Creating CHET

by tuftsigl
Aug 20
Emma Wells is in the class of 2016, majoring in sociology.  She is an Empower fellow interning in Haiti.
Our sixth week started off with a trip to Menelas to check in with our new entrepreneurs. After a very jumbly car ride on a road full of goats and potholes, we arrived at our manager’s house and met with 9 of our newly trained entrepreneurs. As is typical of Haiti, most people showed up a half an hour late. However, once we were all assembled we had a very productive meeting discussing sales and the first week of the business. Some women said that they found bringing a bottle of pre-treated water to households increased sales as they could prove to families that they trusted the product and it had a good taste. We found this feedback incredibly helpful and hope to continue making our weekly entrepreneur meetings a venue for group problem solving. As an incentive to increase attendance of these meetings, I developed a continuing health education training (CHET) composed of 12 modules on various health issues. If machans (entrepreneurs) attend each weekly meeting and participate in the training they will receive a certificate that is valued in job placement. To make the curriculum I drew on resources from WHO, CDC and Partners in Health. I adapted these to the education level of our entrepreneurs, our timeline, and our resources. This project took up a lot of my last weeks in Haiti. At first it felt a bit tedious and when the first meeting run by our manager in Menelas did not go smoothly, I was very frustrated. However, after several adjustments and more preparation, the second meeting went very well. I can’t describe how satisfying it was to watch our entrepreneurs sort images of sanitation and hygiene practices while explaining why they were good, bad or neutral.  
Later in our sixth week I drove to Leogone to pick up more of our chlorine product from its producer, Deep Springs International. During my visit, I ran into Anna Murray who is a PhD student in Tufts Civil and Environmental Engineering program. It was interesting and inspiring to speak with her about the research that she was just beginning. We continued the week with more background work on base. I focused mostly on data entry for our monitoring system and continuing to develop our CHET. On Friday, we worked with other community members from Bwa Nef to hold an open mic in a community space that they had created for art. Despite the slight rain, the event was a success. Several artists performed, with our manager promoting Kouzin Dlo (The name for Community Chlorinators in Haiti) in between sets.
Next, our focus moved to expansion. On Monday, we visited two new communities in Cité Soleil: Fountain Drouillard and Cite Lyme. Both sites have access to untreated water and very limited sanitation systems. In Cite Lyme, we found that our potential partner organization, PENAH, already had some volunteers doing door-to-door health education.  On Tuesday we visited two communities in Canaan: Jeruselem and Onaville. Canaan is very dry and remote. Most people moved there after being displaced by the 2010 earthquake. The communities have no wells and are left the option of untreated water provided by DINEPA or expensive water from a kiosk. Each of the sites that we visited offered different opportunities for Kouzin Dlo. Ultimately, we decided to launch next in Cite Lyme because it has such a strong community partner and is close to our other sites, thus cutting transportation costs. Through the rest of the week we started planning the expansion in meetings with our new community and one of our managers who would help in the training. 
I am excited to learn about launch of Kouzin Dlo in Cite Lyme and the continued development of the business in our existing communities. Every step of the pilot was a learning process, and I look forward to applying lessons from this summer to my classes at Tufts. I cannot thank IGL enough for making this opportunity possible.      

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