The Gift of Water program is mainly functional through our sponsors, who establish the program in new communities. Those sponsors will subsidize costs for the units in the communities and will cover the costs for the initial training and the technician salaries in that community. The Gift of Water board will assist new sponsors with the initial set-up and will guide our partners through proper management techniques to ensure the longevity of the program in their communities.
Gift of Water specifically works through established organizations in Haiti (e.g. medical facilities, Christian churches and grass-roots community organizations), who will help to manage the program from the community. The success of the Gift of Water program is predicated on developing a community based approach in which local communities in Haiti take ownership of the 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 currently manufactures and assembles the purifiers here in the US (Indiana) and ships those units down to Haiti. We have several building sessions each year with hundreds of volunteers that are willing to help the cause. We have a large storage unit in Haiti where the units are shipped before they are distributed to the communities.
Our country manager and Gift of Water staff in Haiti is responsible for distributing the purifiers to the communities and for delivering replacement parts whenever necessary. When a community is established, there is an initial distribution session where selected families can collect their units for a small price, which is determined by the partner with input from the community. That participatory fee provides value for the units. Educational training sessions are mandatory with the distribution sessions so the GOW users know how to properly use the systems and to utilize proper health and sanitation practices in all of their day-to-day activities.
In addition to the water systems, Gift of Water provides WASH (Water treatment, Sanitation and Hygiene) training for all the users and technicians in Haiti. We believe that the lack of education in Haiti creates a huge roadblock to their health. We want to help them them understand where the illnesses are coming from to avoid unnecessary deaths in the future.
Gift of Water trains technicians across Haiti, who are employed by their partner organizations to work closely with individuals and families to support their clean water needs. The technicians visit homes to ensure proper usage, maintain the systems, and continue with clean water training. This allows for employment of Haitians and ensures the longevity and the effectiveness of the program in Haiti.