Retired Nurse's Experience Working With Our Partners
I first came to Haiti with Project Hope a year before the earthquake and knew I would be back. After retiring from nursing, I looked for a place in Haiti to volunteer with and came across a young Haitian American's mission, Mission Starfish Haiti.
I landed in PAP only having met him via Facebook but with lots of trust and loved him immediately. Silenter had been adopted by a nurse at age 7 because he had an infection of the leg bone and been shunned by the local witch doctor because of the constant drainage and sickness. His adopted Father always told him" I may have taken you out of Haiti but I didn't take Haiti out of you" He went back to Gonaieves when he was 24 and now has a mission with about 230 children. Only 1/3 of the children are sponsored and he is struggling.
I learned many things during my first week there after holding 3 Medical Clinics with another nurse that came with me. The children are sweet sweet children. I have learned about Vit A deficiency and de worming. Shopped at their markets and walked the pathways of the village. As the name implies ONE person can make a difference....One Starfish at a time. My little girl that I now sponsor was afraid to look at me when I first can and screamed if I tried to hold her. The last time she happily sat on my lap. I was so excited.
The children are so hungry it broke my heart. We held a community dinner and left the gates to the school open ...the children came...Some so very young and by themselves. They were so hungry...We ran out of medicines at our clinic and went to pharmacies all around town but they had none of what we really needed. So many people needed de worming medicine and I had none. When I returned to the States I found International Action and they were able to supply me the medicine we needed. Thanks to them I was able to give everyone the medicine in January when I returned!!!
I am planning to return in April to Mission Starfish Haiti. Several things I have learned from my missions. One person CAN make a difference in the lives of so many. The people I have met in Haiti have been so sweet and caring. I plan to make many more trips to help build a much needed kitchen for the school and continue the medical clinics.