Unchecked violence continues to spread like a cancer in Haiti, with over 10,000 displaced from their homes in the north. Suspected gang members attacked a police station in Saut-d'Eau and the Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) Facility in Mirebalais has also been attacked. The Kenyan-led peacekeeping force is still more idea than reality and despite the violence, the United States continues to deport Haitians. The peacekeepers will face a much worse security situation than any previous peacekeeping force. More information follows in the Reuters article below.
Three years ago, Partners in Health (Zanmi Lasante) and the Haitian Ministry of Health opened a major research, training, and practice hospital in Mirebalais. As part of this complex, Zanmi Lasante is opening a new reference laboratory. What this means for patients is a quicker diagnosis, better treatment, and more positive health outcomes. Learn more about Partners in Health's work in Haiti here.
Below is a National Public Radio piece by Jason Beaubien on the status of the Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital, which will be Haiti’s largest health care facility. The hospital is a priority for the Ministry of Health, which will be running the facility jointly with Partners in Health. Eventually, the Ministry of Health will manage the facility itself. When operational, the hospital will be mainly powered by solar energy. Internet connectivity opens the door to new training opportunities. In a recovery where much has gone wrong, the hospital is a symbol of what has gone right, and could be a model for replication in Haiti and elsewhere.
The Haiti Micah Project (HMP) was established in 2005 by Father Joseph Constant, a Haitian Priest who was born in Mirebalais and is now living and working in Virginia. Like many in the Haitian Diaspora, Father Constant wanted to give back to his hometown and his country. He established a feeding program for street kids and other vulnerable children as a first step toward meeting their basic needs which include shelter, water, health care, education, vocational training and spiritual/emotional support. HMP is growing and this blog provides an update of their activities.
When someone says 'philanthropy', I am concerned that it conjures up images of celebrities and investors. All who support social causes are philanthropists. Some prefer to support established organizations with a global reach. Others like to support smaller organizations with the potential to grow. Haiti Micah Project (HMP), serving vulnerable children in Mirebalais, is an organization poised to expand significantly in 2008.