Water Partners Envision a "Bluer" Haiti
“Ce que nous faisons pour nous meme meurt avec nous. Ce que nous faisons pour les autres et pour le monde demeure et est immortal."
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."
Ancy Fils Aime speaks at the Haiti partner conference
These were the opening words of Ancy Fils Aime, In-country Coordinator for Living Waters for the World’s Haiti network, on June 9, 2018, when he and LWW’s six in-country team members executed their most successful partner conference yet. The undergirding theme of the conference was “Sustainability for a Generation”, but the Haitians were more philosophical, as you can see with Ancy’s opening statement. God’s pure love is about others and not ourselves.
61 people, representing 45 water sites, attended the conference. That was 50% of the 90 active systems in Haiti.
61 system operators and educators gathered for LWW’s 2018 Haiti water partner conference
Attendance was strong, in part, because LWW’s in-country network team members were challenged to recruit the most water partners to attend. (For those who know and love them, Bertone and Lucson came in first and second respectively.) The conference was open to all water partners, but because of the difficulty of traveling in Haiti, it was primarily attended by partners in the area of Port au Prince and West. Even still, there were several people who woke at 3 a.m. to catch a bus, some traveling over 100 miles to attend.
Attendees came to the Haiti conference so that they could make water plants like this one more successful.
In her opening remarks, Sr. Martha who is a member of the Sisters of the Holy Ghost in Monchil, Jacmel, said:
“It’s a great pleasure for me to be able to participate at this great conference. I participated last year. I am here today, and I will always make myself available to participate in each conference because it’s such a great opportunity that LWW offers us to gather together in order to learn from each other and form a challenge among us to make the purpose of the conference, which is water for a generation, possible. I believe, and I am convinced, that conferences are extremely important for the sustainability of the water purification systems. About the evaluation sheet, I think it is a wonderful challenge to each of us, and I promise that I will be the first to declare that my system will be in blue next year because it needs to be in blue! Thank you.”
Sister was referring to the self-evaluation process that is standard at all LWW partner conferences. Water partners evaluated their performance in the categories of operation, education, finance, and management to give insight into how each site is really doing. They ranked each category at a level of red, yellow, green or blue – red being the lowest level of performance and blue being the highest. Each level offered a set of criteria by which the partners could evaluate their performance. The important thing was not the level at which each water partner was performing, but the challenge to “achieve blue” in as many categories as possible. This attitude will help them achieve "sustainability for a generation."
Photo: Brother Daniel (center) with some of his top students.
The challenge was accepted by many of the partners in attendance, including Brother Daniel Arie, Headmaster of St. Charles Borromeo School, a K-13 school with 400 students. When asked what he got out of the conference and how he will change some of his processes this year, he said:
“The conference was extremely important for me. I learned a lot at the conference. I'll make all my efforts to take care of my system. Before the conference, I didn't have a generator to running the system every day, but now I borrow a new generator to keep the system running. I will change the filters, test the water every month, and continue to spend money to keep the system on life. So, I very much appreciate the conference. I was very happy to be there.”
Ancy called me late in the day after the conference was finished, and I could not have been prouder of the work he and his team had accomplished. Ancy reflected the attitude of those who had attended. They were excited, engaged and enthusiastic about coming together next year to share with their brothers and sisters how they had done. Thanks be to God and thanks be to the Holy Spirit for filling this gathering with your Grace.