Please see below for Unlocking Communities COVID-19 Updates from Haiti. To receive these updates via email, sign up for our newsletter using the form on the right side of the page.
May 19, 2020 Update
I hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy during this time. For those of you who have not been following COVID-19 in Haiti, infections are spiking and the best case scenario is a peak in mid-June. Also, in the past two weeks, a World Food Program report issued a dire warning of a food crisis due to the on-going political crisis. The crisis has led to less income for families who farm and continue to be impacted by COVID-19. Thankfully it is planting season in Haiti, and thanks to the support from individuals we were able to establish the Thomonde Community Business Loan fund and issued our first three loans. Two of those businesses are directly involved in agriculture.
Additionally, since I last wrote, I attended weekly webinars with the Clinton Foundation and their network of 100+ organizations working in Haiti. Through these calls and other connections, we have had partnership conversations with organizations including Heifer International, Acceso Haiti, and LIDÈ Haiti. This is all thanks to your support of Unlocking Communities.
Your support has also ensured the communities we work in are included in Haitian government cash assistance programs. This and other opportunities like the last one mentioned below are only possible due to the partnerships your generosity has supported us in cultivating. These partners invest in us because of our success and the potential to continue scaling. I am inspired daily at the web of organizations working in Haiti and a renewed energy for short and long-term collaborations.
Unlocking Communities continues to implement short and long-term strategies to support each Community Business through the COVID-19 pandemic. These strategies include:
- Starting two new Community Businesses by training Community Entrepreneurs one at a time to respect social distancing. Because having clean water is important for proper handwashing techniques, we believe it is important to continue to start new Community Businesses so that more Haitians have access to the water filtration systems.
- Providing all Community Entrepreneurs with masks to allow them to continue making sales safely. Because having access to clean water is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary for our Community Entrepreneurs to be able to continue selling safely.
- Distributing 1,200 comic books relating to COVID-19 prevention. Comic books ensure that people at all literacy levels can understand the safety and sanitation practices being taught. We received these comic books from Project Santé, a cooperative agreement between USAID and the Caris Foundation International.
We will continue to develop strategies for expanding into new communities and ensure that more people will have access to the water filtration system as well as explore new communication strategies to ensure we are reaching the most people possible in our communities.
As you might imagine, all these activities have put a strain on our organization’s financial resources, especially given how new we are. Would you consider making a donation to help us continue to expand our work in Haiti at this important moment and ensure we can continue this work after the crisis?
Founder and CEO
April 13, 2020
I hope you and your family are staying healthy since I last wrote to you. COVID-19 has now entered Haiti. There are over 30 confirmed cases but testing is limited and Haitians are now returning from the Dominican Republic unscreened potentially bringing the COVID-19 with them. Since we began Unlocking Communities we have focused on ensuring communities have sustainable long-term access to clean water and education on proper sanitation. Your support to-date has played a vital role in providing over 4,000 Haitians with clean water in their homes and reached another 4,000 with our community education on sanitation and hygiene. All this hard work by our Community Entrepreneurs has allowed families to be better equipped to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Unlocking Communities is dedicated to implementing short and long-term strategies to support each Community Business through the COVID-19 pandemic. These strategies include:
- Radio Commercials to educate people on the importance of clean water and proper handwashing techniques. Using clean water to wash hands is important in the prevention of the spread of germs from water to hands.
- Community Entrepreneurs are reminding those in their community of proper handwashing techniques by distributing flyers illustrating proper handwashing techniques. Handwashing is the most powerful COVID-19 prevention measure and education around this is important.
- We also have a WhatsApp group for our over 150 Community Entrepreneurs where we share updates on COVID-19. Sharing accurate information, like this flyer from Surge for Water, and reliable news sources are vital for staying up to date and understanding the pandemic.
We will continue to develop strategies to continue expanding into new communities to ensure that more people will have access to the water filtration system as well as explore new communication strategies to ensure we are reaching the most people possible in our communities.
As you might imagine all these activities have put a strain on our organization’s financial resources, especially given how new we are. Would you consider making a donation to help us continue to expand our work in Haiti at this important moment and ensuring we can continue this work after the crisis?
Founder and CEO
Hear our founder and CEO, Josh Goralski, discussing COVID-19 and lessons learned in 2019 on the Things Not Seen podcast here.
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