College of Idaho student helps her home village in Haiti

awebb@idahostatesman.comNovember 19, 2013 

Margarette Pierre-Louis said that her work in her home village of Nan Misye, Haiti, has inspired residents there to think of their own creative ways to improve their community.

PROVIDED BY THE COLLEGE OF IDAHO

College of Idaho sophomore Margarette Pierre-Louis, an environmental studies major, recently completed a project called "Water for Peace."

The project is providing clean water, trees and water bottles for her hometown of Nan Misye, Haiti.

Lack of water is a big issue in small Haitian villages. The shortages frequently cause conflicts, Pierre-Louis said.

She began conceiving and working on the project in the spring and started a fundraising effort through her local church, Caldwell First Baptist.

Pierre-Louis raised $11,580, enough to buy 19 125-gallon water tanks. The tanks collect rainwater — it's abundant in Haiti's mountains — from the roofs of houses.

In July, Pierre-Louis and her husband, Keveny, traveled to Haiti to hold meetings with villagers. Pierre-Louis helped build management committees to run the project. She also taught villagers good practices to keep water clean and safe.

Her project also involved planting 240 trees to help slow deforestation.

Pierre-Louis' work stems from her early experiences going along with the women of her village when they walked two hours each day to collect the water they needed for household use and irrigation. She observed the damaging conflicts over water that frequently degenerated into violence.

"There is something different that can be done instead of just leaving and forgetting about the problems back home," Pierre-Louis said. She hopes to continue the project in the future and return with even more ideas on how to better her community and environment.

SPEAKING OF THE CONSTITUTION...

The Nampa Post of the American Legion hosts a speech contest open to all students in ninth through 12th grades. Contestants speak for eight to 10 minutes about the U.S. Constitution in front of a small audience.

Interested students should contact Marvin Laub at 466-1887 or kd7pad@yahoo.com to sign up.

The contest will be held Dec. 7 in the Legion Hall at 1504 2nd St. South in Nampa. Cash prizes are offered to those who place.

The Nampa winner represents the post at the American Legion District 3 competition. Winners at the national level compete for $18,000 in scholarship money. Additional scholarship money is also awarded for winners at the state and regional levels.

NEEDED: 2,000 BOWLS

Empty Bowls is the annual fundraiser for The Idaho Foodbank during which folks buy a hand-painted bowl, enjoy delicious soup and keep the bowl. The 16th annual event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29 in the Grove plaza.

But to get ready, organizers need thousands of donated, painted bowls. One way to participate is to create your piece of usable art at a local ceramic studio.

Ceramica in Boise (342-3822) and Piggy Pigs Pottery in Meridian (861-4144) will waive their studio fees in exchange for a non-perishable food donation for those who paint bowls for the event.

The Foodbank will pick up bowls from the studios. Donations may be tax deductible. Potters may throw their own bowls. To recognize those with highly honed artistic skills, the Foodbank will sell selected bowls for a higher price.

Contact Teena Wright at 577-2698 or teenawright@idahofoodbank.org for more.

IWCF SEEKS PROJECTS FOR 2014 FUNDING

The Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation is accepting "letters of inquiry" forms from nonprofit organizations, schools or other tax-exempt entities serving southwestern Idaho for potential funding from its Pooled Grants fund.

The forms are due by Dec. 1.

IWCF considers funding in five general interest areas: cultural arts, education, environment, financial stability and health. In early February 2014 certain projects will be invited to submit full proposals for grants ranging between $10,000 and $30,000. The entire IWCF membership then votes for projects to be funded from its 2014 Pooled Grants fund.

IWCF is an organization of more than 300 Treasure Valley women whose mission is to inspire other women through the power of collaborative philanthropy. In 2013, IWCF awarded a total of $153,000 to eight nonprofit projects in Boise, Meridian, Glenn's Ferry and Garden City.

LOI forms and instructions are available at www.IdahoWomensCharitableFoundation.org.

THRIFT STORE HELPS TRANSPLANT PATIENT

Meridian resident Rocky Thompson is waiting a liver transplant. Even with health insurance, he faces massive medical bills.

Through Nov. 22, Savers Thrift Store, 1560 Caldwell Blvd. in Nampa, will donate 12 cents for every pound of clothes and home goods that Thompson and his volunteers collect and donate to the store. They welcome donations.

Items can include gently used clothes, coats, shoes, blankets, towels, washcloths, drapes and rugs — soft items only.

All donations must be bagged or boxed and dropped off from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day at 2510 W. Chateau Drive in Meridian. (No carpet, furniture or household items other than the cloth items listed above, please).

For more information, contact Dusty or Anna at 463-0576.

Anna Webb: 377-6431

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