Hello friends! As some of you know, I will be going back to Haiti very soon! The date is fast approaching! Our team is leaving on July 1st, and we will be there for a week. One of the primary purposes for our trip will be to start implementing a primary care program we have been working on with the community of Chambon (pronounced sham-BONE). As some of you may remember, I spent a day in Chambon when I went to Haiti last year.
The organization that I am traveling with is the International Mission Foundation. IMF has a history of working with Chambon for several years now, building relationships and partnering with them on other community development projects. IMF also has an educational sponsorship program that allows children to attend the Valley of Hope School.
Chambon is a very rural community, with limited access to medical facilities. Reliable health care can be very difficult to obtain in Haiti for a multitude of reasons. Over the years of working with them on other projects, the community has expressed a desire for a community health program. Since this will be our first time in Chambon specifically for this purpose, we expect to spend much of our time learning about this community and doing some more needs assessment. However, we do hope to set up a primary care mobile clinic for the children who are currently enrolled in the Valley of Hope school.
When people find out about trips like this, they often ask if there is anything they can do to help. The answer is YES, we do need your help! Since this is a medical trip, we need supplies! I made an appointment to go to Intervol in a few weeks, which was an invaluable resource for me last time I traveled to Haiti. But we will still have many other needs aside from what I can pick up from Intervol. If you are interested in helping, here are some things you can do!
1. You can shop on Amazon! We have an Amazon wish list! If you like shopping in your pajama pants, like I do, this is a great option–no need to leave your couch. There are some items on there that are inexpensive, so no need to break the bank if you just want to contribute a little something.
2. If you live in the Rochester NY area, I will take donations of the following items:
-OTC medications: acetaminophen (tablets and children’s liquid suspension), ibuprofen (tablets and suspension), diphenhydramine (Benadryl-tablets and suspension), children’s and adult vitamins, ferrous sulfate 325 mg tablets, Poly-vi-sol or Tri-vi-sol liquid, Clotrimazole cream, hydrocortisone cream, and triple antibiotic ointment. No expired medications please.
-any first aid supplies (gauze, band-aids, slings, ankle or knee braces, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc.)
-otoscopes and/or opthlamascopes in good working condition (used OK!)
-manual BP cuffs in good working condition (used OK!)
-stethoscopes (used OK!)
-digital scale(s) in good condition (who wants to weigh themselves anyhow? Perfect opportunity to ditch your scale!)
-small toys or stickers to hand out to the kids at the end of a check-up
3. You can sponsor a child in Chambon. This is a really great opportunity for people who are interested in a more long-term commitment with this community. Student sponsorship costs $47 per month and pays for one child’s uniform, tuition, shoes, backpack, school supplies, personal hygiene items, and one meal each day. Sponsorship dollars also help toward the cost of teacher training and costs related to maintaining and improving the school building. You can read more about sponsoring a child at Valley of Hope here.
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