We’re back from Haiti We hope many of you will be able to attend our Haiti Presentation on January 6th. If you do not, corner any one of us and we will gladly share our experience. We want you to know that BHCC was part of something incredibly meaningful and joyful…bringing the gift of clean water to two communities in Haiti! We wish you could have been there to personally witness the enthusiasm of the Haitians, both young and old, as the systems were dedicated and the people tasted their first sip of clean water! Two villages are drinking CLEAN PURE water and are on their way to better health. Better health leads to energy and the ability to learn and that leads to change! Your financial support, encouragement and prayers made this possible and for that we are most grateful.
Following is the project summary Rick Jacobs put together. We thought it appropriate to share it with you.
Project Summary The Bower Hill water team completed installation of Living Waters for the World (LWW) solar powered water systems in Torbeck and Chaveneau, Haiti, on December 2, 2012. This is a report of the success of these projects.
In September 2011, six members of Bower Hill Community Church attended Clean Water University in Oxford, MS, for training in establishing covenant relationships, constructing water purification systems, and training operators and health educators. In 2012, we sent one person to Clean Water U and four additional people to Solar School in Ferncliff, AR, to learn how to connect solar panels and install electrical controls for water purification systems.
Last February, a small team from Bower Hill Community Church went to Haiti, where we signed a covenant with Pere Jean Phillippe Jean Alphonse of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Torbeck. We agreed to pay for construction of a water treatment building, to install a solar powered water purification system, to train operators and health educators, and to pay operator salaries for at least one year. Shortly after that trip, we learned of a non-profit organization called Hearts United with Haiti (HWH) that is providing financial and other assistance to a school and church located in the rural village of Chaveneau. Working with Crystal Funk, Director of HWH, we were able to develop a second water project at this location. HWH installed a new well, and Bower Hill agreed to provide the same covenant services as for Torbeck. (A covenant with Chaveneau was signed in November).
Throughout 2012, we raised money, constructed a mock-up system, practiced our installation skills and generally shared the message of clean water with as many people as possible. Several churches contributed money raised by children attending Vacation Bible School based on LWW curriculum. We also received additional grants of $15,000 from Solar Under the Sun for two solar powered water purification projects in Haiti. By early fall, with God’s help we had raised sufficient funds to complete both projects, so we made plans to travel to Haiti after Thanksgiving and install both systems. We purchased all the water system equipment, electrical components, fittings, tools and wiring necessary to construct the systems, and ordered the Solar panels, batteries and components that we could not carry from Green Energy Solutions in Haiti. The weekend after Thanksgiving we packed all the equipment into 19 suitcases to be carried down with the team.
Our team of eight people arrived in Port Au Prince on November 27. We were met by members of the Living Waters Haiti network and by Crystal and Redgi from Hearts United with Haiti. Because of a late arrival, we spent the night in Port Au Prince, and departed for Torbeck early the next morning. We arrived in Torbeck at noon, and immediately started unpacking and dividing the equipment. We were joined by additional Haitian technicians, who had already mounted the solar panels at both locations.
Over the next four days, the team split into two groups. With assistance of the Haitian technicians, we completed the installation of the water systems at both sites in 2 1/2 days. Hygiene training was conducted in Torbeck on Wednesday and Thursday and in Chaveneau on Friday and Saturday. 25 people were trained as hygiene educators. The water systems were tested and 8 operators were trained at both locations on Saturday. Clean water was produced and distributed at Torbeck on Saturday. On Sunday after worship services, both systems were blessed, dedicated and celebrated. Several hundred people attended the dedications, and everyone was very happy to receive the gift of clean water. More than 200 bottles of water were distributed. The Bower Hill teams participated in the celebrations and then departed for Port Au Prince, returning to the US on Monday, December 3. A daily blog with pictures and details of our experiences in Haiti can be accessed at http://bhccinhaiti.blogspot.com.
The cost for the systems, excluding training, but including the building costs at both sites, is approximately $31,000 each. Training costs of more than $10,000 are added to these costs. of funds for these costs are provided below:
GRANTS Pittsburgh Presbytery $15,000 Solar Under the Sun $15,000 FUNDRAISERS $19,200 PRIVATE DONATIONS $16,010 BOWER HILL MISSION FUNDS $9,450 MEMORIAL AND OTHER GIFTS $6,480
From these numbers, it is apparent that Pittsburgh Presbytery grants accounted for approximately 18% of the funds raised and Solar Under the Sun grants accounted for another 18%. So nearly 2/3 of the total funds were raised through the efforts of Bower Hill Community Church. This meets all the requirements for the grants received from Pittsburgh Presbytery. Congratulations to all of you who contributed to our success.
Bower Hill still has nearly $11,000 remaining from 2012 fundraising efforts. Our church is very excited about continuing this mission. We are contemplating installation of an additional water purification system at Camp Perrin, Haiti, sometime next year, and perhaps a fourth system if we can raise the money. We would welcome additional grants from Pittsburgh Presbytery, various Rotary clubs, Solar Under the Sun and Living Waters for the World to assist us with these installations. We now have a proven team of installers and educators who are enthusiastic about their involvement with Living Waters and Solar Under the Sun in Haiti. We are relying on God to provide the opportunity for us to be of additional service to his will.