The Clean Challenge story starts with deep faith in God's plan and an intense desire to help millions of people whose quality of life is limited due to circumstances beyond their control.
In the spring of 2016 co-founder, Chuck Beske, went on one of many trips to Haiti as part of his work with Haiti Teen Challenge, an organization that empowers young people to escape addictions, toxic lifestyles, and become leaders in the community.
On that spring 2016 trip, Chuck invited along his friend, John Domke, to learn more about the Haitian people and country. John “the trash guy” Domke had spent his entire career working in the waste management field. Little did he know his life was about to change.
As John walked the streets of Haiti, he was struck by the sheer magnitude of Haiti’s trash situation and its debilitating impact on the Haitian people. “Mountains” of garbage were piled high in streets and walkways. People, including children, were sleeping on sun-heated mounds of rotting trash. Pungent smoke rose from still-burning piles of trash. During a rainstorm, trash literally poured through the waterways of Port Au Prince. Floating “islands” of trash and debris could be seen along the coastlines and in the surrounding ocean waters.
In that moment, John knew that God had a greater purpose for his visit to Haiti; John understood that he was being called into service. He felt compelled to act, and wanted to use his vast knowledge and experience in waste management to make a positive difference and address this urgent humanitarian and global crisis.
An Answer to Prayer
Many Haitian people had been praying for restoration of their country’s environmental health, for new jobs to be created, and for an enhanced food supply for all the people of Haiti. Their prayers were answered that spring because, where others had seen trash as an insurmountable problem, John saw it an opportunity to build a sustainable solution. Soon John Domke and Chuck Beske pulled together a core group of American and Haitian leaders to cast a vision and formulate a plan to make a sustainable change. This vision became Clean Challenge.
We recognize God as the cornerstone of our organization, and give Him all the glory for bringing us together and providing all we need.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6