Posted by Alex and Heiko
Alex and Heiko, are going to raise $45,000 USD during their one-year sabbatical in 2019. This money will help three Haitian communities to gain access to clean water. 
We are living in Stuttgart, Germany and are hiking over 1600 miles during the year, always with the goal to raise awareness to the living conditions in Haiti and to collect donations to make the difference. This explains the name of the whole project: Hiking4Haiti – 1600 miles for Rotary!
Alex is a member in the Rotary Club Stuttgart Wildpark. As the project fits perfectly in the goal of Rotary International to give all people access to clean water until 2030, her club fully supports the project. With over 80 members the club is one of the largest of the eight clubs in Stuttgart, founded in 1965.
The sabbatical is divided in four steps:
  • Hiking with backpack and tent in New Zealand (Te Araroa, South Island) (app. 800 miles, 3 months)
  • Driving with a camper van from Las Vegas to New York, USA ( 2.5 months)
  • Visiting the Haitian community which gets the wells
  • Hiking with backpack and tent in Newfoundland, Canada (app. 800 miles, 3 months)
Hiking4Haiti: Haiti needs our help!
Haiti has 10,5 million inhabitants. 2,5 million live in the conurbation of the principal Port au Prince. It is the poorest country of the western hemisphere. A lot of you got to know Haiti due to the severe natural disasters. Several tropical storms 2004 and 2008, as well as earthquakes (e.g. in 2010) made it difficult to reconstruct. 2/3 of the people do not have a regular income, the illiterate rate is 40%, with the women even 70%! 42% of the people in Haiti do not have access to clean drinking water.
To fetch the water is the task of the women and girls. This also explains the high illiterate rate in this gender. On average the Women walk 49km / week to ensure the water for the family. The water is often not clean and leads to a lot of diseases.
These sad facts are not only in Haiti, you probably find similar conditions in Afrika, India, etc. Why did we choose Haiti to help? For us it is important that we have a chance to personally visit the communities where we want to make a difference with the raised donations. We stand behind the project with our name and our energy. We want to report live how your donation made a difference. That’s why Haiti.
Our Goal
We would like to make a change for three Haitian communities by raising money for sustainable access to clean water. For one well we need to raise 15.000 US$. With this money Haiti Outreach is able to prepare the community and drill the well. With Haiti Outreach a non-profit organization which exists since 1997 we found a partner who already worked with several Rotary Clubs in USA and Germany. As well in USA as in Haiti they are accepted as a NPO. They show full transparency by stating full financial reports on their website and by voluntarily getting audited. Concerning sustainability we are 100% sure to have chosen the right partner, as this is one of the core principles of Haiti Outreach. The communities have to apply to Haiti Outreach. In a 3 month program they get trained in sanitation and also in maintenance of the wells. Everything is set up to give help for self-help and this fits perfect to the philosophy of Rotary. After the well is drilled the community is accompanied over at least 2 years, once per month to ensure sustainability.
With this concept after 10 years, 90% of the wells are still functioning. This is a phenomenal result!
Help us make a difference!
To reach our goal we need your help! What can you as a local Rotary Club do?
  • Help us, spread the news! Do you have contacts with the local press? It would be great, if we could publish something together to raise more awareness!
  • Do you know (or own) a company who is willing to donate a small amount for the cause? We are happy to put the logo of the company on our side and show the support!
  • Your club is on our route? We would be thrilled to come to your club to get an opportunity to talk about the project and our experiences on the hike! Reach out to us over email so that we can try to get your club in our route!
For more information please check our website:
And, most of all we are excited to meet as many Rotarian friends as possible, get to know each other and experience a wonderful time!