Thanks to the generous response Catholics made to address the needs of the poor, the light of Christ is shining bright in central Haiti.
That support enabled Father Glenn Meaux and his Kobonal Haiti Mission to construct six new water systems and repair eight existing wells for families who once relied on contaminated water sources to survive. The investments American Catholics made in this effort were stewarded wisely too. While the original budget for the project had been set to repair just five wells, the families in Haitian communities stepped up to fund three more repairs through monthly membership fees. The joint effort allowed us to help even more families than we initially anticipated — and that is something to celebrate!
The following stories are a testament to what Catholics can accomplish when they come together for a common purpose — to glorify God and serve his people.
Last spring, we introduced you to Jacqueline Louis, a mother of 10, who was struggling to find enough water for her family each day. She relied on collecting groundwater from a small hole near a ravine, and that process took four hours. Even worse, the water wasn’t clean and often made her family sick.
Thanks to the compassion of supporters of Cross Catholic Outreach, Jacqueline now has easy access to clean water for the first time in her life! Jacqueline’s entire community of Colladere, Haiti, has been blessed with a beautiful hand pump well built by the Mission, and funded with your support. She and her neighbors are thankful for this gift of water because it eliminates so many of the challenges they once faced.
“It helps me to wash clothes, dishes, drink, and cook to feed the children,” Jacqueline said. “This well is very useful to us.”
Praise God, the light of Christ is shining brightly in Jacqueline’s community.
Pilanie Jean Baptiste, 37, is another recipient of your support. For years, she walked miles to collect water from a river or a crude hand-dug well. This water was not clean, so Pilanie purified it with chlorine tablets. Despite her best efforts, the water still gave her four young children a variety of illnesses, including chronic diarrhea.
All of that changed when friends like you joined the Kobonal Haiti Mission to bless Pilanie’s community with a hand pump well and an improved water system. Now Pilanie and her neighbors have a source of water that’s both close to their homes and safe to drink.
“This well has changed our life, because before we used to walk two hours to fetch water,” she remembered. “Sometimes it rained, there was a lot of mud, and we would slip. But thanks to this new well, we don’t have this problem anymore. The children don’t have to walk very far, and this helps the population a lot.”
Pilanie also serves on her community’s well committee, ensuring the water system is responsibly cared for and maintained. The Mission also provides water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) training sessions to improve overall health outcomes.
“The committee makes sure that the well opens and closes at a certain time and that the well stays clean and nothing dirty comes in contact with it,” Pilanie said, adding that the committee requires participants to remove their shoes before walking in to collect water.
“We make a [financial] contribution on a monthly basis for the purpose of maintaining the well in case of problems in the future,” Pilanie said, referring to Kobonal’s system of helping the community take ownership of the well and helping lengthen the life of each water system. This monthly contribution is minimal but makes a huge difference to the success of the project.
Pilanie is thankful for the priceless gift of water!
Amos Laurent is a leader in Rhode 2, a community that recently needed repairs made to its well. While the well had faltered after six years of frequent use, Amos felt certain it could be repaired. He led the water committee in Rhode 2 and was collecting a small monthly maintenance fee from his fellow community members.
“Before this well, we had to walk for more than an hour to get water,” Amos said, explaining why the original well had been installed. The other sources they had used were dirty and had made the community’s families sick.
Eventually, the well needed a major repair. Water had stopped flowing and a new cylinder and base were needed to fix it. Its failure meant Amos and his neighbors were again forced to make a long journey to collect contaminated water.
But the generosity of our supporters allowed Amos’ community to make the critical repairs the local well needed, and safe, clean water is flowing again! The Kobonal Haiti Mission is committed to helping communities maintain and make necessary repairs to existing wells, and your support makes this ministry sustainable.
“Everyone is relieved now,” Amos said. “The children don’t get sick anymore—no more malaria or typhoid disease now that the water is nearby and protected. Everything is fine.”
Jesus called us to live out our faith in this way when he said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Friends of Cross Catholic Outreach put these words into action by supporting Fr. Meaux’s Mission. Clean water has brought improved health and refreshment to families who have been praying for an answer to their water dilemma. They finally have abundant water available in their own communities.
Thank you for helping Fr. Meaux provide clean water and the life-transforming love of Christ!
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.