We thought you’d like to meet our staff and see what they do around here.
Note: Most of these are staff badge pictures, and it’s also not customary in Haiti for people to smile for pictures even though they are a very animated culture. Normally our staff don’t look like they’re posing for mug shots.
Daniel is responsible for overseeing our sand washing. When we do installations we need to wash a ton of sand. We have a motor powered machine that sizes and washes it at the same time. Daniel is responsible for making sure that it’s washed and maintaining the machine. He does other work with filter production when we aren’t washing sand. Daniel also owns and runs a small boutique just up the road from the mission that sells everything from soap to rum. Daniel has worked with us for about two years
Edmond is one of our technicians that does a variety of work in the work yard, but also goes out on delivery days to help install filters and does follow up when needed. Edmond is one of the older men, and one of our workers that speaks a good amount of English. Edmond has worked with us for about two years.
Evens is our “jack of all trades” guy. He started working as a filter technician back in 2005. In the past 6 years Evens has learned all parts of the work here, and on top of that has invested the time and money into training outside of work. Every Saturday for about a year Evens went to Port au Prince to go to plumbing and electricians school. He was responsible for doing all the plumbing and electrical in our building in 2009, and does any maintenance around the mission. In the past couple of years he has been trained as a welder and is now our most proficient in that area. He also got his drivers license and is one of our drivers when needed.
Fan Fan is one of our technicians who can work in all aspects of filter production. He has worked with the mission for a couple of years now. He often goes out with the delivery crew to help install filters. Whenever our coconuts need to be picked, we get Fan Fan to shimmy up the trees because he’s better at it than anyone else we know. You should see him laugh at foreigners who give it a try.
Fritzner is another long time employee of the mission. He started working here in the fall of 2005 and is now one of our lead technicians. As one of the older guys in the crew he’s well respected by the others, and takes a lot of responsibility in his work. Fritzner is responsible for a majority of the filter follow up that happens here, as well as helping to co-ordinate delivery days. He will also go out and do filter repairs when needed. Fritzner is an elder in his church and has 5 kids and a sweet wife named Vida.
Hailair (sorry, no photo yet!)
Hailair is our newest employee and was hired as a driver. He’s an older gentleman that just decided to come by one day to see if there was any work available, not knowing that we were in the process of looking for a driver. He’s had about 20 years experience on Haiti’s roads driving public transit buses (old school buses) and most recently for the road crew that’s been redoing the main highway in our area. Since hiring Hailair we’ve had him on the road every day for one reason or another and he’s proved to be a good choice for the mission.
Jimmy is another one of our technicians who can do a variety of work around the mission, as well as going out on deliveries to help with installations and repairs. Jimmy was hired along with Fan Fan almost two years ago when we needed a couple of guys to dig a new septic tank. We figured if he was willing to do a good job digging a hole in the ground he would probably work out okay.
Kelele has been with us for about 4 years. He helps take care of one of our neighbors properties and came to us looking for work to do when they weren’t in the area. He’s in change of our daily filter production and also repairs any filters that show leaks before they go out into the field, so we can salvage a lot of filters that might not otherwise be usable. If you came to visit the mission and wanted to know who Kelele was, we would tell you he’s the guy that always has a smile on his face.
Ludovic has been working with us for several years now. He’s one of our younger guys. He’s used his employment here to help pay for school and has now completed his secondary education (it’s normal for people to not finish until their mid-20’s). He does a variety of work here, including going out on deliveries as a technician. We just recently found out that Ludovic is in his first year at our friends weekend Bible school and is proving to be a very eager student.
Melix has worked with us for about two years now, and is our work yard foreman. When we were looking for a new foreman and the previous hire didn’t work out our workers asked Chris to promote someone from inside. After some time we decided to give Melix a chance, and he’s done a great job of taking on the responsibilities of the job, and learning as he goes. It’s hard to be in charge in Haiti, and while people might like the esteem that comes with it, they often don’t like to do the hard things. Melix is learning to do the hard things. At first glance Melix is very serious, but get him laughing and his whole face lights up.
Michelet is another of our more “mature” workers. He’s been with us for several years and works in various areas of the work yard, and also helps with filter deliveries. Michelet’s wife passed away a few years ago and he now takes responsibility for raising his 4 kids with help from his sister. Michelet is encouraging and hardworking.
Molet started working with us last year when we were looking for someone that could quickly move into a follow up role. It’s important that our follow up people are able to provide user education to our filter owners so we know our filter owners are seeing the maximum benefit from their filters. Molet was a teacher at a local mission school before working with us. He has a happy disposition and never complains about the work he’s given, even if it means riding a motorcycle for hours to visit filters, and having to cross a river in the process.
Preval started working with us in 2009 when we hired some local people to help paint a building. We liked his quiet disposition and his work ethic, so we kept him on. In the past few years he’s learned all aspects of what we do here and on most days is found helping Evens in the welding shop with filter mold construction. On delivery days he is also usually on the truck to help with installations. Our workers all call him “Rasta” because of his dreadlocks. When he started working with us he constantly had a hat on because he thought we wouldn’t like his dreads. We assured him that we loved them and later learned that he was attacked as a child and has long hair to cover some of his scars. He actually has a paper from the local police to indicate that he’s not a criminal as is often the case with long hair here.
Richard has also been with us for many years. He was hired in the fall of 2005 as a technician. He works in most aspects of what we do here including deliveries and installations, and going out on follow up to visit filters. Richard has also worked at finishing his secondary education in recent years. He loves music and occasionally will bring a keyboard to work so he can play and sing on break times. He’s very involved in his church as well.
Thony is our longest standing CWH employee. He was hired in early 2005 before I ever arrived on staff. He helps with construction, filter deliveries and installations and follow up. He’s been trained as a welder too, and when he’s not out doing follow up or deliveries you can find him helping Evens and Preval in the welding shop. Thony is also our practical trainer when we do training classes. He does a wonderful job of teaching our students all aspects of building and installing filters, and often gets them sweating with troubleshooting lessons. He also likes to play tag with our daughter when she’s out in the yard :)
Yonese (on the right) takes care of us. That’s the short version. She’s been working at the mission since 2002 when the founders hired her to come in on weekends to do housekeeping and cooking. Over the years she’s moved from weekends to week days and now comes in three days a week to clean and go to the market to buy all our fresh produce, milk and sometimes eggs. She knows our family so well she’s pretty much part of it. On her cleaning days it’s not abnormal for her to take a break and be down on the floor playing with both kids, singing to them in Creole and most recently, teaching Alex to sit. Olivia loves to follow her around and “help”. We don’t even really need to tell her what needs to be done because she’s often doing it before we get the chance. When we have training classes, Yonese is responsible for buying all the food and cooking the delicious meals. We’ve never heard a complaint from anyone when she’s at the stove. Yonese is a very active member of her church, and is well respected in the community.