Oct 28, 2019

Haiti in Crisis- How we can help

The Girls Basketball Team
The Girls Basketball Team

Dear Friends,

In June 2018, I was in Haiti enjoying the street celebrations that were taking place after the World Cup matches that were shown on large screens in local town squares.  Then the mood changed and protests started quickly. The government had announced fuel price increases as a result of reductions in international subsidies. Over the last year and a half, protests have intensified and then died down, however, again, when I visited Haiti in mid-September this year with other SHH members, we saw that the situation had become dire. There have been protests in Haiti in the past, but these are different. 

Roadblocks and protests have shut down the country for several day stretches, but more recently, the entire country has been in a total lockdown called peyi lòk, or Operation Lockdown. Schools, businesses and government offices are all closed. Hospitals are running out of resources and have limited staffing. Patients can rarely make their way to the facilities. There are pleas on an Internet group for medical providers in Haiti for basic medications and supplies such as oxygen as asthma inhalers. Clean water is scarce which is intensifying the healthcare crisis. People are locked in their homes and when they do venture out to buy food and water, they either find nothing on the shelves, or exorbitantly priced supplies.

Flights to Haiti are empty since there is almost no way to get out of the airport once passengers arrive, and to put stress on hotels or friends to support more people would be counterproductive. At times like this, I believe that bearing witness to the tragedy, spreading the word about the suffering of 11 million people, our neighbors, in an honest and open way, lobbying our elected representatives for action, and propping up people and institutions that we have faith in, both financially and with networking support, are all ways we can help.

This past August, SHH celebrated its tenth anniversary. We had planned many great things for this fall including another medical trip with 15 doctors, nurses and medical technicians, the building of the courtyard and shower, and a kick off of the agricultural program. While all activities that require travel to Haiti are cancelled indefinitely, our work continues. We are selling bracelets and greeting cards, holding a fundraiser at a restaurant, continuing to design the courtyard, developing the educational programs for primary health and nutrition, and following the progress of the girls’ basketball team. We also need to dig a new well to renovate the showers in the children’s dormitories which are substandard and affecting their health.

We look forward to our next report providing positive updates on all these initiatives but are asking all of our supporters to be good witnesses on behalf of the Haitian people in their suffering.

Designing the courtyard and shower
Designing the courtyard and shower
This is Haiti
This is Haiti
This is also Haiti now-streets silent, road blocks
This is also Haiti now-streets silent, road blocks
Two of our girls
Two of our girls
Aug 2, 2019

Planning and Building SHH's Future

Pluggedin Band Program Benefit Concert
Pluggedin Band Program Benefit Concert

While Planning and Building mean something very specific to those of us in the Design and Construction industry, in this case, it means we are focused on carefully thinking through our programs and funding opportunities for the children of Haiti.

In June SHH presented at an end-of-season concert for a local non-profit called the PluggedIn Band Program. This program creates bands for teenagers to join, teaches music, runs special workshops and supports many important local initiatives throughout the area. They not only provide education but are deeply committed to addressing the many and varied needs of all teenagers. PluggedIn had selected SHH from more than ten other nominated organization to be its beneficiary for their benefit concert and there was great enthusiasm in the crowd for SHH's mission and projects.

SHH’s Board Member Lyris Liautaud, ran a booth at the Harvard Club in Boston for the Harvard Nonprofit Board Recruitment Fair in May. As expected, she generated a lot of interest and we have identified two potential new Board members who will provide important assistance with accounting and IT.

SHH and Northeast Haiti Medical Partners presented at the Connecticut Children's Hospital’s Conference, The 2019 Global Healthcare Symposium in May. Also, two of our high school members who are both EMTs developed, for their first time, a medical poster for presentation during the poster sessions. The poster focused on our data collection which we are using to drive decisions about future healthcare programs and projects. The SHH and NHMP team met other Global Health colleagues and learned about many exciting initiatives around the world that will help SHH build programs in Haiti as well.

And finally, also in May, SHH presented a proposal for its agricultural project and education center building at the Rotary Foundation Concord Club meeting.

Plans are underway to continue to develop the agricultural program which not only provides the opportunity for the children to grow their own food, but to learn about nutrition. It also will create jobs for the local community and vegetables for sale on market day. The sales component will be used as an educational curriculum for the children to learn about personal finances.

And planning for the next medical mission in November, which includes crowd funding a long list of medical equipment needs, supplies and basic medications, is also progressing. The team will include a Haitian optometrist and dentist and one full day will be dedicated to health worker training sessions conducted by medical educators from the US who will be volunteering their time for this mission.

Connecticut Children's Hospital Conference
Connecticut Children's Hospital Conference
Harvard Non-Profit Recruitment Fair
Harvard Non-Profit Recruitment Fair
May 2, 2019

SHH in New England

Plan of Education and Clinic Twin Buildings
Plan of Education and Clinic Twin Buildings

Dear Friends,

Over the winter and into early spring, Sustainable Healthcare for Haiti has been and will be making several presentations around New England. We welcome all supporters and interested parties to join us at these various events.

In March, SHH presented at a local non-profit called the PluggedIn Band Program. This program creates bands for teenagers to join, teaches music, runs special workshops and supports many important local initiatives throughout the area. They not only provide education but are deeply committed to addressing the many and varied needs of all teenagers. SHH's Board Member, Miriam Tuchman, made a presentation to the teens about her career journey, explaining that a specific profession doesn't always dictate a career and pursing a professional passion allows you to build important skills and connections to pursue your own path in life. PluggedIn then selected SHH from more than ten other nominated organization to be its beneficiary for their benefit concert in June.

SHH’s Board Member Lyris Liautaud, will be at the Harvard Club in Boston. SHH was selected to participate in the Harvard Nonprofit Board Recruitment Fair on May 9th. SHH will be looking to recruit some new Board members, however based on last year’s fair, we know that this is an excellent opportunity to network and find out about other successful nonprofits in the area as well.

SHH and Northeast Haiti Ministry will be presenting at the Connecticut Children's Hospital’s Conference, The 2019 Global Healthcare Symposium on May 17th. A presentation is being prepared which provide the history of both SHH and NHM and describe the commitment by the organizations to provide sustainable programs that promote both health and education. Also, two of our high school members who are both EMTs will be developing, for their first time, a medical poster for presentation during the poster sessions. The poster will focus on our data collection which we are using to drive decisions about future healthcare programs and projects.

And finally, SHH will be presenting a proposal for its agricultural project and education center building at the Rotary Foundation Concord Club meeting on May 30th.

The initiatives that we are working on in the meantime include:

1. Doing some additional renovations to the Clinic building to improve patient flow and the number of exam spaces available simultaneously. This will allow us to see more patients, with appropriate levels of privacy, throughout a clinic day.

2. Working with a company that provide underwear for girls, that is reusable, during their menstrual cycle. This technology and product is of major importance to our organization as it ensures girls can always attend school, is a one-time cost rather than a monthly cost for supplies, and it is sustainable in that it doesn't generate trash which isn't easily biodegradable or recyclable. Our Board member, Michelle Freshman, is also working to develop an educational curriculum for the girls around this product.

3. Designing the courtyard which is the next steps in our overall design plans for the campus. Ultimately, we will be constructing a twin building to the healthcare clinic building which will be the educational center. SHH's goal is to always provide access to healthcare and education together.

4. Developing the agricultural program which not only provides the opportunity for the children to grow their own food, but to learn about nutrition. It also will create jobs for the local community and vegetables for sale on market day. The sales component will also be used as an educational curriculum for the children to learn about personal finances.

5. Planning the next medical mission which includes crowd funding a long list of medical equipment needs, supplies and basic medications. Also, the team will include a Haitian optometrist and dentist and one full day will be dedicated to health worker training sessions conducted by medical educators from the US who will be volunteering their time for this mission.

 

Happy Spring!

Elevation of Education Building
Elevation of Education Building
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.