After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, we all undoubtedly became more familiar with the struggles that the people of Haiti face every day. Even before the Earthquake, the PAHO/WHO (Pan America Health Organization) estimated that insufficient access to clean water accounted for 16% of under-5 (children under five years old) deaths. Their data also shows that 50% of the rural population and 33% of the urban population also did not have access to an improved water source. The earthquake only magnified this reality.
This month’s story focuses on an amazing couple who have a unique understanding of this crisis in Haiti. Ken and Virginia lived in Haiti for ten years and developed a passion for two very important aspects of their struggle: education and clean water. We hope you will enjoy their story find inspiration in their mission.
Our passion for helping the people of Haiti is rooted in the origin of our business name: Clothesline Art. The origin of the name came from a suggestion by a co-worker when we were living and working in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Virginia began watercolor painting while living in Haiti and teaching art to students in classes K-12. She became known within the community for painting the people and the culture. The co-worker’s suggestion was to simply display her work on a clothesline. We spent nearly ten years in Haiti and learned to love the people of Haiti and agonized over their many challenges. Our real passion beyond the importance of education was the need for fresh drinking water. This has become an even more important issue following the devastating earthquake. So in our retirement years we have decided to help support well drilling in Haiti by donating 10% of all our sales and commissions to this cause. The goal is to help provide clean water for all the people of Haiti. The non-profit organization that we contribute to is the ClearBlue Global Water Project – Haiti. We invite you to join us in assisting this worthy project. A close friend of ours who is associated with this organization was in Haiti drilling for water during the recent devastating earthquake and helped rescue several individuals. We encourage you to find out more about ClearBlue’s work in Haiti and other parts of the world. Please visit their website to learn more. – Virginia & Ken Harris Clothesline Art Umatilla, Oregon
Most of us cannot even begin to grasp the idea of living day to day without access to clean water. Nearly all of our daily routines revolve around our immediate access to it here in the United States: bathing, brushing our teeth, cooking, cleaning, flushing the toilet… the list goes on and on. The only access most Haitians have to water is through rivers and wells that are dangerously polluted. We’d like to encourage you to visit Virginia and Ken’s Imagekind store; they have some truly amazing artwork and by purchasing it, you will help them raise money for this incredibly important cause. Thank you, Virginia and Ken, for your efforts and your commitment to our global community.