It is never easy to say goodbye to our friends, and we all felt a little sad to leave Haiti behind. The students did an amazing job delivering their final presentations and, once again, it is clear that we all gained much more than we gave on this trip. Now that we have had a chance to settle back into our lives at home and reflect on our experiences in Haiti, it is time to say thank you to all of the people who made this trip and these projects possible.
Professor Hankin and I are grateful to our amazing team of students and staff for all of their hard work to make the trip a success. Thanks to our incredible students: Abagale, Brittany, Tabor, Rachel, Monica, Donette, Maddi, Phoebe, Molly, Michaela, Vera, Amanda, Shelby, Brandon and Emma. All of the fundraising that you did before our trip helped to ensure that we would be able to meet our goals for this trip. You worked very hard under difficult conditions. Every one of you cheerfully pitched in wherever you were needed and we appreciate the efforts you made to make meaningful connections with the people we served in Haiti. You are an extraordinary group! Thanks to our non-student staff: Gay, Greg, Kristy, Nick, Marcia, Lynn and Silvia. All of you shared your time and talents to make this trip not only a valuable academic experience, but a productive and meaningful service opportunity. And thanks to our friends and Partners in Haiti: Jean Claude and the staff at Le Gou T, our dear Jude and his staff at Estinfil Guest House, our fearless driver, Steevenson, David and the rest of our great security team, Dr. Gary and Dr. Johnny, and of course our amazing translators: Brigida, Dashka, Esther, Scott, Louie, Jean Frico, Roosevelt, Peterson, Elysee, Schneider and JJ. We could not work without you. Thank you for being our bridge to the Haitian people and thank you for your friendship and kindness. Another big thank you to all of the friends and families at home who supported this trip in so many ways. Thanks for attending our fundraisers, donating supplies, providing financial support, and encouraging us in our efforts.
Here is what we accomplished together in January:
The medical team triaged 293 patients in our health clinics. Working with Dr. Gary and Dr. Johnny, we dispensed 879 prescriptions and hundreds of pairs of reading glasses. The dental team performed 268 dental exams with oral hygiene instructions, toothbrush prophylaxis and fluoride varnish applications. The 2017 Health for Haiti team also gave out 1,750 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste. We provided food (rice, beans, fish and oil) for 200 families in Grande Saline. We gave out 300 personal care kits. We delivered our ProjectP reproductive health/sewing workshop to over 100 girls and women. We provided education on nutrition and tooth brushing and the opportunity to create art and music or hundreds of children. We provided a teacher training workshop and a workshop on how to create a small business. We built a hyperbolic solar cooker. We performed maintenance and training at the water filtration system in Grande Saline. We met with the Water System Committee, gave them badges and shirts, and discussed the future management of the water system. We did some advance work to prepare for our upcoming project to convert the water system from gas generators to solar power. We delivered many donated sewing supplies, 18 laptops for our Bridge to Haiti program, school and art supplies, children’s clothing and over 200 pairs of flip-flops. We met with the Grande Saline sewing school students and teachers and saw some of the beautiful items of clothing that the students made. We taught people to crochet plastic mats out of grocery bags. We visited the community garden and provided multiple days of lunch for hundreds of children. We provided two orphanages with some much needed financial support to help purchase food over the next several weeks. We also treated the children from two different orphanages to a fun day at the beach (which we also enjoyed very much).
Below you can see some more pictures from our time in Haiti. There are also some more recent pictures from computer class in Grande Saline, and some before and after photos of work done to repair hurricane damage in a home in Grande Saline.
Looking ahead, we would like to invite all of our Health for Haiti family (including our former students!) to join us for the Espere: Health and Hope for Haiti reception at the Broome County Arts Council Gallery.
Espere: Health and Hope in Haiti Art Exhibit Opens February First Friday at the Broome County Arts Council
Espere: Health and Hope in Haiti opens First Friday, February 3, from 6-9pm at the Broome County Arts Council, 81 State Street, 5th floor, Binghamton. The art exhibit celebrates the Health for Haiti course at SUNY Broome Community College, which brings students, faculty, local professionals and community volunteers together to address some of the most pressing needs of our neighbors in Haiti.
Espere: Health and Hope in Haiti exhibit is open to the public at the Broome County Arts Council thru February 24, 2017, Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm
We look forward to continuing our work in Haiti and once again thank you for your support of the Health for Haiti projects!