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From The Field - Hope For Haiti


April 2014


Hope for Haiti Responds to Drought

Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications

It has been a severe dry season in rural Haiti, where Hope for Haiti partners with two communities as models of holistic development. In an area where 60 percent of households live in extreme poverty, small-scale agriculture is the largest form of work.

“We have been waiting for the rains to come before planting the fields,” noted local resident Marguerith Borsa. “Last season’s banana, rice and corn plants have all dried up.”

The well rig finally arrived. Truck pulling in.

A seventy-one year old beekeeper, Gustave Sully, reflected on the problem. “The land just doesn’t produce right now.”

The drought has had a real impact. One partner school director noted that an estimated 30 percent of students have not been able to pay their full tuition. And a community well, the only source of potable water in this area, has completely dried up.

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Rural site visit highlights importance of Public Health

Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications

Hope for Haiti first launched our Public Health Program three and a half years ago as an initiative to connect our long-term education and healthcare initiatives. Many of rural Haiti’s schoolchildren have no access to traditional healthcare facilities and so are particularly susceptible to diseases like cholera, malaria, and typhoid. In response, Hope for Haiti’s medical team trains young community leaders in prevention and education techniques to share within schools.

CHW Frenel.
Donkey with Nurse Claudine & MTVs. Godly rock.

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Fire Destroys Community; Hope for Haiti Helps to Rebuild

Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications - February 3 2014

In January 2014, Hope for Haiti received an urgent call from our partner.  Sister Flora Blanchette manages the only healthcare facility on Ile a Vache, a small island about 45 minutes by boat from Hope for Haiti’s Les Cayes offices.  An islet near the facility had erupted in a massive fire.

Burned house and trees. Burned island.

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Four Years Post Quake, a School Rebuilds

Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications

The picturesque views from Haiti’s St. Francois de Sales school also carry the heavy weight of destruction from four years ago; located high above the capital city of Port au Prince, the community of Riviere Froide was hit immensely hard by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The entire school building collapsed, and the mountainous road was largely blocked due to rockslides leaving injured teachers and students trapped under the rubble and unable to receive medical care. 150 children were lost that day alone.

Founder & Chair JoAnne Kuehner with School Director Sister Gisele. Inauguration Mass. JoAnne spreading warmth to
an earthquake victim

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Congratulations to Dr. Elmide Nazaire for winning a REAL Award!

Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications

The REAL Awards, created by Save the Children in partnership with the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, is a first-of-its-kind global awards program designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States. The REAL Awards is made possible by the support of presenting sponsors like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare.  Dr. Elmide Nazaire, Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Director, was the first global health worker invited to participate in the announcement in Laguna Niguel, CA on January 12, 2014. Her fellow honorees include practitioners working across the continental United States and Alaska, throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as well as from Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The announcement took place during a high-profile healthcare summit and in attendance were both former United States President and United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton and Dr. David Budnitz of the Centers for Disease Control, another REAL Award honoree.

Dr Nazaire in California for the presentation ceremony. Dr Nazaire participated in the
Patient Safety Summit.
With the well wishes of the
community in Naples, Florida

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Haiti, Demain Conference Connects Chicagoans Looking to Haiti’s Future

From the Field – Jennifer Lang, Director of Program Communications

On Saturday, January 11th – one day before the four-year anniversary of the destructive earthquake which hit Port au Prince, Haiti – a diverse group of Chicagoans gathered to discuss Haiti’s road to the future. The “Haiti, Demain” conference (meaning “Haiti, tomorrow” in French), organized by the Association Nouvelle Image d'Haïti was held at the Pan-African Association on Chicago’s north side. Speakers included Lesly Conde of the Haitian General Consulate, David Tilus of G.A.F.E. - a group working towards local community development in Kenscoff, Haiti, members of the Bomba con Buya group who performed musical rhythms shared throughout the Caribbean, and Professor William Balan-Gaubert of the University of Chicago. Conference participants had a chance to discuss the importance of decentralization, methodologies of development, and historical influences on contemporary Haitian affairs. We also previewed a new game show that aims to educate people on Haitian culture called “Haiti, Je Connais,” meaning “Haiti, I know.”

Jennifer with conference
organizer Marleen Julien.
Marleen introduces David Tilus,
President of GAFE.
Professor Balan-Guabert
of University of Chicago.

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Connect. Heal. Empower.

Hope for Haiti's Education Program Officer, Pierre Francois, spotted two students in one of our partner schools sporting blue wristbands with the Hope for Haiti logo and tagline:  "Connect. Heal. Empower."  Thank you very much to for this special donation! See what smiles they bring!

A Young Girl’s Struggles Demonstrate the Importance of Hope for Haiti’s Education Program

Pierre Francois, Education Program Coordinator - October 25, 2013

3rd Grade student.
"Education is the key to success." For there to be a certain balance in society, people must have access to education. However, in certain countries economic difficulties make the path to education a difficult one.  For example, when you consider the amount of children that regularly attend school and the literacy rate in Haiti, it is clear that, for many in Haiti, education is still a kind of luxury. By providing teacher salary subsidies to 25 schools in Haiti’s South, Hope for Haiti helps to increase access to education.
On a routine site visit to one of Hope for Haiti’s partner schools in Baraderes, I had the chance to interview the school Director, Sr. Affricot Fredony. The sister introduced me to a 1st grade student that wished to share some of her difficulties with me.

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Scholarships Help Build Capacity for Young Leaders

Jennifer Lang, Program Director - August 27, 2013

I was so pleased to represent Hope for Haiti at the returnees meeting for scholarship recipients from the USAID grant program, the Scholarships for Education and Economic Development Program (called SEED or SEMENCE, for short.) 24 Haitian students have successfully studied for two years at community colleges throughout the United States, from New York to Oregon, majoring in various fields including quality control, supply chain management, and environmental technology.

Hope for Haiti Program Director Jennifer Lang with students

The goal of the USAID SEED scholarships is to build the capacity of young community leaders to make a positive impact in their home country. Scholarships are awarded all throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The Haitian program shines due to the lack of educational and professional opportunities for students here – particularly in the rural provinces, like the Southern Department, which is home to Hope for Haiti’s programming in education, nutrition, healthcare, and community development.

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Cultivating the Next Generation of Haitian Professionals

Ms. Daiyana Noa, Development Assistant (Naples)
Dr. Sabine Thomas, Country Director (Haiti)

This summer Hope for Haiti had the privilege of welcoming two Haitian national interns to our Les Cayes office. This new initiative is focused on investing in a generation of Haitians who wish to remain on the cutting edge of international development, charity, innovation and technology all the while contributing to the growth of their country. These interns are spending several months in our office, putting their skills to use but also picking up new tools for their kits, before heading back to school or following a career of their choosing.
We welcomed Alexandra who has just completed a second year at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince with a focus in Business Management. Alexandra is our Administration/Event Coordination Intern. We also welcomed Gretry, a young man who had the opportunity to travel to the United States and cross-pollinate his skills with that of his peers in the US.  Gretry is our Healthcare/Database Intern.

Interns Alexandra M. and Gertry R. coming in for a workday

We caught up with our intrepid interns and interviewed them on their time and experience with Hope for Haiti.

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