Philantrophy, Playmates, and Port au Prince
On October 15th, an article appeared on CNN.com recognizing Susie Scott Krabacher, former Playboy Playmate, for her ongoing work to bring health care to orphans and vulnerable children.
According to the article, Krabacher, 43, founded the Mercy and Sharing Foundation which "provides shelter, schooling and health care to thousands of children from the poorest slums of this troubled Caribbean nation...the founation runs six schools, three orphanages, an abandoned-baby ward and a cervical cancer screening center."
The focus of the piece is on the General Hospital, its decrepit state, and the work she put into developing a ward for abandoned babies who were doubly abandoned, first by their families and then by the caregivers charged to provide them with services.
For those who havent been to Haiti, the health care system is generally awful. The only bright spots are private hospitals, many of which are, at least loosely, religiously affiliated. For public facilities, such as the General Hospital, the care is so bad that a person puts off going there until it is too late. By then, the caregivers can do little. It is not an exxageration to say that it is the kind of place a person goes to die.
I want to recognize Ms. Krabacher's dedication. Anyone can cut a check to a charity, but not everyone has the courage to walk into Cite Soleil and negotiate with a gang for access. Many come to Haiti for a week never to return. Ms. Krabacher is no tourist - her sustained committment, combined with her celebrity, has resulted in the creation of schools and improved health care facilities.
Would this have been possible without her celebrity status? Hard to say. Haiti needs all the friends it can get, and her celebrity will bring attention to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.
At the same time, though, I am frustrated that the need for such celebrity philanthropy exists. Frustrated that the health care system still cant stand on its own legs, and that Haiti is not yet able to care for its weakest and must vulnerable even in the capitol city.
Until such a time as Haiti is better able to meet the considerable health care needs of its citizens, organizations such as the Sharing and Mercy foundation are needed and they are doing their best to fill a very large gap. For more info, read the CNN Article here.