Preparing for a Volunteer Trip to Haiti

Trip Start Jan 29, 2009
Trip End Feb 08, 2009

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Flag of Haiti  ,
Monday, January 19, 2009

Hello everyone,
As many of you know, I have been volunteering over the last year with Engineers Without Borders as a public health professional. The project I have been volunteering with is a clean water project for Haiti. I will be conducting a health assessment of the community before and after the clean water project is implemented. Les Anglais is a city at the Southwestern most tip of Haiti. I will be flying to Miami and staying overnight and then we will fly to Port Au Prince. We are estimating a 6-8 hour drive to the community of Les Anglais. Les Anglais is estimated to have a population of approximately 20,000-30,000 people. As most of you know, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
An initial assessment of Les Anglais's drinking water system was completed last year. The results showed significant amounts of contamination to the water including different coliforms and E.Coli. As a result, the town has been experiencing high amounts of gastrointestinal problems. Gastrointestinal problems often lead to diarrhea and severe dehydration, which can result in death especially in children under the age of five.
The team is in the process of developing water treatment options including centralized and point-of-use treatment with chemical disinfection, sand filters, and other options. Les Anglais has a system that was apparently built by USAID in the late 70's/80's (?) and is in despair due to age, wear and tear, and hurricane damage. The water is not currently being treated. Our project model strives to be sustainable by building the capacity of the local community to maintain what has been implemented.
We (the health assessment team) will be conducting household health surveys and targeted community focus group discussions.  The survey focuses on water, sanitation, hygiene, and frequency of diarrhea.  The survey will also include collection of data for children under the age of five to determine the level of malnutrition in this community.  The goal of the assessment will be to assess current conditions that will inform the future of our project as well as establish a baseline by which we can measure our project efforts. The information will also be used to inform future volunteer efforts.  

For additional information, I would encourage you to go to our chapter/project web site at
I will be leaving January 29th and returning February 8th. The community doesn't have electricity or internet access so I plan to document my trip with pictures when I return to the US. I can't wait to share my experiences and photos with you all. 
See you later,
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casey_matt on

You are awesome.
What amazingly important work you will be doing! Thank you for your dedication to helping those most in need, we wish you a safe and healthy trip and will look forward to seeing and hearing all about it upon your return. love, Casey and Matt

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