Hoops for Haiti and the Clean Water Crisis
Many of us live every day without thinking much about the water we use. We take for granted the accessibility of fresh, clean water. We turn it on to brush our teeth, take a shower, wash our hands, cook, fill our water bottle and much more. Imagine waking up without a faucet nearby and the only water available is what hundreds of others have used for bathing, cooking and drinking. It’s difficult to imagine living in a place where that’s everyday life. But in Haiti, this is the reality.
Less than half of Haitians in rural areas have access to water. Those who do have access to water use it for everything; they have no choice other than to dispose of waste in the same river they drink from, breeding cholera and other water-borne illnesses. Natural disasters, like the earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, have caused major setbacks in the efforts to improve sanitization in the country, but we continue to work towards providing clean water for the people of Haiti because it’s the right thing to do. Every human deserves to have access to our most basic human needs: water, food and shelter. At USLI, we decided to make accessibility to clean water in Haiti a priority.
For the last few years, community members at USLI have made two trips to Haiti each year with Poured-Out, a nonprofit organization committed to providing Haitians with clean drinking water through various filtration techniques as well as educating them to maintain these filtration systems. Since 2015, we’ve installed five water houses, each of which has provided over 10,000 gallons of clean water a month to entire villages. We’ve also installed dozens of in-home filters that provide a household with a lifetime of clean water. In addition to instilling a sense of ownership, community, and guaranteeing better health among Haitian families, this effort has also given employment to many Haitians who have assisted our teams with installation.
As we continue our work on the ground in Haiti to maximize our reach there, it also made sense to bring this initiative back home, and we’re incredibly excited to spread the word. We’ve teamed up with the Villanova Wildcats Men’s Basketball team to raise awareness about the need for clean water in Haiti and the impact that we can make in a campaign called Hoops for Haiti. For every 3-point shot made by the Wildcats during the upcoming 2018-2021 seasons, a new water filter will be installed in a Haitian’s home.
Just one filter can provide a family of 5-15 with up to 15 gallons of clean water every day for a lifetime. During every Villanova home game, we will give an update of how many 3-point shots the team has made so far, and, furthermore, how many Haitian families we’ve been able to help. If you would like to join us to give Haiti a shot, you can make a donation to the CARE2 Fund at USLI, and the proceeds will go toward purchasing water filters for Haitian families.
The work being done in Haiti to provide clean water is incredibly important. We are just one small part of a larger solution, and we continue to push forward and facilitate changes that we hope will solve the water crisis over time.