Photo: Left to right: Sr. Barbara Harrington '56, Sr. Barbara Harrington '56, and Walter Sisto, PhD
Sister Mary Finnick '60 to Speak about Haiti on Feb 23
She will discuss the work of the SOIL Program (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), the largest waste treatment operation in the country.
Buffalo, New York – February 20, 2015 – Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Poor sanitation in the country adds to the risk for diseases such as cholera, that spreads primarily through fecal contamination of water. It's estimated that cholera kills about 1,000 Haitians a year.
Efforts to improve sanitation in Haiti will the topic of a presentation on campus by Sister Mary Finnick, GNSH (BSN '60) on Monday, February 23 at 12 p.m. in the Blue Lounge (First Floor of the College Center). The free presentation will include a lunch.
Sister Mary Finnick, GNSH has spent the past decade in Haiti. She serves director of Matthew 25 House in Port-au-Prince and a board member of SOIL Haiti (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), the largest waste treatment operation in the country.
SOIL designs and builds low-cost ecological sanitation toilets made from locally available materials.
According the organization, “Most toilets in Haiti flush directly into rivers or the ocean and latrines are either abandoned when full or emptied untreated into sites that, again, leach directly into rivers or the ocean. SOIL is committed, not only to providing safe sanitation, but also to safely treating human waste through the process of composting.”
Today, more than 2600 Haitians are using SOIL EcoSan toilets in their homes as part of SOIL’s social business pilot for sustainably providing sanitation services.
“Requests for new toilets are coming in faster than we can build them,” they state.
An additional 5500 individuals are accessing SOIL’s emergency public toilets in a critical effort to combat the spread of cholera in Haiti’s most vulnerable communities.
Finnick is an alumna of D'Youville College (1960) and holds multiple degrees in nursing as well as a doctorate in education.
In 2010, Sister Mary celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart. She has worked as a primary school educator, a staff nurse, Director of Nursing and a nurse educator at several institutions of higher education including Temple University.
She spent many years working in Peru and Nicaragua leading social assistance programs and has been director of the Matthew 25 Guest House in Port-au-Prince since 2005.
“… my life has been far from boring and graced with families, personal and religious; friends and opportunities to meet and interact with wonderful people," she says.
Sister Mary has appeared on The Today Show to discuss her work helping people.
The event is sponsored by D'Youville College Liberal Arts Department in conjunction with the Hunger Committee and Campus Ministry.
In an effort to raise money to support the efforts of SOIL, garden pottery painted by D'Youville students and staff will be available for sale before and after the presentation. The Garden Pottery Sale will also be held on February 24-26 in Joan of Arc Hall on the first floor of the KAB Building (near Campus Ministry) from 10 AM - 3 PM daily.
Walter N. Sisto, PhD
Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts
Walter N. Sisto, PhD Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts Phone: 716-829-8494 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org