Why the WASH program is critical

It was our great pleasure today to speak with John Hesse, National Director of World Vision Haiti. John has been National Director for about one year now. He not only shared his own fascinating personal story, but also his vision for how to most effectively move forward in overcoming poverty and injustice in Haiti.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains how people need to have their basic needs met before other higher needs can be addressed. Community development is no different – it is critical to first meet the basic needs around health, safety and security.

The WASH program, which stands for WAter, Sanitation and Health, is aimed at meeting these basic needs. While perhaps not glamorous, programs like WASH are incredibly effective. John gave the example of how in some areas, construction of low cost latrines has greatly reduced the incidence of cholera.

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John Hesse (left), National Director of World Vision Haiti and Bernie Zebarth, FreddyLink Project Coordinator

This is another example of a contrast between Canada and Haiti. While not everyone in Canada has their basic needs for health, safety and security met, many Canadians do. This is a fundamental cornerstone that underpins the productivity and prosperity of our society and our high quality of life. Sadly, this is not true of much of the world. Programs like WASH can make a real difference in addressing this imbalance.

 

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