“Health for Haiti” is SUNY Broome’s first faculty-led, credit-bearing global service learning course. Launched in January 2014, the focus of this interdisciplinary four-credit course is to provide humanitarian assistance to our neighbor’s in Haiti – and prepare college students to contribute to global security and prosperity. Students explore the dynamics between poverty, education, and health care by engaging in service projects that address pressing community needs identified by our partners in Haiti.
Most people living in Haiti are at high risk for major infectious diseases, in many cases because of unsafe water, inadequate housing, poor sanitation, and widespread poverty. Good opportunities for education are limited in Haiti. Importantly, when project coordinators asked SUNY Broome students from Haiti what kinds of projects we should focus on, they identified the children and young adults as most in need of resources and educational opportunities.
Our projects are aimed at helping communities to have sustainable access to nutritious food, clean water, adequate shelter, educational opportunities, healthcare and good sanitation.
The World Health Organization defines holistic health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being rather than merely the absence of disease or infirmity (1). Therefore, Health for Haiti projects are designed to impact many aspects of life for the communities that we serve and there is a place in the course for students with all types of backgrounds and experiences. By partnering with local volunteers who have experience working in Haiti and a Haitian doctor, SUNY Broome and other SUNY students can use their training to help deliver health education and medical services at clinics and participate in projects aimed at providing clean water, solar power, education, and computer literacy training.
New and Ongoing Projects Include:
- Solar Power
- Clean Water
- Hands-on and Digital Art and Music Education
- Computer Literacy Training
- Education on Nutrition and Hygiene
- Science Education
- Construction of a Hand-Washing Station in Grande Saline
- Construction of a Bathroom Facility in Grande Saline
- Creation and Support of a Sewing School
- Soap-Making Initiative
- ProjectP (Reproductive Health Workshop for Women and Girls)
- Assist with Medical and Dental Clinics
- Assist with Community Gardens
- Food Distributions in Cite Soleil and Grande Saline
- Socialization with Orphans
Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
Professor Maureen Hankin is Chairperson of the Dental Hygiene Program at SUNY Broome Community College and co-creator of Health for Haiti. Maureen was inspired to create this unique global service learning course after traveling to Haiti as part of a dental mission.
Dr. Jen Musa is a proud member of the top notch Department of Biology at SUNY Broome Community College and is the co-creator of Health for Haiti. Jen was and continues to be inspired by her Dad’s work in Haiti.