October 15th marked Pure Water for the World’s celebration of Global Handwashing Day. Global Handwashing day is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
Pure Water for the World – Haiti went a rural school in Desdunes Haiti in the Artibonite department. This is a 3 ½ drive from Port au Prince and we had to leave early to set up for the event. Many of our staff had never been there before and after we loaded all of our materials and supplies into our trucks, we hit the road.
The ride was nice and this part of Haiti is known for its rice production which we were able to see all along the way. When we entered into the area there were parts that were impassable or blocked. We went around these slight obstacles and continued until we hit a deep canal. This stopped us as it only had space for a motorcycle or bicycle to cross, not a pickup truck. We asked the community what happened and they told us that this element was aftermath from Hurricane Mathew. We told them why we were here and asked for other directions. To our dismay this was the only way to reach the school.
The community was happy to see us and everyone wanted to come to the event. The community members got wood, rocks, and bags of gravel from in and around their houses to help us make a small bridge. Everyone pitched in and the makeshift little bridge allowed us to cross the canal to continue toward the school.
When we arrived everyone was already waiting for us eagerly. The school was packed with students with more people arriving as soon as we entered. We spent the day with the school children singing songs, discussing handwashing, practicing handwashing, finger painting, distributing soap, stickers and buckets and watching fun educational videos.