The success of the Gift of Water program is predicated on developing a community based approach in which local communities in Haiti take complete ownership of the entire program – from identifying families that have the greatest need, selecting individuals to serve as technicians and monitoring the success of the program.
Gift of Water specifically works through established organizations (e.g. medical facilities, Christian churches and grass-roots community organizations) in the rural community. The community development process is as follows:
1. The community gathers for education on water and hygiene, and the idea of a home-based purifiers is introduced as a solution.
2. With help, the community develops a water committee, which must cross religious and gender boundaries. The committee starts with training and will be ultimately tasked with the following: a. identifying water needs, b. organizing surveys and censuses, c. identify at-risk families (e.g. young children, immune compromised people), and d. assisting in the selection of individuals to run the program day to day. A good water committee means a good program.
3. After selected, individuals who will run day to day activities will go through training to become a community health educator and distributor (technician)
4. After education, the community health educators bring the program and home-base purifiers back to their community. The technicians have several roles:
- Regular home visits, especially to problem families
- Monthly reports on successes, problems and chlorine tablet sales
- Host monthly community education meetings and promotions.
5. The water committee will continue to meet to address water concerns in the community. They meet monthly with the community health educators and quarterly with Gift of Water inspectors.
6. Gift of Water auditors are available to inspect and audit your program.
All Gift of Water programs require sponsors to subsidize initial costs and training costs. In some communities water resources must be improved. Sponsors also help fund wells, cisterns, etc.