Six Degrees of Separation – Building sustainable schooling for La Biche, Haiti
Burlington, Ontario. – A 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck near the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince in 2010, followed by two major aftershocks, would become one of the most destructive natural disasters in the country’s history. Relief came from around the global community, including a group of women in Des Moines, IA who set out in 2011 to make a change in the lives of those impacted.
Six Degrees of Separation has installed three of Sun-Mar’s premium Centrex 3000 NE series composting toilets in school buildings that serve 68 students. With a combination of refurbished and newly constructed buildings, Six Degrees works to encourage education in rural Haiti, and to give the area’s children opportunities to grow and learn how to improve their environment. Due to the lack of infrastructure in the area, Six Degrees needed to find a waterless, ecologically sound choice for facilities for the students and staff alike, and a Google search introduced them to Sun-Mar.
The organization is run entirely on public and privately donated funds, and runs classes for children up to sixth grade. They provide uniforms and equipment for all students up to Fourth grade, including backpacks and basic school supplies to ensure the best possible start for the students. The use of the Sun-Mar Centrex series toilets enables classes to be held, and eliminates the need for costly waste disposal methods like septic tanks or waste water treatment facilities.
“The toilets have made it possible for the children to learn with dignity and not have to leave school to find a bathroom or privacy (easily a 30-minute endeavor)”, says Jane Hemminger, one of the founders of Six Degrees of Separation. “The toilets are working exactly as expected and the compost produced is being used to fertilize trees on our campus, to emphasize the impact our choices can have on our environment.”