Introducing SOIL's Research Associates
SOIL is excited to welcome two new staff members to our Research team: Miselie Fanor Pierre and Bridj Ozeris. Miselie and Bridj will be working out of our offices and work sites in Cap-Haitien, supporting the development and implementation of research projects.
“Increasing our knowledge and understanding of the nuances present in the region is key in setting our research focus. Bringing on Bridj and Misele, professionals who not only have key skills needed for our work but are also from Haiti, is critical to the growth and success of our research program,” says Winnie Felix-Jean, SOIL’s Research, Innovation and Advocacy Director.
Recently we interviewed Miselie and Bridj so that we could get to know them a little bit better and learn more about their interests and work.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Miselie: I studied Anthropology/Sociology at the State University of Haiti in Port-au-Prince. I have 12 years of experience working for several international and local organizations in the Northern region. I have 8 years of experience working and leading projects in the WASH sector in Haiti.
Bridj: I am an agronomist/engineer. I studied Agronomy at the Northern Christian University in Limbe. I have a few years of research experience working on agricultural research projects at SOIL in the past.
How did you hear about SOIL’s work and what was your interest in applying for this position?
Miselie: I am interested in everything related to environmental protection, including sanitation which is why I am always looking for organizations that work in the field of sanitation in the Northern part of Haiti. I saw SOIL's two-wheelers on the streets around Cap-Haitien and did some research to find out more about EkoLakay. I subscribed to SOIL’s email list to receive updates and job offers which is where I saw the opening for a Research Associate in Haiti. I applied for the position at SOIL because I am interested in the type of work SOIL does.
Bridj: I first discovered SOIL after the earthquake in 2010. I didn't know much about what they did at the time, I just knew them as an organization that provided people with toilets. In 2012, at a food fair at my university, I was able to learn more about SOIL after a presentation on Konpòs Lakay (SOIL’s compost). After that I was very interested in working with SOIL for a class project on agroecology.
I previously worked for SOIL on their Black Soldier Flies project and enjoyed my experience with the organization so when I saw the job posting I was excited about the possibility of pursuing my career at SOIL and at the same time continuing to do work in the research field. I found the Research Associate position to be a great opportunity to learn about different ongoing and future projects and also share my knowledge to contribute to the amazing work SOIL is doing in Cap.
What is your primary goal in this role?
Miselie: As I am new to the organization, my main goal now is to learn more about the organization and SOIL's work while contributing to it with my knowledge and experience. I want to help move the organization forward and participate in the good changes that SOIL brings to people in Cap-Haïtien.
Bridj: My primary objective is to achieve the research team's objective for its various projects. I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of this incredible team and dedicate myself to helping the team achieve its goals. I want supporters to know that SOIL needs all of their support to move forward.
What is the impact that you see SOIL is having and why do you feel that it is important?
Miselie: SOIL provides people with safe sanitation which allows them to defecate appropriately and keep the environment clean. Based on some of SOIL’s service areas in Cap-Haitien that I have visited so far, I can see a difference in cleanliness between areas that have EkoLakay toilets and areas that don't have many EkoLakay customers. SOIL works for change.
Bridj: SOIL has a positive impact on the community because not everyone has access to a toilet and SOIL provides that option. People were inappropriately disposing of dirty bags containing human excrement and you can now clearly see a decrease in the number of dirty bags on the street. Additionally, I notice fewer problems due to the long wait time to use the community toilets as more people now have their own toilets.
Where do you hope to see Haiti in the next ten years?
Miselie: I would like to see a different Haiti with better access to sanitation for all. I want people to be aware and informed about the negative outcomes of open defecation. I would like to see an end to open defecation and for every house to have a toilet.
Bridj: I would like to see better sanitation conditions for all of Haiti. I would like every house in the slums to have a toilet and for farmers to stop using chemical fertilizers.
We’re excited to add two more members to the SOIL family and we wish Miselie and Bridj much success in their new roles!