You might say Jack Vaughn is Living Water Haiti's founding father. When we think back to what first pricked our hearts for the country's development, Jack's name is stamped across all our memories. He first encountered Haiti nearly 15 years ago while accompanying volunteer doctors offering AIDS relief. At any given time, more than 150 people awaited medical treatment from these volunteers, water-related diseases the causal culprit of most of their illnesses.
While many stood all day in the queue, Jack noticed just as many women and children hauling buckets of water down the dirt roads all day long. He discovered many of their existing hand pumps broken.
"If these people could drink clean water," one of the doctors told him, "this line would be a third of it's size."
And with that, Jack was sold. He'd spend the next couple of years researching water solutions for developing countries—not too far of a stretch from his oil and gas industry background—and attended his first Living Water International Drill Camp ready to serve.
It was then that he began persuading Living Water to follow him to Haiti and eventually spearheaded our rehabilitation strategy there.
By the end of 2011, under Jack's inspiration and vision, Living Water had completed 265 new or rehabilitated well projects. Though installing and repairing wells was a much-needed service—especially in the face of Haiti's devastating natural disasters—Jack knows we can't stop there.
"We have to more deeply develop water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) strategy to encourage more holistic change," he said, encouraged to know it's already beginning to happen! "It's time communities step up and take responsibility of their water solution."
He's confident it's something the Haitians he loves can be empowered to do.
"Haitians' resilience and endurance—it's amazing to see how much they can actually take," he said. "Their faith is incredibly deep."
And our faith in them is, too.
Thank you, Jack, for your years of service to the thirsty and your persistent encouragement that wouldn't allow us to forget our Haitian brothers and sisters.
Find out how you can remember them, too, at water.cc/haiti, as we shift our strategy from relief to development.