In light of the current, persistent political crisis and its profound consequences for daily activities in Haiti, we feel that it is important to provide you, as present or past members of our professional community, with an honest and transparent assessment on how the local events affect HME, and the people in Haiti we support. We want to do so by taking you beyond the headlines and the news reports you might have seen: we invite you to accompany us into our Haitian partners’ lives.
Demonstrations, political instability, and economic hardship are nothing new in the context of life in Haiti. The current crisis, however, is proving to be deeper and more severe than anything the country has experienced over the past ten years. The consequences have been dire for every aspect of daily life, but education has particularly suffered. Schools have not been able to open since September, universities and hospitals have at times been attacked. With a government fully incapacitated to carry out its tasks, there has been a near-complete breakdown of infrastructure, including electricity supply, medical education, and sometimes even medical care. There is acute shortage of gasoline, and food prices have consistently risen. It is extremely demanding both emotionally and physically for the people living in Haiti, and, in truth, it is a new challenge for all of us who, one way or another, are involved.
But life has not stopped.
Neither has our Haitian partners’ desire for learning.
Children are being born, people get sick, they need care and medical expertise. Students, doctors and nurses in Haiti still want to prepare for a future that holds the promise of change for the better.
This is why your support now counts more than ever.
Over the past weeks of the crisis, we at HME have done everything that was possible under the circumstances to continue the education we provide through video conferencing and individual mentoring. Our students (doctors and residents in various hospitals) have been doing their share: they went beyond what could be expected under the circumstances, they stayed focused on work, participated in the lectures and handed in homework. They have shown a consistent desire to continue their training. They also clearly communicated to us that a sense of normalcy, consistency, and a sense of purpose is key to overcoming the daily challenges the political situation has presented.
Their education is at the core of their vision for a future
Along with our Haitian partners we continue to believe in the power of professional education as the foundation for a sustainable future in Haiti.
We value our local partners’ commitment and want to respond to their needs. That is why we ask for your financial support. We want their determination to bear fruit and their hope to become reality.
In addition to our Wednesday lecture series and our Emergency Training Courses (CALS), we have developed a new research methodology course requested by our Haitian partners. The course has been planned with and endorsed by internal medicine residency director Dr. Elsie Chalumeau, and was approved for evaluation by Haiti's national ethics committee. It is an intensive, six-week course, delivered bi-weekly through video conferencing. It offers professional training and mentoring not provided to medical students in the Haitian curriculum. It prepares resident physicians to conduct their senior-year research project according to high scientific standards, based on research and data analysis.
In order to be able to continue offering our services and to expand their range to a level requested by our Haitian partners, we need financial resources we do not currently have.
Our plan for 2020 includes opening a research education center in Haiti, one that would provide medical students with computers and reliable internet connection. It would allow our students access to professional journals and current medical literature. This means investing in Haiti’s future while providing employment to people there in the present.
Non-profits like HME are dedicated to working under conditions where ’quick-fixes’ or an ’ultimate solution’ to a given problem are not possible. Progress is made step by step, with setbacks and successes along the way. The current crises is a setback, but with your help it will not turn into a roadblock to many more successes in the future.
Help us fulfill the commitment we made to our partners. Empower a community that has not given up -- neither on life, nor on hope.
Your tax-deductible contribution of $20, $50, $100 or any amount -- either a one-time gift or a recurring monthly donation -- means so much. Please give today.
Thank you for your partnership and support,
Cruff Renard President