For over two years, I have been communicating with Chavanes Casseus, director of Mouvement Paysans Troiseme Section Camp-Perrin (MP3K). Together, with the wonderful people of the Bower Hill Community Church, we installed a water filtration system in Rhe, Camp-Perrin, Haiti now serving approximately 20,000 people in southwest Haiti. Completing this installation was a monumental accomplishment for all of us involved. For the community in Haiti, it was a prayer answered so that residents would have immediate access to potable water sizably below market rates. The community here in U.S. were able to know what it feels like to make a significant difference in the lives of people the world has almost forgotten about. Now, we are past celebrating our accomplishments and looking at what is next. The people of Rhe, Camp-Perrin want to make the building which holds the water filtration system into a local market.
THE MARKET BUILDING IN RHE, CAMP-PERRIN
What we, The Oshun Project, do in our partnership with this Haitian community, MP3K, is identify sustainable options. After Chavanes told us about the market, he also shared about Haitian parents having a hard time paying for their children’s education. He told us that MP3K leaders would like to provide scholarships to local students and assist parents in paying for their children’s education. We then came up with the idea about creating the market as a social enterprise and taking the profits from the market to provide scholarships for local students. This is where we are today – and we are totally stumped with where to go next.
The conversation that Chavanes and I had today was about building this market and what it would look like once in place. At this point, when I speak with Chavanes I am absolutely terrified about what it will take to make this market happen. Like before, I am confronted with wanting to do something that I don’t know how to do, or what it will take to make it happen. The one thing that I do have is success completing our water filtration project. What I also have is fear! Luckily, for me I know that my fear comes from my own brain, which is also where I expect to find the ideas to make this market a reality.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.