Prior to the recent earthquake, which was the worst natural disaster in Haiti in the last 200 years, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The current conditions would make their former level of poverty desirable. According to Haitian government statistics, 230,000 citizens were killed, 300,000 had injuries that were treated, 250,000 homes were destroyed and 30,000 businesses were disrupted or destroyed. It is estimated that fully 3 million people, 1/3 of the total population, were impacted by the earthquake. The devastation surpasses even that of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. There are currently 1 million people living in tents. In addition to the danger of coming hurricanes, the daily struggle to survive and escalating violence there is widespread concern of public health epidemics such as cholera, diarrheal diseases and typhoid.
Through Partners in Health I have been lucky enough to travel to Haiti several times and am currently working with them to have our church adopt a village there. The church mission committee is completely outfitting a new Maternal Health and Children facility in St. Marc. I am working with the church and PIH to adopt a school in the same community. I am hoping to have your support in changing the lives of children in such a desperate part of the world.
I became interested in working in Haiti after reading “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. The book tells the story of Paul Farmer and his quest to “cure the world”. It’s the most inspiring book I’ve ever read and I feel blessed to have met both Paul and Tracy on many occasions and to be able to work with Partners in Health on an ongoing and meaningful basis.