were split up into two groups: Madeleine, James, Kara and I went to the boys’ orphanage at Maison Fortune, where we distributed some supplies and were able to hang out and play with the boys. James and I played some basketball with a few of the boys (we got ‘balled up’ by all of them), while Madeleine sat and talked with a few others. Kara was able to fly a homemade kite around the courtyard and got to know a few of the kids. It was amazing to find that we were actually able to communicate pretty well with most of the kids, using a mix of Creole and English.

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Meanwhile, the biosand water filter group consisting of Ingrid, Andrew, Nathalie, and Graham finished up with the Monitoring & Evaluating process for the filter-owning households in Hinche. They interviewed two households and the surrounding neighbors. The first person whom we met informed us that he didn’t have many problems with the filter itself, and he said that it had definitely helped him with cleaning his water supply. However, when we interviewed the neighbors, they didn’t really use the biosand filter because they didn’t want to traverse to the owner’s house or because they wanted their own and didn’t really want to stoop down and borrow their neighbor’s filter. In the next house that we visited, we didn’t get nearly as high quality results. In fact, we didn’t really get results at all. The person who had received a filter during the previous distribution had moved out, leaving his filter in the process. The five families living in the little surrounding community, advised by the technician, had decided not to use the filter because they thought it would be disrespectful and dishonest to use the filter without the owner’s permission. Things have not worked out between the two parties and in short, the families are still unable to use the filter. This was disappointing for several reasons. First, we hoped that our biosand water filters would make a huge difference in the community and be put to good use. Second, it is disheartening to see several low-income families unable to use a water filter that would greatly improve their living condition because of something as simple as a move. Hopefully, the data we have been collecting this week will inform our next steps and a second group of filter recipients will be able to effectively use and share the filters.