Dear Fellow Rotarians,
I remember it like it was yesterday!  When Phil announced that I was the lucky winner of the 2017 March Madness bracket, I was elated!  I never win ANYTHING!!  During this same time (actually the first conversations began in November of 2015) I was seeking support for a Rotary Global Grant. I knew exactly where those winnings would be applied. 
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago (yes 3 years later!), the Global Grant: Water for Life: Haiti, was approved by The Rotary Foundation!  The full project is set to begin this month.  The Host partner is the Champs de Mars Rotary Club in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.  The International Club co-hosts are the Cedar Rapids Downtown Club paired with the Iowa City Noon Club.  
Many of you have been a part of this 3 year journey - whether you realized it or not.  Special thanks to Dave Buck, Julie Hayes and Phil Nash for your financial contributions as well as to our club for matching my March Madness winnings!  In total our club contributed $1,250.
As for the project, my organization: Community Health Initiative, Haiti along with the local Rotary Club will work in in partnership with Haiti Outreach, an expert in water infrastructure development in Haiti. A hydrogeologic study will be conducted over the next three months in 2 regions in Haiti.  Once the study is complete, 4 communities will be selected (based on the study) as a 'good fit' for a well.  Each of the communities will go through community development and water management training leading up to the well installation.  In addition, two sustainable businesses will be developed: the first will focus on in-home-point-of-use water treatment systems, and the second is a latrine construction business.  
A more formal description of the details and special thanks to the many other Rotary Clubs and individuals who made this possible will be forthcoming.
Until then, know that I am grateful for your questions and continued interest and support for this very personal and powerful project!
In health,
Community Health Initiative, Haiti (Projè Sante Kominotè, Ayiti) is a nonprofit based in Iowa and the Arcahaie region of Haiti. CHI was founded in January 2012 by two Emergency Medical Physicians - Joshua White, MD and Chris Buresh, MD - who have been friends since medical school. CHI aims to "work in solidarity to create healthy, empowered, and self-directed communities in Haiti until the work is done!" Informed by their values of partnership, solidarity, integrity, accompaniment, and sustainability, CHI works with partner communities and local Haitian talent to combat malnutrition, promote clean water and sanitation, employ community members through the Recycling Center, reduce maternal and infant mortality, and ensure continuous primary care for Haitian patients. Because CHI believes in not just the absence of disease but the ability to fulfill full human potential, CHI invests in community-directed development projects. CHI Haitian staff have distributed over 1,100 Gadyen Dlo point-of-use water treatment systems, built 75 latrines, and trained over 80 expectant mothers in our proven-effective Helping Babies Breathe curriculum. CHI has worked with hundreds of volunteers in its first five years to provide five medical clinics and two surgical clinics annually. With their help, CHI has seen nearly 35,000 patients and performed over 200 surgeries. CHI envisions a day when partner communities will be able to identify their most pressing problems, and then work together to create and implement solutions. Because of our Haitian staff and volunteers, CHI is getting closer to turning this vision into a reality.