Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed

Reedie Wins Award for Work in Haiti

Sasha Kramer ’99 tests compost in Haiti with some enthusiastic volunteers.

Sasha Kramer ’99 has been named as one of the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Schwab Foundation for her work on ecological sanitation in Haiti.

The Schwab Foundation, started by World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab and his wife, Hilde, defines social entrepreneurs as people who have an “unwavering belief in the innate capacity of all people to contribute meaningfully to economic and social development, a driving passion to make that happen, a practical but innovative stance to a social problem . . . and a healthy impatience.”

Kramer received the award for her work with SOIL, the nonprofit she cofounded and directs. Based in Haiti, SOIL deploys ecological sanitation (EcoSan) toilets to transform human waste into organic compost, which is desperately needed for Haiti’s rapidly depleting soil, thereby sustaining both agriculture and reforestation.

Only 35% of Haiti’s adult urban population has access to toilets, with waterborne illness being the leading cause of death in children under five, and the country imports 60% of its food. Kramer’s efforts to combat hunger and disease through improved sanitation have made SOIL one of the country’s most well respected nonprofit organizations. In 2011, Kramer returned to Reed to be present at college's centennial celebration.

Every year, the Schwab Foundation recognizes 20–25 social entrepreneurs whose work benefits society and/or the environment through innovative and practical solutions, particularly those that aid underserved populations.

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