2x4's for Hope

Quincy, IL, United States
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  • Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Economic Opportunity

  • Ethiopia | Ghana | Haiti | Kenya | Liberia | Global Programs

  • Economically disadvantaged people, Children and youth

  • Public charity

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Executive Summary

A critical global problem exists that is a silent killer of millions of men, women, and children throughout our world every year. This problem was outlined in the 2015 World Health Summit and identified as goal #6, which stated: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The first five goals were identified as targets to improve health, which, in most cases, were triggered by inadequate sanitation. Our global sanitation crisis affects over 2.5 billion people, which is one third of the world's population. Marginal inadequate efforts have been attempted to solve this crisis but have not produced sustainable results. In the same summit, WHO maintained a goal to eradicate dysentery by 2030. With our proposed solution, this goal is attainable. Our Hope Latrine Kit is a simple sustainable design packed in a suitcase weighing 50 pounds and is showing effectiveness in Haiti.

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The Problem

The world is populated with 7.3 billion people in which 2.5 billion do not have access to proper sanitation. This has led to an epidemic of open defecation that has resulted in over one million children and countless adult deaths every year. Open defecation has become acceptable to generations escalating the problem. Unknowingly, this practice by 2.5 billion individuals has created an epidemic of widespread health concerns by contaminating their surface water of which they drink. Many well funded organizations have implemented latrine systems in an effort to solve this crisis. The problem has not been solved because their solutions have not been sustainable. Dysentery has been eradicated in some areas, the water is drinkable again, and some health concerns have improved. However, research revealed that one of these solutions was creating environmental issues related to dumping of waste into the ocean. This is essentially trading one problem for another. The facts are that there have only been temporary solutions for a permanent problem. Soon, the temporary solutions will fail causing environmental disasters. Some of the latrine systems that are working are expensive, difficult to deploy, and impossible to manage as well as time consuming to construct. Our research has uncovered that there is not a simple latrine system that compares to the Hope Latrine Kit, which is an innovative, economical, simple, and sustainable approach to address global sanitation. Sustainability means that the system supports itself by improving the health, environment, and overall well being for the world.

Proposed Solution

Solving a world sanitation crisis can be daunting, especially when the problem expands globally. The solution can be obtained by devising a grand plan and implementing a massive approach. This simple solution can be achieved by empowering and energizing teams of people focused on making a difference. Simple tasks can show immediate results and offer gratification due to achievement of successful volunteer teams that can eventually generate additional teams with the same achievable goals. The direct benefits to this proposed solution will result in the following: Job creation for native people who are building the latrines Enhanced overall community health and increased population safety Decontamination of surface drinking water Decreased open exposure and risks for women and children Income production for native people by selling composting fertilizer Ability to use compost as garden fertilizer A culture cannot be transformed unless there is a basic reason to make a change. Our solution will become a culturally changing event leading to a new norm. Native communities will become less dependent on expensive resources that had been dedicated to health related issues once latrine systems are constructed. Our Hope Latrine Kit has been designed to be one of the easiest home built latrines ever. Minimal labor and skill are needed for the construction process and effective maintenance throughout the rotating cycle (See inserted figure). The education package, a major component in the latrine kit, has been shown to be effective in Haiti and precedes the start of the sustainable latrine project.

Evidence of Effectiveness

In February 2016, 130 Hope Latrines were independently built in Haiti by the natives after comprehensive educational training. A return trip to Haiti April 27, 2016, revealed through inspection and inner pit photographs that composting had already started due to the latrines' ability to release fluids from waste a credit to the sustainability and design of the Hope Latrine system. Qualitative data reveals that natives are overwhelmingly satisfied with the system. A return trip to Haiti is planned for February 2017 focusing on the alternating cycle that will begin at the end of year one, and additional latrines will be built. Scholarly literature and research supports the common denominator of sanitation being the key to improved overall global health status in developing countries and China (Charles et al., 2014; Bhavnani et al., 2014; Bohles et al., 2014; Marie et al., 2013; Nie et al., 2014; Qureshi et al., 2014; Njuguna et al., 2013; Mackey Lawrence et al., 2011; Schaetti et al., 2010). In 2010, an award granted by the Gates Foundation led to a culture change in Cambodia, eradicating dysentery (World Renew, 2016). Due to continued latrine deployment, each family is able to save about one fourth of their income (total income being $1094 in 2014). Cambodia now has 88% sanitation fulfillment in comparison to lower statistics in preceding years (United Nations, 2016). Statistics show that the Cambodian dry pit system has been effective, although not sustainable, for long term generational use. The Hope Latrine Kit and its inherent design will replace unsustainable latrines.

Previous Performance

Technology has allowed us to develop a unique, user friendly, latrine system deployed with simplicity. It has not taken highly skilled individuals to build the system, but people with common skills and talents. Natives have the innate ability to work with the Hope Latrine forms and create the latrines. Even the children want to be involved and are able to assist with latrine construction. This plan is executed by a three fold process that has proven to be effective. The first part of the process is having the monetary resources to create and deploy the latrine kits. The second part includes the teams taking the kits to areas in need of the composting latrines. The third part includes execution by the natives. The importance is that never before now has there been a sustainable latrine system deployed in the history of mankind. The proof that we can do this is that with limited resources and within 2 months, we had 130 composting latrines deployed and functioning effectively. As our global population increases, so does the demand for new and innovative ideas to ensure our basic survival. We, as people with resources, have the responsibility to ensure that future generations' very existence continues. Our ability to deliver results is extremely important to execute our plan.

The Team

Team Purpose

The primary purpose of our organization, 2x4's for Hope, is in our mission statement, Building Hope and A Future One Board at a Time, correlating to building one latrine at a time. 'Hope and a Future' has many definitions. For some, hope simply means survival in its basic form. Many people in the world take for granted a simple clean drink of water or a simple flush of a toilet. Today, there is one third of our earth's population without these basic essentials, with very little promise of change. Our organization has developed a simple sustainable latrine system that will be deployed by using individual teams of volunteers. Volunteers number hundreds of thousands. Each team becomes a collaborative partner who ensures deployment of this effective, simple, and sustainable latrine system. Our Hope Latrine Kit includes an educational package, which will bring hope to these communities and improved sanitation for generations.

Team Structure

2x4's for Hope is a 501(c)(3) organization and is structured with a board of volunteer directors including president, secretary, treasurer, and other volunteers who coordinate, organize, and implement activities. Daily operations are managed by our organization's co founder and an assistant. Responsibilities include coordination of efforts with volunteer deployment teams, including, but not limited to, provision of resources, education, and operational support, along with distribution of the Hope Latrine Kits. Volunteer deployment teams are comprised of a team leader and volunteers who are the 'backbone' of our organization who collaborate and are responsible for deployment, installation, and evaluation of the Hope Latrine system. The evaluation process ensures sustainability of the system and is documented in our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Upon attainment of the grant, daily operations will need to be increased to include an Information Technology (IT) data specialist who will be tracking information regarding all aspects of the Hope Latrine program. Additionally, warehouse and assembly personnel will be needed as deployment of the kits will be increased exponentially.