As far as progress for the people of Haiti, as with the encampment at Matthew 25 house, there are visible signs of people moving from the downtown area and public parks. We discovered that there are three things happening: some people are moving back into houses -‐ whether they have been rehabilitated or not; some are leaving for the countryside; and others are simply moving to other camps that are not as visible. We felt great sadness when we saw people who continue to live in the camps after more than two years. The tents are worn, dusty and dilapidated. There are still an estimated 550,000 displaced people.
beautifully. There is plenty of space: a large area for intake, large consultation and treatment rooms, a spacious pharmacy, a small office,
storage space, and a bathroom. There is also a fairly large outdoor area where people wait to be seen, and an outdoor latrine.
families, and friends in Haiti attended the event.
A neighborhood city council member joined us to express gratitude for the services provided in the community by Kay Lasante. We had a small party on the property after the ceremony. The whole event was truly hopeful -‐ a time to give thanks for how far we have come and how much has been accomplished. We
are very grateful to the staff, the Haitian board members, Pierre and Carlo, and Kara Grant, Administrator, for all they did to organize such an uplifting event.
During dinner one evening at Matthew 25 House, one of the other guests asked Tom, "don't you ever get discouraged?" Tom gave a little laugh and replied, "I am beyond that, I am beyond discouragement because I try to keep myself aware that I am am only entering into what God is doing. All you can do is try always to be present, to be there to take part in what God is doing." Those words have become the lens through which I now reflect on our visit. It became clear throughout the week that we are simply being there for what
God is bringing about. None of us involved in the project could have predicted that we would be where we are now.
and seven Health Care Agents. We continue to offer health care, health education and disease prevention services. We have added a clinic day for pediatrics in addition to our general adult services. Along with the services for adults and children, Kay Lasante offers some other unique services. The Kay Lasante health agents do community outreach for education and follow-‐up care. They do routine visits to patients' homes. There is a special focus on patients who have diabetes and need education and additional care. Every Friday the health
agents provide acupuncture treatments for people suffering from stress and anxiety. Additionally, the medical staff recently initiated a partnership with a Haitian women's organization to provide family planning services.
The health care agents continue their prerequisite courses for advancement in health care. As I write, they are taking their mid-‐term exams. We keep them in our prayers and wish them well.
Our two Haitian board members, Pierre Methar and Carlo Adam, have decided to take positions on the staff and as a result will no longer serve as board members. This is a bittersweet transition. Their service, advice, and hard work have been appreciated, but their positions within the clinic will be of great service to us and will provide them with opportunities for professional growth. As of March 12th, Pierre will take a position as Logistics Manager, and Carlo will be the Patient Records and Documents Manager. We are currently looking for two new Haitian board members.
One of our favorite things to do while in Haiti is to visit with the staff members. One meeting was particularly touching. One of the health agents spoke of how she struggled with finding her purpose in life. She shared how she prayed and then went to Fr. Jean Juste to seek his advice and help in discerning what she should do. She recognized that she was called to do something because people kept coming to her for help. In discussing this with him, she realized that she was interested in medicine. Fr. Jean Juste encouraged her to come to a meeting with the St. Claire's parish group
who were starting a health care project. She has been working with us now since 2006. With tears of joy, she thanked us for what is being done for the community and for giving her the
opportunity to go to school -‐ helping
her fulfill her mission and dream of
working in medicine.
Johanna Berrigan Bishop Tom Gumbleton