Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children

by Sustainable Healthcare for Haiti, Inc
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children
Making a Healthplan for Life for Haitian Children

It seems like these days, our hearts are scattered in so many places. We worry about friends and family during the pandemic, we are thinking of people in Ukraine who are suffering and of course we all continue to think about people in our own lives and immediate communities. I am currently working in Cambodia with villages that have no proper sanitation, and climate change is threatening even the most basic systems for water supply and treatment, while closely monitoring the situation in Haiti and hoping to be able to return soon with much needed medical teams.

Haiti has suffered for a very long time, and that is due to crises such as gang and political violence, hurricanes, earthquakes, climate change and diseases, reversing the course on any small level of progress. We at SHH are working on solar panels, nutrition programs, primary healthcare and health education in order to create some safety nets in the face of these crises. Our daily activities include seeing children for wellness and sick visits, teaching them to manage their medications for chronic illnesses, teaching them to farm and tend to animals, running sports clinics for their physical fitness and general sense of accomplishment, providing regular visits with a psychologist to manage trauma, and maintaining our clean water filtration and distribution systems. 

At the orphanage and school, we have identified with the help of the psychologist, several students who are behind in their studies due to a variety of life circumstances, but are losing faith in themselves and struggling to maintain their dignity to learn because they have to be in classes with children who are much younger. Our goal in the coming months is to raise money and support to create a classroom where these students can study without stigma. They have a huge desire to learn, but they rightly need to feel comfortable. If you would like to support this initiative, please donate with the tag line #learnwithdignity.

We hope all is well,

Miriam (and Stephane, Tommy and Lyris)

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This is how we party!
This is how we party!

When we developed our mission for SHH we wanted to focus on health and health education- to teach children they had a right to healthcare and to give them the tools to access wellness, in order to create a more sustainable cycle of well-seeking behaviors for future generations.

What we have discovered along the way is what wellness really means.

Several years ago, we saw progress in Haiti, and we built on that progress by constructing the Sho-Ping Chin Clinic for Healthcare and Education. We installed a reverse osmosis water system, we installed solar panels, and we hired staff for our clinic and water system maintenance. But we also identified colleagues working on the campus and we joined forces to create better living conditions in the dorms, a farm for sustainable meat, eggs and vegetables, a sports program and a playground- all of which are also wellness.

In the last few years though, with hurricanes, fuel shortages, political unrest and an earthquake, we had to shift funds to create security. And we lamented the need to spend hard earned funds in this way. Looking back, we now see that security is part of wellness. Ensuring that everyone on the campus, children & staff, have enough to eat and do not fear for their personal safety is wellness. Its wellness not just because they are safe, but because they are able to spend their energies on their education and work and happiness. "Teaching someone to fish" instead of "giving them fish" is a great concept and a phrase often repeated when programs appear to be handouts. However, when someone spends 90% of their time worrying about where their next meal will come from, its virtually impossible to focus on work, studies and wellness. We believe that providing for the children and staff in order to allow them to be healthy and happy, while they are a part of SHH, is the means to a sustainable future. We have been working with Fondation Montesinos for almost 8 years and in the coming year, we will begin to share stories of how our work has changed the lives of both children and staff who have graduated from the program.

We are grateful to our donors for believing in us. We share these pictures of the holiday celebration in honor of their safety and wellness. Happy New Year!

Our children and staff
Our children and staff
Holiday Dinner
Holiday Dinner
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Since our last report, Haiti's leader was assassinated, and there was a 7.2 level earthquake and 2 tropical storms/hurricanes on the Southern peninsula where Hurricane Matthew previously made landfall. There are organizations, which are desperately needed in Haiti, that perform heroic tasks as first responders. While SHH is not set up to be a first responder, we have been able to help in small ways. We have dedicated, smart, resourceful and reliable staff on the ground who are acting quickly to use the resources available to deliver food, water and medicine. We sought and continue to seek donations in support of this work as every life is precious. We cannot replace first responders but we can help and we do. We have attached a video of their work.

However, we are also focused, more than ever, on (re)building Haiti's infrastructure so that, in the event of a crisis, there are reliable and resilient clean water distribution systems, safe roads, healthcare facilities constructed to withstand extreme weather and earthquakes and communication systems to coordinate responses in a time and cost-efficient manner. We believe in sustainability and we believe it can happen with regular, reliable, small investments in small and large organizations.

This is why we advocate for and provide:

Primary healthcare- so the general population is healthy;

Quality housing- so homes are not lost and need to be rebuilt;

Safe spaces- so that our precious staff, children, supplies and resources are protected;

and

Education and job opportunities- so people have a livelihood to return to when the crisis is over.

Throughout our 11 years, we have seen and experienced real change. But even though Haiti is an island, it is also not an island. It is affected by global economic trends, pandemics and political waves. Haiti's health is global health. We are all connected.

All of our children and staff at Fondation Montesinos are safe and well. Our structures and buildings all withstood the onslaught. Our work on the new dorms and health education and playground only suffered minor delays and is still on track. 

Thank you to all of our partners. Together we will Build Back Stronger.

Links:

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Playground and Courtyard
Playground and Courtyard

There are many challenges to living in a resource poor country and most recently, with COVID's effect on the economy, tourism and travel for business, as well as the political unrest and leadership challenges which have resulted in a rise in crime, gang violence and personal safety, Haiti continues to struggle. However, as a team, we are sharply focused on what we can achieve. Our resources are strained due to a dip in global fundraising for Haiti, and by the need to spend extra funds on safety measures, but we have been able to accomplish a lot in the last few months thanks to a strong local staff and dedicated support teams.

This month, we broke ground on the Sho-Ping Chin Clinic for Healthcare and Education's triage courtyard. The courtyard serves many functions medically, but also helps to actively prevent further erosion on the campus that has resulted from years of deforestation. We also broke ground on a playground for the children and a communal outdoor study space for the older children. Physical education and activities is a core value as is having the older children mentor and model behavior for younger children. Our basketball program has suffered due to travel restrictions and providing new ways for the children to exercise safely is critical. The playground also restores landscaping to combat the effects of past erosion.

We have also proceeded with the work to replace the girls dormitories, upgrading their bathrooms and living spaces, and we have installed solar powered lighting in the clinic building. The building was design to function off the grid and has always had natural light and air movement thanks to a brilliant design, but the need to use the building at all hours has increased due to the safety challenges. The solar lighting is a welcome addition.

We hope everyone stays safe and well.

Best to all.

Consult Rooms with Solar Lighting
Consult Rooms with Solar Lighting
Hallway Solar Lights
Hallway Solar Lights
Solar Lighting
Solar Lighting
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The Children and Staff Wish Happy New Year
The Children and Staff Wish Happy New Year


Dear Sponsors!

“First year, first try.” This is my first year as Director at Saint Dominique Sponsor Site. Our overall result is a real success. Through it all, nothing could be achieved without your help. Our great sponsors. Our sponsored children express their gratitude to you all and wish to let you know what you really mean to them. Let us show you a little about what we have achieved so far with your wonderful help.

 

SAINT DOMINIQUE SITE Year of Challenges

 

2019-202 has been such a special year, during which our country has faced severe issues. There were countrywide lockdowns due to political tensions, border closures because of poor security, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. Above all, we were dealing with a serious lack of food, pandemic effects on school operations, site security problems due to intruders at night because our property was not fenced, and late teacher’s wages owed from the Saint Dominique School. All of those problems would have been even worse if you hadn’t helped.

 

OUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

 

This was the first time Saint Dominiques and our sponsored children have received such tremendous food assistance. These funds allowed us to support food security for our orphans for over seven months, This relieved daily concerns and met our dietetic policy that ensures better physical and mental health for our children. 

 

Security wall/fence construction: As mentioned above, social and political insecurities were crucial issues, and since our little community is a poor one, where living decently is just a dream for some; intrusions occur at night which frighten the children. Thanks to you, our supporters, we built a concrete reinforced wall, mostly at the back of the property. Out front, we installed metal fencing where walls wouldn't suffice. To add to this achievement, a small building for our security guard was built, to help maintain strict control over all visitors to the office. Security-wise, we can affirm that most of our concerns are now solved. We just could not live with the potential threat that the lives of a hundred children would be in danger. Thank you dear sponsors for bringing us this peace of mind and safety. 

 

Infrastructural achievement: Reinforcing, renovating, and rehabilitating structures were among the greatest needs of our site. Once completed, our staff, children and visitors felt a greater level of comfort. We had wonderful work don to our latrines, offices, and home-cafeteria.

 

  • Latrines:at the very start of the year we had several sanitation and hygiene related issues; showering and getting safe water for ordinary daily tasks were remediated through your financial support. Although we still have lots of work to do, you can see the progress we have achieved. 

 

 

  • Office: providing a better and more modern office where everyone feels comfortable and has their own workspace is a manager’s dream. Your assistance has provided a better place to work in an open environment that is safe, clean, and neat. 

 

 

  • Renovations: the children are happy to have a better place to eat where there are no mosquitoes, pests, and other animals. The stairs were repaired, the kitchen was fixed, and cracks in walls have been made, all thanks to you. 

 

 

Christmas: Because of your wonderful hearts, our sponsored children had a wonderful Christmas. They received new clothes and gifts. You have created special childhood memories and made them feel more than proud, as they feel respected and loved as human beings. 

 

COVID-19: Being exposed  to and confirmed by a worldwide pandemic in a country where healthcare systems are a luxury, we had to be more than careful to ensure that the children were distanced from any strangers and/or people with frequent outside activities. Basic health and hygiene measures were rigorously followed. IN addition, Chalice sponsor funds allowed us to purchase basic material sanitizers, containers for water, disinfectants, masks, etc.

 

MOVING FORWARD: Having had such a difficult year, it is easy to recognise that we have faced some of the biggest challenges yet. Security-wise, we intend to finish the fences and continue to employ a security guard. We are looking forward to being able to guarantee the safety of the children. We expect to have an even greater impact on the lives of every little child in the Chalice program, at every level possible. In turn, this would be the best favour to the development of our society towards an improved and secured lifestyle. 

 

Thank you: Our hearts are where our faith, gestures, and actions lay and remain. May the Lord be with you all and guard you in each of your endeavors. May this same blessing reach all your loved ones for many generations to come. 

 

All our achievements have been made possible thanks to you and your assistance.

Wendell Alphonse, 

Director (Oct. 2020-Onward), Saint Dominique Sponsor Site, Haiti

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Organization Information

Sustainable Healthcare for Haiti, Inc

Location: Waltham, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @shhbuilds
Project Leader:
Miriam Tuchman
Newton, MA United States
$190,595 raised of $275,000 goal
 
1,041 donations
$84,405 to go
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