News & Events
HHF Public Health Director since 1985, Dr. Bette Gebrian-Magloire resigns. We wish her much future success.
Soon after Sister Maryann Berard, HHF’s former Administrator in Jérémie, retired in May 2014, Dr. Bette Gebrian-Magloire resigned from her position as HHF Public Health Director. Bette has been with HHF since 1985, and we send her our sincere wishes for success in all of her future endeavors.
We want to take this opportunity to warmly welcome Nadesha Mijoba to the position of Administrator in Jeremie. Nadesha’s Masters in Public Health and Masters in Community and Economic Development, her background in organizational management and assessment, and experience with project design, implementation and evaluation is a wonderful fit with the needs of HHF. Bienvenue a Jeremie, Nadesha!
Words from our Incoming Administrator, Nadesha Mijoba:
Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, I was aware, at an early age of the extreme disparities existing among the many people of my country. Whether in terms of income, healthcare or education, some individuals had consistently fewer opportunities to improve their lives and such conditions bothered me even as a young child. As I became older and more mature, and acquired a better understanding of these issues, I was never able to accept that such conditions are an inevitable part of human life. I feel that a world in which educational opportunities, food security, adequate housing, and healthcare access were denied to some, but not others, is unjust. These sentiments have been a motivating force in my personal and professional experiences, leading into areas of work that have, for the past 20 years, focused strongly on issues of social justice and the wide range of opportunities available to individuals and communities once they have the basic economic security and freedoms so many of us are privileged to enjoy.
Observing the work of HHF and their many decadesof commitment to the health and well-being of those in the Jeremie region, I believe that my education, professional and community work, and personal philosophy have found a wonderful new home with the Haitian Health Foundation. I am greatly pleased to have this opportunity to work with all of you and utilize my knowledge and experience for the benefit of the Haitian people.
The following article by AmeriCares that shows our partnership with them and our efforts of empowering women and girls through our program “Partnership for a Better Haiti.” http://www.americares.org/who-we-are/newsroom/news/helping-women-and-girls-in-haiti-live-healthier-lives.html
January 12th marked the 4 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti. Today we remember all of those who lost their lives.
On Friday, April 5th, 2013, the White House honored HHF’s Jeremiah Lowney Jr. as one of twelve Rotary International members who are “Champions of Change.” To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
“The poet John Donne tells us that ‘no man is an island’. Thousands of generous and caring people have been responsible for the successes of the Haitian Health Foundation over the past 31 years. I accept this White House/Rotary honor on behalf of those wonderful benefactors. I also accept it for my wife, Virginia, my family, and all of the hundreds of staff and volunteers both in the USA and Haiti.” “Mesi anpil!” (“Thank you very much!”) –Jeremiah J. Lowney, Jr., DDS, MS, MPH, Volunteer President, Haitian Health Foundation!
Hats On! Connecticut businessman/HHF volunteer Mark Sullivan of The Sullivan Group brings Red Sox hats, and cheer, to Haiti. See the newscast aired on NESN during the 7/28 Red Sox presume show. Thank you, Mark, and all that have donated the hats!
- Our next Container-Loading date will be determined soon. Come help us as we load a container bound for southwest Haiti. Be a part of a team that’s been there for Haitians for 25 years!
Help us pack another container with much-needed food and relief supplies to Jérémie at our Norwich office. The loading begins at 8:00 am. We’ll be sending more food, building supplies and medical supplies so we give thanks to all who carefully pack the containers and spend their mornings with us!
Join us at:
Haitian Health Foundation
97 Sherman Street, Norwich, CT 06360
Click here for a satellite map to the Norwich offic
As 2013 begins, we at The Haitian Health Foundation pause to remember the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010.
On that terrible day, over 300,000 people were killed in an avalanche of concrete, 300,000 more were injured, and over a million were left homeless. Thousands fled the horrors of Port-au-Prince, seeking relief in our region of Haiti, the Grand’Anse. We witnessed the survivors coming off the boat from Port-au-Prince with dazed looks on their faces, most wearing only the clothes on their backs, gratefully clutching children and babies who had survived.
Three years later, much of the devastation remains in Port-au-Prince. We know that some donors have experienced “Haiti Fatigue”: They are disappointed at the lack of progress, and feel like the donations they gave were wasted.
Be assured that any donations given to the Haitian Health Foundation were well spent.
Our 5-tiered approach to the disaster included:
• Providing medical care to many of the displaced people (including many pregnant women who had never had prenatal care).
• Expanded distribution of food, especially to those villagers who took in many of the displaced.
• Providing over 700 displaced women with the tools to start their own small businesses and become self-sufficient.
• Educating several hundred displaced children in our St. Pierre School.
• Constructing hundreds of houses to replace those destroyed by the earthquake.
Less than a year after the earthquake, Haiti was struck by a deadly cholera epidemic.
Again, HHF immediately jumped into action.
We educated our health staff about the disease and dispatched them to the mountain villages to provide health education and medical care. Thanks to this outreach, which was made possible by our donors’ generous gifts, cholera deaths were cut in half the first month, then reduced further over the next few months until they accounted for less than 1% of those stricken. With your help, thousands of lives were saved.
This past fall, Hurricane Sandy made a direct and devastating hit on the HHF catchment area, destroying subsistence crops and inciting a real fear of famine. HHF is busy responding. Our new nursery is growing fruit trees to distribute to many who lost their crops, and we are providing food to the many thousands who suffer from hunger.
This work will continue through 2013.
Please rest assured that your generosity has provided both immediate and lasting relief to the poor of Haiti.
On their behalf, “merci” for your continued support.
Join Dr. Jeremiah Lowney on the remarkable journey that took him from his childhood in an Irish-American ghetto to the brutally impoverished rural mountains of Jérémie. Enjoy the history of HHF as it has grown from a rural outpost to the primary healthcare provider to over 225,000 people in over 100 villages.
His is a story of healing, compassion, and advocacy that will both inspire and renew our faith in the capacity of one man to accept an invitation to change one corner of the world.
But to Serve: Changing Lives One at a Time is available for $25, plus $5 shipping & handling. Click here to e-mail HHF for details about purchasing the book.
The Miracle of Makandal
Makandal, a section of Jérémie, is one of the poorest areas in Haiti.
Over 3,000 people live in approximately 400 appalling hovels, which are crowded into about 1 acre of muddy, garbage-strewn land, with no sanitary facilities.
Families of up to 12 people huddle inside dirt-floor structures made from pieces of concrete, thatch, scraps of tin, and even rags. Roofs are often nothing more than bed sheets, tarps, political posters, or pieces of rusted metal. There is no protection from unwanted invasions of insects, rats and other vermin, and when it rains, run off from the streets and surrounding areas carry garbage and human waste through Makandal, resulting in the dirt floors becoming septic pools of mud.
Forcing people to live in these conditions would be considered criminal in the United States.
Responding to the Need.
The recipient family of a new home is shown above with HHF Executive Director Marilyn Lowney. Their “house” before this new structure was the appalling hovel shown at the very top of the page.
In November 2010, at the request of the sad souls living in Makandal, the Haitian Health Foundation began a major reconstruction project to improve the housing. Our plan was to replace the worst housing first. An appeal to our generous donors resulted in enough funding to replace 53 of the hovels. Each new house cost $5,000 U.S. Phase I, 53 new houses, was completed in Fall 2011.
Phase II began in February 2012, with an additional 48 houses constructed between February and June 1st. Of the 400 total hovels in Makandal, HHF has now re-built over 100 of them. Not only are the recipients living in more humane, sanitary and secure conditions, a “renaissance” is occurring:
Garbage no longer litters the streets – Makandal volunteers have been regularly cleaning it up;
The area by the ocean, which once served as an outdoor toilet for the residents, now has cement benches and is used for fishing;
Pit latrines were built near some of the houses, so the residents can have privacy instead of having to perform their bodily functions in a humiliating display out in the open;
Children are smiling and joyful, young men no longer glare at visitors, and women no longer beg, weep and keen for a gift;
New industry is developing and new jobs have been created in construction and security;
A small school for grades K-4 has opened at the entrance of the village, for Makandal’s children.
A family of 5 huddle in a makeshift structure ( above left) until it was replaced with this new home (right).
The renaissance taking place is something that I have never seen in my 20 years of visiting Makandal. As the lives of these broken people have improved, their behavior has become more positive and their outlook has become more hopeful. There is a renewed pride in the people of Makandal.
Eight human beings lived in the above shack; they now reside in a home they never dreamed of owning (below).
The Haitian Health Foundation looks forward to improving the lives of more families in Makandal in 2013. At least 100 more houses are desperately in need of replacing. You can help replace another house in Makandal with a donation of $5,000. As you can see from the photographs, $5,000 buys a wonderful structure that is secure, sanitary and a source of hope for a better future.
Jeremiah J. Lowney, DDS, MS, MPH
Messenger of The Poor of Haiti
Founder and President