After our expedition in the Amazon, we went to help out with our medical team…
What I see is that I was “halfway” through my Haitian mission trip when I sent you a last update. I then became very sick (involving Mastoiditis) from the Haitian mountains. A nurse who works with Doctors on Mission Haiti had a tumor needing immediate removal. I just had enough time to help my friend Pasteur Saint-Louis to stay out of prison because he could not pay off his church. This is because of the grinding poverty in the Artibonite region of Haiti.
I also promised to explain our further strategy in Haiti. But I was about to leave to the far South West point where the hurricane had struck so violently and famine and disease was threatening everybody in the region.
I adopted there 71 children … (cf. pictures) These children are mostly orphans or children coming from very poor families. Usually they walk around naked, have no food, medication or education. Many of them were just left behind if we had not intervened immediately. Despite the very difficult times that we endure because of the economic recession in the West we had no choice but to provide clothes, medical care, simple housing and school. Clothes and food, they have already. School is given outside or in a barrack. For housing, we still don’t have enough, so many sleep in the same (school) barrack.
The medical work there was intense but it is true that, when these people are healthy and have the basic necessities, they are among the happiest people on earth. That’s my humble opinion. They really do not need much … With a few dollars or Euros per month – something that almost means nothing to us Western people – they are happy and healthy children. Why? Because they then have the food, medication clothing, and can learn to read and write.
We will probably need to do the same with the 220 children my friend Pr. Saint-Louis helped despite his own debts. He simply wanted to keep them alive and give them a future. But to me, it’s clear that keeping alive hundreds of these children is no longer feasible for this brave man.
Now in a nutshell, our strategy for Haiti as I had promised in my last letter … It is very easy to explain in words, but not so easy to perform and its development will much depend on your contributions …
As you probably already know, we are working in two regions: five hours Northeast of Port-au-Prince, in the Artibonite mountains and 7 hours Southwest of Port-au-Prince, near the ocean.
In the first phase, we want to give these children, who are 1 to 12 years old, food, clothing, education, medical care, education and also some shelter. We want to do this locally because of the cheap local living standards on the spot. Once they are 13 years we want to bring them closer to the larger cities. This way, they will be able to study further or learn a profession.
We want to do the same in the hurricane region in the Southwest of Haiti. Children aged 1 to 12 years will stay in the Morency area. We would do the same with the children of the neighboring region, Flamand. We believe that it must be possible to also give them at least one meal a day, some clothes, medication, some shelter and schooling. Once they turn 13 years, they could then be transferred to Les Cayes, a larger town in the southwest of the island where it’s possible to learn them a profession or let them study further.
That’s the plan! Note that this plan does not come only from me but from the people themselves as the only option to give them structural help. All the rest will depend on your partnership. Without contributions, we are powerless there.
The implementation will be long. But hey, we’ve already started ! We are sitting already with 71 children and at this very moment we are re-building the medical post in the Artibonite and providing medication. (cf. picture)
Furthermore, the nurse with the tumor endured well her surgery. (cf. picture) See also the pictures on Facebook under “Doctors on Mission”. Yesterday, I found out that another nurse, nurse Zephir, need an urgent surgery. She served Doctors on Mission Haiti for more than three years in a selfless way. (cf. picture)