On April 29, two ONE DROP staff and five Cirque du Soleil® employees flew to Honduras then headed down the road to El Salvador to gain a better understanding of the positive, lasting effects of ONE DROP’s projects. A week later, with cameras full of photos and heads full of memories, they returned. Marie-Eve Roy—expedition member and Communications Director at ONE DROP—tells us about their adventures.
A total of eight families welcomed the visitors into their homes and shared their daily lives with them. Some of the families had access to the ONE DROP drip irrigation system and rainwater collection tanks. In a region that so often suffers from drought, this system allows people to grow vegetables with far less water than usual, this diversifying their diet and ensuring greater food security.
Some families also have access to microloans through the AZULA Fund created by ONE DROP, which they can use to start up their own small businesses.
“The results on the ground are really positive,” Marie-Eve says. “A family can satisfy its basic needs with a microloan. In other words, by becoming entrepreneurs they are able to earn a decent living. If only you could have seen the pride written across the faces of the people we met who can now fulfil their own needs themselves.”
One of the projects that the ONE DROP and Cirque employees went to see was a family’s beekeeping venture. Having borrowed the money they needed to make the hives, the family can now sell the honey their bees produce. Our adventurers arrived just in time to give them a hand bottling the delicious nectar!
They also helped a family that was expanding their garden thanks to a loan, tilling the soil and sowing seeds. The family can now sell their surplus vegetables in the village.
“We were really able to witness the benefits of microfinance,” Marie-Eve continues, “but the part that struck me the most was the social arts component.”
In fact, our party attended the 100th performance of an awareness-raising show in a village where young people had never had access to arts and culture like this before. Equality of the sexes with respect to division of labour was one of the main themes of the play, as was the importance of preserving the quality of water.
“When I saw how captivated the kids were by the play and I heard them talking afterwards, I realized that the message had been very well understood. It’s a really worthwhile approach,” Marie-Ève explains. “It creates citizens who are more open-minded, more aware and more capable of finding solutions.”
In the end, what this experience showed most clearly was the importance of raising awareness and taking real action. Our participation in the movement for universal access to water makes a difference. Marie-Eve concludes: “The first wave always starts with us.”