During this year’s Spring Break members of Green Valley UMC in Henderson, NV travelled to Haiti to install a solar-powered water treatment system at an orphanage in the Philadelphia section of Gonaives, Haiti. The 10-person team, joined by an 11th member from Mississippi and 3 local Haitian technicians, installed the system, trained 2 system operators, and educated the teachers and children of the orphanage and surrounding community in basic water hygiene and safe practices.
The total system cost was funded by generous donations from the GVUMC family, supplemented by a grant from Solar Under The Sun, a project of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Total system cost was $16,000.
While the equipment was being installed in the Water Building, team members conducted several classes to educate the community, children and the teachers at the orphanage’s school in water hygiene. The whole concept of “Bondlo” (safe water) was foreign to many. Team members taught this new subject to all who wanted to hear. They bonded to many of the children and had a wonderful time in the process, despite the language barrier. Haitians speak French officially but Haitian Creole is the common language.
The team also brought supplies to the orphanage, including 24 balls, 4 air pumps and orange nets. They built 2 soccer goals from PVC piping and
Excess solar power was used to wire lighting in the orphanage’s kitchen and dormitory. In addition, the power will be used to sell cell phone charging services to the community. Proceeds from the charging, as well as from the sale of treated water will allow the orphanage to pay their operators and pay for system repairs and maintenance.