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Caylie Yoder last summer saw first-hand the lingering devastation caused by the 2008 hurricane on the island nation of Haiti. She will be returning next month as part of a contingent from South Adams Schools that is traveling to Haiti with a water purification system that will improve the lives of residents there.
Yoder, a senior at South Adams, went to Haiti last summer with a group from the Bridge Community Church. She told members of the Berne City Council at their May 9 meeting of the lack of basic sanitation and clean water.
"It was overwhelming to see their needs," said Yoder. "When I came back, I felt the need to help."
She will be returning to Haiti during the week of June 18-25 as part of a group of South Adams students that have developed a portable water purification system that will yield 55 gallons of drinking water per minute. The equipment was developed by SA science students under the direction of teacher Michael Baer. The project was dubbed "Dots in Blue Water."
"I'm grateful to have the opportunity to help others," said Yoder. "This trip will change lives; not only in Haiti, but it will change our lives for the better, too."
South Adams science teacher Myron Schwartz, who appeared with Yoder before the Berne council, said donations from the community, coupled with fundraisers performed by SA students, made the upcoming trip possible.
Donations are still being accepted, said Schwartz. At the recommendation of Councilman Mike Poulson, the city council approved a $200 donation to the "Dots in Blue Water" endeavor.
"It's amazing to see the way the community has come together to support this project," said Yoder.