During the Christmas season, we all have many demands, and...yet we still find time for giving! This week we're focusing on an American couple, Steph and Ryan Robinson, who work to bring clean water to the Caribbean nation of Haiti and also its sister country, the Dominican Republic.
Here's a guest post from this special couple who give so much to those who need it:
(Haitian children helped by Steph and Ryan in Haiti)
We (Ryan and Steph) began working in Haiti in 2010 after the well known earthquake. Soon after, we realized the best way to help Haiti was to help its people recognize their own potential and awaken them with the skills and mindsets they need to bring their own communities change.
(The Robinsons, who work in Haiti)
We helped to launch Justice Water, a CRPT organization focused on applying these concepts specifically to the water crisis. (The basic truth is: if you and your children cannot access clean water, daily life and staying healthy become incredibly difficult, if not impossible.)
“But my hand was made strong
By the ‘and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation.
Triumphantly.” -Bob Marly’s Redemption Song
As community development begins with the help of aiding communities with their water needs, we felt it best to begin there. We have seen tremendous growth and local initiative with Justice Water. We have trained, empowered, and now released 5 directors all over Haiti and its neighbor, the Dominican Republic, to work all over the island of Hispaniola -- running Justice Water projects and trainings in their own neighborhoods. It has been a sweet time for us, and one where we have truly started to understand what our role is in the larger story of redemption to this island.
(Working to bring clean water to the community)
With such success, this left us thinking up other ways we could continue to use our influence to empower, educate, and lift up the people of Haiti. This led us to a partnership with a few good Haitian friends and a vision for the future based around a Haitian concept of coming together to build a common goal: konbit.
The idea of Konbit has already been happening for a while here in Haiti. We have already been working in various ways to empower the family structure, encourage and begin small business and training locals in different skills to further their impact and opportunity on the island. We are so excited to begin this journey on our incredible foundation of Justice Water.
Konbit Haiti envisions a world where the impoverished transform their own communities for sustainable livelihood. Our goal is to empower impoverished communities to create sustainable change through Christian discipleship, business & agricultural development, and family reconciliation.This nation has been handed so much for so long, abused by the people who have come to help -- and they need a hand up, not a hand out.
(Clean water is a necessity and a blessing.)
We believe this is possible, and that Haiti can sing its own redemption song. Join as as we encourage and empower indigenous leaders. There are a ton of ways to get involved -- from Haitian staff training trips, to advocacy and fundraising. We would love to speak more with you about our hearts for Haiti and its people, as well as to get to know anyone interested in partnering with us!
Thank you so much for your interest and support.
Steph & Ryan Robinson
Justice Water, Haiti
(You can learn more about their work and see many more photos on their website and blog, www.FollowtheRobinsons.com. Donate to the Robinsons and Justice Water by clicking here. Whether it's $5, $25, or $50 through Paypal, this will help a Haitian or Dominican community. Thank you for your generosity, Island Runaways friends!)