International Women's Day - How Clean Water Can Empower Girls in Haiti

March 7, 2014

International Women’s Day is this week and with this in mind it is important to remember what great things can happen from empowering girls. The majority of people in Haiti don’t have access to clean drinking water. The water that they have access to is potentially incredibly dangerous. What this means is that instead of being in school, many young girls are at home, sick. We are trying to bring a safer, brighter future to Haitian girls in more ways than one. Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries with many people live on less than $2 a day. Despite the extreme poverty, Haitians have to pay for education and water. This forces many parents to put what little money they have towards paying for clean water rather than investing in their daughters’ futures.

Take Rochelle for example; A few years ago, her sister was missing excessive amounts of school because she suffered from chronic diarrhea caused from drinking contaminated water. Furthermore, instead of investing in their daughters’ education, her family was forced to spend their savings on drinking water. Thankfully, all of this changed with the installation of a chlorinator in the water supply. Her sister recovered and was able to return to school and Rochelle’s parents were able to save money to invest in their daughters’ education. Now, Rochelle is a nursing student with plans to better the lives of the people around her. By investing in clean water, we invested in both Rochelle’s future and the future of her community.

Moreover, in Mount Jolly, the ten thousand people who live there and the people in the surrounding area have clean water seven days a week thanks to our chlorinators. They do have to pay a small fee for the water but are willing to because they know the water is safe. The people of Mount Jolly have decided to take the revenue from the chlorinator and invest it back into the community by hiring teachers. This means that even the girls from the poorest families are able to go to school for free. Girls in Mount Jolly now not only have access to clean water, but also have hopes of a brighter future!

International Women’s Day is Saturday and it is important to remember how vital it is to invest in women. By investing in women, we are promoting progress for all and that starts with meeting basic necessities.

For more information on International Women's Day, check out the website here!

To check out International Action's page on the IWD website and learn more about how we empower girls in Haiti through clean water, click here!

Written by Jennie Maibour