Remember Kenson? He is a student at one of CCH’s rural partner schools and he underwent cardiac surgery a few weeks ago.
Above: Dr. Francois, Kenson and his dad before surgery. Below: Kenson and dad back at the CCH clinic after surgery.
Last month we posted about Kenson on our Facebook page asking for prayers during his surgery. We are delighted to announce that he and his dad are back in Haiti and Kenson is looking healthier than ever. We praise God that his surgery was successful and he is recovering well. That’s the short version of the story. But the long version has a few more twists and turns, and highlights the Coalition — the vital network in Haiti and beyond…
As we said, Kenson goes to school at EMEVO, a partner school in the mountains around Jacmel, Haiti. His parents knew Kenson was different from other children because he would sometimes collapse when playing at recess or at home, but they didn’t know why. Kenson’s father is a street merchant who sells cold beverages, earning about $3 (USD) per day to support his large family. Without CCH’s financial support of the school, Kenson’s family wouldn’t be able to afford the tuition.
This past school year, CCH piloted a wellness program at partner schools where our mobile clinic visited each school and provided health check-ups for students. It was at one of these wellness clinics where CCH physician, Dr. Francois, discovered Kenson’s heart condition. Knowing that CCH would not have the doctors and equipment that Kenson needed for surgery, CCH began contacting other health organizations in Haiti that might be able to help.
The Haiti Cardiac Alliance stepped up and took Kenson’s case along with many other patients needing cardiac surgery in Haiti. This organization transported Kenson and others to the Cayman Islands for their surgery and covered all expenses related to surgical care, housing and food. In a country like Haiti, where specialty care is simply not available or affordable for millions, we can only pray that more organizations will take on this challenge like the Haiti Cardiac Alliance.
Throughout his medical journey, CCH and Dr. Francois have remained in contact with Kenson and his family. We’ve been keeping in touch with the other hospitals and doctors to make sure his healthcare team is coordinating their efforts. CCH will continue the follow up care for Kenson on a monthly basis and will also supply post-op medications for him — medications he may need for a very long time. Kenson’s dad says, “If it weren’t for CCH and the Haiti Cardiac Alliance, my son’s heart condition never would have been discovered and he wouldn’t have survived another year.”
We thank God for Kenson’s repaired heart, and we thank the Coalition for making it possible. Without the CCH student sponsors that support our partner schools, the new mobile clinic and school wellness program, the CCH doctors and staff, other nonprofit organizations in Haiti, and many generous donors around the world, Kenson’s story might have had a different ending. “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body” (1 Corinthians 12:18-20).
For many years, two of the founding churches of Community Coalition for Haiti, Vienna Presbyterian and First Baptist (in Vienna, Virginia), have been sending volunteers on a joint Summer Mission Project (abbreviated SMP) to serve in Haiti. These trips are renowned among the church congregations and provide life-changing experiences for trip participants both new and “seasoned.” This year, 17 “SMP’ers” joined forces for an unforgettable week-long mission trip. Three of those volunteers were kind enough to share their experiences here in our CCH blog, and they each have 1, 2, or 3 years of experience with CCH!
Elizabeth shows off some artwork with kids from Vacation Bible School.
Elizabeth Drake is a member of Vienna Presbyterian Church and had wanted to go on the Haiti SMP for years, but this was her year to finally make it happen. Elizabeth stepped off a plane in Port au Prince on July 10th, 2017 seeing Haiti for the first time. The team’s travel flexibility had already been tested as their original flight on July 8th had been cancelled and re-booked for two days later. With no more time to lose, the SMP team made the bumpy overland journey to Jacmel and jumped into their week of school construction and vacation Bible school activities at a CCH partner school.
Elizabeth recounts her time in Haiti. “The group huddled around the table sipping coffee. Although all the mornings in Haiti were hot and balmy, this morning was particularly bad. The air sat stagnant as we waited for breakfast. At exactly 7 AM, everyone was downstairs and ready for the day. Each morning someone read a Bible verse and did a small devotional. This morning’s verse was from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” This verse sums up the theme of the trip for me because each day presented a new challenge often requiring a lot of physical and emotional strength. Haiti is a memorable place for many reasons, in particular, its natural beauty and warm people. However, the children are what I remember most.
“One afternoon we went to visit an orphanage called Sisters of Charity. They have infants and older children at this orphanage — many of whom suffer from various health ailments. Because of the number of children at the orphanage and their many health problems, the infants are often not held enough and visitors are invited to hold the babies. I approached the crib of a tiny boy, and I tried to pick him up. He made it clear that he did not want to be held, so I just stood near his crib talking to him. One of the sisters came over and asked me if I wanted to feed him. I took the bowl of porridge and the boy immediately came to me. His hair was dotted with orange spots and it soon became clear to me that he was malnourished. Once I fed him his porridge he was happy to be picked up, and as I carried him around the room we could hear the laughter of the children outside. I smiled and then he smiled. I laughed and then he laughed. Even though we were different in many ways, this little boy reminded me of the universality of smiles and laughter. I was also amazed that this tiny child had made it to the Sisters of Charity, which just goes to show that God looks after everyone and most especially those who often cannot look out for themselves.
“Although the trip to Haiti was often physically and emotionally challenging, the smiles and laughter of all the children whether it was at the beach, the orphanage, or at the Mont Fleuri School constantly reminded me of God’s grace and mercy. The trip to Haiti was unforgettable and I hope to someday make it back!”
Matt (left) does a Bible drama lesson at VBS.
While Elizabeth was experiencing Haiti for the first time, she had fellow SMP’ers who could show her the ropes. For Matt Ricciuti (also from Vienna Presbyterian Church), it was his second trip to Haiti with CCH.
Matt says of this trip, “I was reminded of how God’s amazing glory is reflected through His people. I’ve learned that no matter what the circumstance, His love is everywhere. Being surrounded by a community of believers that are working to expand His kingdom is very powerful. Whether it was through dramatizing parables for the kids at vacation Bible school, building a foundation for classrooms or simply reflecting with other trip members about the purpose of the mission, I felt deeply impacted by the experiences the Lord had set in my path. Seeing the children of All My Heart Haiti orphanage living under better conditions now was specifically moving for me. It brought joy to my heart seeing and hearing about the orphanage’s advancements through the years. This trip was a humbling experience that I will cherish as I continue my journey with the Lord.”
Morgan administers fluoride treatment for healthy teeth
And makes new friends at VBS.
Morgan Carson is a member of First Baptist Church of Vienna and made her third trip to Haiti this year. She says, “The Haiti Summer Mission Project is a youth experience that continues to humble and inspire me while allowing me to gain a fresh and renewed perspective of what’s truly important in my day-to-day life. Despite the country having so little in terms of material wealth and the rather austere environment, I have come to appreciate the Haitian people’s generous and welcoming hearts and can’t help but be amazed at their friendly and joyous spirits.
“For the past three years, SMP’ers have worked on constructing classrooms at [CCH’s partner school,] Lavanneau, among many other activities. In addition to working as a team, this year we labored alongside Haitian construction workers, villagers, and teenage orphans from All My Heart Haiti. It is from this latter group that I seemed to have forge a quick bond with — perhaps due to our similar ages or the commonalities that teenagers often share regardless of social or economic factors. We labored and laughed together, each of us working to build a school that we will never attend and improve a village that we will never live in. When you travel to Haiti not only do you recognize the great needs, you also quickly sense a people of great resilience and ingenuity.
“I often feel that I’m traveling to Haiti to help others, but truth be told, I feel like I receive all the blessings. I think God has a way of blessing individuals well beyond their expectations, and in the process He allows us to see tangible improvements to a society that remains in desperate need.”
We at CCH feel blessed to receive young volunteers like Elizabeth, Matt, and Morgan year after year. Whether it’s someone’s first, second, third, or more trip to Haiti, each SMP experience is unique. The work these volunteers do for CCH is changing our schools, and the compassion they show for others is changing lives, both Haitian and American.
A couple of years ago, she visited the northern part of the country with her church mission group. Making more Haiti connections when she returned home, Marilyn found out about Community Coalition for Haiti through her work colleague, Larry Walker ( long-time supporter and Board Member). She has since volunteered with CCH on two surgical teams and sponsors a child with our education program. She says, “CCH is a great organization and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Marilyn began her career as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, which explains her passions for healthcare and children. For the past 20 years she’s been a medical instrument sales representative, currently with Becton Dickinson (BD). Marilyn has deep roots in cross-cultural service. “When my son was little, our family traveled all over the world,” she says, “We wanted to make sure he saw other children in other cultures.” Marilyn looks forward to more trips to Haiti after she retires, but she doesn’t let her job stop her from getting involved now. In addition to her work with CCH medical and education teams, Marilyn helped secure the donation of over 100 books in French to rural schoolchildren in Haiti, thanks to a family connection with the publishing giant, Scholastic.
In April Marilyn was named one of BD’s 2017 Henry P. Becton Volunteer Impact Award Winners. The award recognizes Marilyn and her service to CCH with a grant of $2,400 for wellness related activities (school-based clinics and health education efforts). Out of the 170 volunteers world-wide who were nominated for the award, Marilyn and CCH were selected as one of the 35 winners!
“I’m passionate about this organization,” says Marilyn, “as much as I can I’ll share with my hospital clients, church, and friends to spread the word about CCH.” Marilyn spends so much time singing the praises of CCH, we’re delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate her enthusiastic commitment as a volunteer and say THANK YOU for her service.
We just wrapped up our last round of School-Based Clinics for the 2016-17 school year, and we’re pretty excited about the results! More than 450 students at 3 rural schools received clinic visits 3 separate times during the year. Doctors and nurses dispensed prescription medicines and referred patients to our primary care and surgical centers for needed follow-up care. Read more…
Busy CCH Clinics
Medical Professionals from the US and Haiti Serve Patients
CCH’s Primary Care, PT/Rehab and Surgical Clinics, combined, have treated nearly 5,000 patients in the first five months of 2017. In addition to our dedicated staff of Haitian doctors, nurses, and clinic staff, we welcomed 133 American volunteers who provided medical care with CCH, including our Summer Healthcare Intern, Carley Jackson, in-country right now!
What Happens after the Storm?
Ongoing Hurricane Matthew Recovery
Haiti was hit hard in October 2016 by Hurricane Matthew. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been working with partners to rebuild. We are supporting a cholera treatment center, we’ve resupplied neighboring clinics, and distributed roofing materials and livestock to help people recover. Watch our 2-minute video about hurricane relief and/orRead more…
Brother’s Brother Foundation Honored
BBF is 2017 Jim Wilmot Humanitarian Award Winner
Each year, CCH selects an individual or organization that embodies Jim Wilmot’s legacy of service. This year CCH named Brother’s Brother Foundation as the 2017 Jim Wilmot Humanitarian Award Winner. In the last six months alone, BBF donated more than $200,000 worth of pharmaceuticals and 2 shipping containers of medical supplies to CCH, which we shared with 14 other healthcare centers in Haiti.
We are saddened to inform you of a death in the CCH family… After years of faithful service, the White Van has taken her final voyage. We’re looking for a gently used 15 passenger diesel van that we can ship to Haiti to provide transportation for our volunteers. Please contact Clark Seipt (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any leads on buying or donating a vehicle for CCH.
PT Clinic Expands to Hospital Campus
We’re thrilled to announce that the CCH PT/Rehab Clinic is moving to the campus of Jacmel’s public Hospital St Michel (HSM), and expected to open in early fall. This new-to-us clinic is larger than CCH’s current PT/Rehab Clinic, allowing for expanded services and patient flow. It’s location on the HSM campus enables hospital patients to have direct access to CCH’s outpatient services. Read more…
Our CCH Education Team Continues to “Train the Trainers”
This year, we’ve helped partners publish “mother tongue” books, led 9 seminars for teachers and principals, provided training on 20 different topics from math manipulatives to carpentry. We’ve also worked with our 7 partner schools to celebrate progress and identify next steps. Read more…
Gala Puts the “Fun” in Fundraising
CCH’s 4th Annual Benefit
On April 1st, CCH hosted its Annual Benefit and treated its 250 guests to a fantastic night of celebration! Event participants raised OVER $200,000 to support our shared mission of transforming lives, one by one. Check out our gala photo album on Facebook and/or our new video about the work we do, which debuted at the gala.
Volunteer of the Year
Marilyn Whitehurst Wins Volunteer Award and Grant for CCH
Marilyn Whitehurst is a passionate CCH volunteer. She has a pediatric medicine background and has volunteered with CCH’s healthcare and education initiatives. Her employer, Becton Dickenson, has honored her and CCH with a volunteer award and $2,400 grant for wellness related activities. We’re delighted to celebrate her volunteer work and say THANK YOU for her service. Read more…
Presbytery Grants Support 2017-18 Wellness and Leadership Development
In May, CCH leadership from Haiti and the US convened a group of 39 community partners to explore the characteristics of bold Christian leadership in Haiti. Through a variety of facilitated exercises, participants identified and explored the question: “What do Haitian leaders need to make change?” Please contact Clark Seipt (email@example.com) if you or your church are interested in learning more or participating. Read more…
Welcome New Staff
2 new staff members in the US and Haiti
Abby Gwaltney joined our U.S. staff in January as CCH’s Director of Communications & Outreach. She manages communication efforts for the organization and also coordinates mission trips.
Nazaire Leveillé just joined our staff in Haiti in June as the Community Development Liaison where he will nurture current and new relationships with partner communities. Read more…
Jim Wilmot Golf Tournament
2017 Event is a Success
Thanks to our Jim Wilmot Memorial Fund Committee, Title Sponsors: Turner Construction, Clark Construction and Davis Construction, and Gold Sponsor Wilmot Sanz, our Golf Tournament on June 21st is a sellout event! Stay tuned for updates on this wonderful way to support the CCH Surgical Center, named in memory of our friend and supporter Jim Wilmot.
This summer we’re focusing on healthcare services and sustainable funding for our CCH primary care, surgical, and physical therapy clinics. Stay tuned for a fun opportunity to become a Healthcare Hero in July.
Southwest Haiti was hit hard in October 2016 by Hurricane Matthew. Thanks to your generous donations, CCH has been able to provide tangible relief to help communities rebuild. We’ve reopened and rebuilt a cholera treatment center serving Jacmel and surrounding areas. The rainy season and storm events usually cause an uptick in this waterborne illness. We’re making sure the cholera center has adequate staff and resources to treat patients in need.
We purchased and distributed 1,510 tin metal roofing sheets for 151 families to rebuild their homes around the town of aux Côteaux. The communities of aux Côteaux, Rodaille and Lafond are also going to receive a total of 200 goats because these areas lost over 50% of their livestock herds in the hurricane. We also distributed seeds and farming equipment through a partnership with ESKOADD (Ekip Solodarite Kominotè Aksyon Devlòpmam Dirab Aquin). That includes: 10 lbs. of okra seeds, 4.8 lbs. of Swiss chard seeds, 4 lbss of spinach seeds, 15 lbs of bean seeds, 12 watering cans, and 2 spray pumps.
Thanks to your generous giving, we’re able to help rebuild lives through this tangible support. Watch our short video on hurricane relief.
Brother’s Brother Foundation selected as the 2017 Jim Wilmot Humanitarian Award Winner
Jim Wilmot dedicated 32 years to building Wilmot/Sanz into one of the most respected healthcare design studios in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In 2009, Jim started working with CCH to design its healthcare facility in Jacmel – with the explicit purpose of transforming lives through service. He traveled to Haiti and voluntarily designed other structures that improved the lives of the poor. On his last trip to Haiti, Jim participated in construction of the CCH Clinic, helping to bring his design to life. Regrettably Jim died suddenly, before the facility was completed. CCH’s Jim Wilmot Surgical Center is named in his honor.
Each year, CCH selects an individual or organization that embodies the service, partnership and commitment to collaborative impact in which Jim’s life and legacy are anchored. At its 4th Annual Benefit on April 1st, CCH named Brother’s Brother Foundation as the 2017 Jim Wilmot Humanitarian Award Winner. BBF and CCH have partnered together to equip healthcare mission teams and their counterparts in Haiti with the supplies they need to serve the people they love. BBF’s tremendous contributions to CCH have helped us advance our mission in impactful ways. These include donations of surgical supplies to the Jim Wilmot Surgical Center; donations of pharmaceuticals and consumable supplies to the CCH Primary Care and Rehab Cneter; and donations of pharmaceuticals and consumables for Hurricane Matthew response. In the last six months alone, BBF donated more than $200,000 worth of pharmaceuticals and the better part of two 20’ containers of medical supplies to CCH. And CCH was not the only mission in Haiti to benefit. Because of BBF’s generosity, CCH was able to “share of its plenty” and distribute much-need pharmceuticals and supplies to 14 other healthcare centers in southern Haiti.
Thank you, Brother’s Brother Foundation. This honor is but a modest reminder of how grateful we are for you and your partnership!
Physical Therapy Clinic is Moving
Pack up those bands, crutches and parallel bars – we’re moving!
After many months of exploration and discussion, we’re thrilled to announce that the CCH PT/Rehab Clinic is moving to the campus of Jacmel’s public Hospital St Michel (HSM). The HSM, together with Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health & Population (MSPP in French), which runs the public hospital system, has agreed to provide CCH with the space on campus – free of charge. The Healthcare Architecture Group of the US-based Baskervill architecture, design & engineering firm is partnering with CCH to design and renovate the new space. Planning is underway, and operations are slated to open in the new facility by early fall.
This new-to-us clinic is larger than CCH’s current PT/Rehab Clinic, allowing for expanded services and patient flow. It’s location on the HSM campus, adjacent to the new hospital’s Primary Care and Surgical wings, also enables direct access to CCH’s outpatient services by hospital patients. CCH and HSM have been working together since CCH first came to Jacmel in the days following Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake. This move is an important step towards strengthening our partnership in the near and longer term. Additional collaborative programs are already under discussion, including a desire for inpatient PT/OT services and a national training center for healthcare professionals.
Our CCH Education Team Continues to “Train the Trainers”
Our team of volunteer school teachers, administrators, and pastors continues to increase student learning in our 7 CCH partner schools. This year, we’ve: helped publish “mother tongue” books written by students, led 9 seminars for teachers and principals, provided training on 20 different topics from math manipulatives to carpentry, evaluated school communities and individual teachers at 4 partner schools to identify progress and next steps. Our volunteers even won an award for their hard work!
In January, the Education Team held seminars for teachers and school administrators focusing on: brain stimulation and parts of brain, graphic organizers for content, math logic, and math tools. Team members also modeled lessons in the classroom for teachers and provided observations and feedback. The most exciting school event during this quarter was the “fwa” or field day for students from 3 different schools. Students rotated in groups among 5 stations: dance, devotional, art, paper airplane making, and relays. Mont Fleuri school won the tightly contested academic competition. The exhibition soccer game of girls was fun! The championship game was tied in double overtime and will be decided at another date.
Four events reached out to female students and teachers with Days for Girls. Dee Fallavollita (a Days for Girls and CCH volunteer) and Ninotte Lubin (a midwife and CCH translator) and Melissa Jean-Bart thoroughly worked with the girls and answered many, many questions on the amazing body of women, how it works, and information on protection from violence and trafficking. The girls were very happy to receive their hygeine kits. A new publishing center was set up at Isaiah House. CCH employees were trained in how to use the publishing center, early childhood supplies, harassment and workplace respect, and how to do hearing assessments on students.
In April, the Education Team hosted seminars focusing on: Tableaux (a style of drama) for response to devotional and academic content, Bloom’s taxonomy, literature response and questions, and a base ten game with manipulatives. Team members modeled lessons for teachers on: folded paper (as a way for students to show their learning), tableaux or scripture application and summary of content, carpentry, comprehension questions with fiction, base ten, paragraph frame writing, patterns, writing a story together, and stations within a classroom.
Year-round the Education Team meets with principals at CCH partner schools, but April afforded them an opportunity to go deeper in face-to-face seminars where they tackled challenges and opportunities related to: time for teaching in rural compared to city schools, importance of reading to children; fact family flash cards; discussions of the lessons that were modeled; teacher development opportunities through the Matenwa training school and Haiti Partners; writing books, poetry, community engagement, keeping schools clean, parent engagement, etc.
These members of the Education Team work hard for our CCH schools, both in Haiti and when they’re back home in the US. It’s a labor of love, covered in prayer, and they are continuing to see progress on their goals as teachers gain skills and confidence. They’re incorporate new methods to engage and teach students.
Presbytery Grants Support 2017-18 Wellness and Leadership Development
We always say that true change in Haiti will be generational – that bright, passionate, God-‐loving young people are the key the country’s future. Any of us who have worked in Haiti can describe a young man or woman who exemplifies faith, hope and perseverance. We recognize the sincerity in their goals; we see God at work in their spirit and relationships and actions. We talk about how we wish we could help ignite the same fire, drive and leadership in other young people – replicate them so that many, many others might also hear and experience the love of God through them. St Andrew Presbyterian Church (SAPC), in collaboration with CCH will design and coordinate a leadership development program in Haiti that rises up and encourages Abundance Disciples.
The program will bring together cohorts of young people to learn together, serve together and grow together in bold Christian leadership in Haiti. Disciples will meet on retreat at least six times per year, during which they will participate in targeted training, collaborative service-‐based work and individual and group prayer. Over the course of each cohort’s year of participation in the program, Disciples are expected to build understanding, confidence and competencies in a thoughtfully and intentionally selected list of core qualities that embody the toolkit that Jesus teaches is necessary for both achieving and inspiring others to embrace “fullness of life”.
A Program Advisory Committee that includes Haitian peers will identify the core qualities, and then training experiences will be developed around each. Each cohort of Abundance Disciples will be selected via a competitive recommendation/application and interview process. As part of the experience, each Disciple will also be expected to design and carry out his/her own project that brings to life the program’s goals and values. Individual projects facilitate application of skills and lessons learned, which in turn ensures lasting impact within the individuals as well as expansion of that impact into their circles of influence. Each cohort of Disciples would also remain connected to the program, even after completion, so that we can track and better understand the outcomes and impact of the training as well as connect alumni with current participants (for peer-to-peer mentorship and training).
We recognize that such a leadership development program is no small undertaking, but it’s potential to nurture and lift up very real and influential change makers is tremendous. We also trust that the Lord will guide program design and development as we feel certain that this program is responding directly to His call to share Christ’s teachings, to spread His love and to expand His Kingdom – together.
This program recently kicked off with our Leadership Development seminar in May 2017. We can’t wait to see how it goes and share the impact.
Student and Community Wellness
We understand “wellness” as a complex mix of environmental, occupational, intellectual, emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, cultural and social components. Our concept of wellness is the life-long process of an individual enhancing each of these components in his/her life so that s/he can grow, lead and serve to the fullest potential, just as our Creator intended.
In 2016, CCH partnered with Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC) to pilot a new Student and Community Wellness effort in southern Haiti. Initial efforts targeted the three rural communities of Mont Fleuri, Lavanneau and Demontrieul where a CCH partner school is an anchor institution in each community, and in two communities, the schools are paired with small community churches.
Priority actions in Year 1 of the program built on these partnerships and included a series of School-Based Clinics and community-‐based health education campaigns. Together, CCH and VPC set their sights on the long-term goal of improving health and access to healthcare within the communities served. Program partners also worked to mobilize a Parent‐to-Parent Network within each community to encourage parents to advocate for their community’s needs and also train other parents and community members in basic at-home healthcare and other priority skill sets (e.g., literacy, social entrepreneurship, sewing, art).
In Year 1 of the Student & Community Wellness program, CCH’s School-Based Clinics provided more than 400 rural schoolchildren at three different schools with preventative and curative healthcare at three separate times during the school year! The Clinic at each school lasted 3-5 days during which 2-3 physicians and a team of nurses traveled to the rural schools, transformed classrooms into patient consultation areas and met with students and their families individually to provide full health physicals, answer questions and address any issues. Those who needed medications were provided with pharmaceuticals that day. Those who required follow-up care were given priority referrals to the CCH Clinic in Jacmel – and transportation to that clinic, if needed. CCH’s School‐Based Clinics are strategically timed at the students’ most vulnerable points during the school year:
• In late May/early June, just before the children leave school for 3 months over the summer;
• In October, just after students return to school following summer vacation; and
• In January/February, after students return from the month – long Christmas and New Year holidays.
Community-based health education programming is held in conjunction with School-Based Clinics (e.g., cholera prevention in October 2016; “Days for Girls” feminine hygiene training in Jan/Feb 2017) and at other times during the year (e.g., blood pressure, diabetes and breast cancer awareness and screenings in March 2017). Such programming raises awareness around priority health issues within the community and facilitates conversation around treatment and prevention. Such conversations also give opportunity for awareness raising around the broader CCH mission and the fact that all of our efforts are done in the name of Jesus Christ and to His glory.
As VPC and CCH look to Year 2 of the Student & Community Wellness program, anticipated impacts include:
• School-Based Clinics continue to Improve health and access to healthcare for approximately 500 rural Haitian students at least 3 times per school year
• CCH and partners refine their approach to School-Based Clinics, based on lessons learned in Year 1, to increase efficiency during Clinic days, encourage Haitian educators to be more actively engaged in student health advocacy and find ways to better monitor and address student health needs in between scheduled Clinics
• Recently graduated nurses and nursing students (Haitian) broaden their understanding of and exposure to community health issues via active participation in Wellness program activities.
• Budding parent‐to‐parent networks in partner communities gain momentum, and each network organizes at least one community training or wellness event
• Family and overall community wellness continues to improve through education and outreach around community-selected topics (e.g., treating fever, basic hygiene, clean water, when should a child see a doctor, exercise, nutrition, stress management, family devotions, etc.)
• Increased awareness of the CCH mission and CCH Clinic services
• Strengthened partnerships between communities and CCH.
• Collaborative identification of other priority needs and interests within the communities that can inform future years of programming
Although CCH recognizes that wellness is more than good health, in this second year of the Wellness initiative we will continue to use preventative and curative healthcare as an anchor for our community collaborations. When Haitian children are becoming permanently disabled by – or even dying from –treatable conditions, they cannot learn, they cannot play, they cannot thrive. So we’ll start with healthcare. Likewise, when we watch countless men and women battle chronic and uncontrolled illnesses that are manageable with minimal support, we’ll start there. With good health as an option, we believe the community’s foundation can be stronger.
Inaugural CCH Leadership Development Retreat Asks Tough Questions
On May 9th, a CCH leadership from Haiti and the US convened a group of 35 community partners to explore the characteristics of bold Christian leadership in Haiti. Through a variety of facilitated exercises, participants identified and explored the question: “What do Haitian leaders need to make change?” The group then voted to spend time analyzing and characterizing values and qualities like “trust”, “transparency”, “compassion”, “being a model” and “respecting the rules”. Lively discussion throughout the day, always rooted in the bold flavors of Haitian culture and context, was capped off by a thoughtful devotion led by Rev. Dr. David Milam of St Andrew Presbyterian Church (SAPC) in Virginia. With support from the National Capital Presbytery of the PC-USA, SAPC and other church partners of CCH are hoping to work with these leaders in Haiti to develop a leadership development program as part of CCH’s expanding community development portfolio. Stay tuned for updates and please contact Clark Seipt (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you or your church are interested to learn more or participate. See more details about the NCP grant supporting this work below.
Abby Gwaltney joined our U.S. staff in January as CCH’s part-time Director of Communications & Outreach. She manages communication efforts for the organization and also coordinates mission trips. Abby has a science and nonprofit communication background and became involved with CCH as a student sponsor a couple of years ago. Previously she worked for an international climate change nonprofit organization. For the past 15 years she’s also volunteered with a nonprofit organization straddling the US and Mexico. Now Abby is excited to expand her horizons to Haiti and work with great colleagues at CCH. Abby lives in Virginia with her husband and three children.
Nazaire Leveillé recently joined our staff in Haiti as the Community Development Liaison. He be responsible for nurturing current and new relationships with partner communities to help CCH better understand community needs and assets. He’ll work with our partners to design and implement collaborative activities. Nazaire may look familiar to CCH travelers since he’s been a translator with us for several years. He lives in Jacmel with his wife and two young children.