Testimonial from Paulette Champagne, Grandmother
My name is Paulette Champagne. I am 55 years old. I have lived in this neighborhood of Port-au-Prince – Villa Rosa – for 22 years. I ask you to please transmit not only my thanks, but the thanks of all the residents of Villa Rosa to your principal donors.
I am married with two children, one girl and one boy. The girl is 31 years old, and the boy is 20. They have not found any work. My daughter has a small boy who is seven, without a father. I live with them in a room that is not even comfortable. My husband has been dead for 15 years now. I live with him in my spirit.
Despite my bitterness, I want to thank International Action for having thought of me, I would say, because they have done much for me and my family. The water that I and my family consumed before the installment of the chlorinator in Villa Rosa was of very bad quality. We didn't have money to buy a safe 5 gallon bottle of water for 60 gourdes (U.S. $2). My grandson suffered from severe diarrhea. He would get so dehydrated at times, to the point where we spent all our money taking him to the doctors, even when we didn't have the money to eat. With your clean water, he does not get sick any more.
Also, I have been struck with several vaginal diseases. Many women in my community suffer from these as well, but they are too ashamed to talk about it. The new clean water has stopped these infections. That's why I am not embarrassed to give this testimony. I think there are a lot of people in other neighborhoods who have a need of this program.
Lots of organizations have the habit of coming here, but their activities have not helped the population who lives on the verge of absolute misery. The Water Agency (CAMEP) has not done their job. The water of CAMEP is not good. It is necessary for International Action to expand and become better known, because it is a positive influence.
I was not told of the chlorinator installations, but only noticed the change in our health. How did I learn formally about the treatment of our water? I have a friend in Cité Canada (nearby neighborhood). She is around 50 years old and younger than I am. She is in the middle of a celebration over the quality of water in her neighborhood. She showed me a sign on Cité Canada's water tank of a multi-colored flag where water is stored. I realized that it is the same flag as on my water tank in Villa Rosa. That is how I came to know Dalebrun and got to ask him about the program.
(Translated from Creole and French)
Above is one of the most moving statements about our chlorinator program that we have received. We were surprised at the comment that chlorinating water stops urinary tract infections. A search of the medical journals confirms, "Girls can also pick up vaginal and urinary infections if the water they use...is dirty, leading to more time off from school."
Also we found: "Dr. Georgina Pastorfide, a dermatologist, cautions against the use of contaminated water...as it might cause vaginitis, a vaginal infection."
And, "Lack of sufficient quantities of clean fresh water enabling the regular practice of proper hygiene plays a role in common lower reproductive tract infections in women." That comes from the UN Population Fund.
The fact that Madame Champagne's grandson is now thriving is also very good news. We are therefore very happy to send her thanks to you as a "principal donor" to her city's chlorinators.
We did install chlorinators in both Cité Canada and Villa Rosa and we put rainbow colored flags on every chlorinator location. These are the flags Madame Champagne noticed.