A team of 11 volunteers, aged 20-70, travelled from the Timmins, Ontario area church, South Porcupine Pentecostal Church, to Haiti in April for a week of service with Haiti Ministries, which serves at-risk Haitian children. Two of the team members were nurses and the rest were going to help with maintenance and to work on upgrading facilities.
Michel and Louise Charbonneau of Canada have been in Port-au-Prince Haiti for almost 20 years managing the feeding program of Haiti Ministries. Every week the organization teaches 800 kids at their school and feeds 900.
“Currently, the medical needs of these children are not being met,” wrote Pat Albrecht in her application to Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) to obtain a Humanitarian Medical Kit. Each kit is packed with enough essential medicines and medical supplies to provide treatment to about 250 people.
“We hope to help improve this situation by holding a clinic while we are down there, and then providing the permanent staff with supplies to continue caring for the children after we are gone,” Pat wrote in her application. “The nurses traveling with us are very impressed and excited about the items in the Humanitarian Medical Kit that you provide.”
Just what they needed
Once back, Pat confirmed that the kits were useful: “Most of the products we brought were just what they needed. The remainder of the products are going to be used by the doctor who services the school. We got to see them use the products while helping with the clinics during the time we were there. They send their thanks.”
According to Pat’s report to HPIC, the clinic had never received such “a thorough and useful supply” as the kit provided through HPIC.
Two nurses serve the school and feeding program regularly. “Our two nurses were allowed to serve as well, and learned as much as they helped,” Pat wrote. “During each clinic time, about 20 children and teens were served. A few adults, parents of the
kids and staff at the school attended, as well.”
Haitian children thankful
The clinic is prepared to deal with worms, diarrhea, malaria, and typhoid. Though the most common cases are fevers, tummy aches, injuries, colds and headaches.
“I would say that these donors (of medicines) have made life easier and more pleasant for a lot of people who have so many struggles in their lives. The children were thankful for the chance to have medicines available, as well as the special attention they get at the clinic,” said Pat.