Thomas Jean Olrith, a Community Leader

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The Generosity.org team met with the Water User Committee (WUC) in Deschapelles, Haiti. The WUC is the group of men and women who are empowered to oversee the water project to ensure long-term sustainability. When they arrived, they were greeted by the President of the WUC, Thomas Jean Olrith.

Within a few minutes of conversation, Thomas struck the team as an entrepreneur. He wasted no time discussing the opportunities the well had unlocked for his community.

The community had been suffering extensively from cholera, typhoid, and respiratory problems. Thomas had contacted Generosity on the ground and applied to have his community receive a clean water project. While that application was in process, Thomas contacted his local government entity, telling them about his plans for the water project. He let them know that a water project would be the first step for his community to develop, but he’d need a light post so his community could fetch water after dark.

Because of Thomas’ thorough plans and determination, the local government agreed that if they could secure a water project, they would partner with him to install a light post, as long as the community could purchase the light bulb. Thomas and his team were able to purchase the light bulb, and his community received its very first light post!

Thomas isn’t done working to create a better future for his community. Using the fees from the water project, Thomas and the rest of the WUC are now putting aside funds to help children in the community attend school, which will continue to empower future leaders like Thomas to rise and create change in their community.

The impact of this water project is an amazing reminder of why water is such a crucial need. Not only does it restore human dignity, but it truly is the first step to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Photo courtesy of Generosity.org

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