March 1, 2010

Haiti Revisited

[Click here for some photos from the trip.]

Six weeks have passed since the devastation of an already devastated country, Haiti. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a hospital lead by Phyllis Nubian, one of the most impressive, gracious and humble leaders I have ever met. Picture Mother Teresa meets Maya Angelou. Phyllis graduated from University in Jamaica 40+ years ago and moved to Haiti. In her decades there, she started a hospital, orphanage, school, several churches and food distribution centers. What a slacker. She feeds over 30,000 children and has educated over 35,000 more. Our team of doctors worked with their Haitian medical staff to get the hospital up and running. Over a few days, we aided with the initial influx of patients (several hundred daily) and left the work back in the capable hands of the Haitian staff. Since I took a team down, people have been asking about Vox’s strategy in response to the earthquake.

1. Pray and wait. Haiti is beautiful but complicated country. If you were to do a case study on the ill-effects of colonization, Haiti would be a prime candidate. The effects of France’s inihilation of a formerly resource rich island is hard to grasp. The compounding of abusive Haitian leadership and corruption on top of that has dug the hole even deeper. Well meaning but perhaps short sighted foreign aid has given fish to generations of Haitians without ever teaching them to fish and more importantly help them purchase and own the pond. After the dust settles, we will see if world leaders are able to craft a centralized strategy that leans heavily upon indigenous leadership to set a course for rebuilding the country. Pray for great and selfless Haitian leaders to step forward to lead the way.

2. Send health care professionals. Right now for the short-term, if you are not a health care professional, Haiti does not need your help. Since Haiti is already over-saturated with NGO’s, missions, churches, the last thing they need are well meaning skilled people that are not that useful and will only continue to strain the limited supply of resources available. If you are a doctor or nurse, we highly recommend connecting with the hospital we worked with on the north side of Port-au Prince. Please contact me if you are interested.

3. Send money to this hospital. All resources sent are currently large but necessary short-term band aids. If you want to ensure that your money is well used by a sustainable hospital and community, Phyllis Nubian is your woman. Please make checks to Vox Veniae (memo: Haiti). We will ensure that 100% of the funds go towards her work in the community.

Please continue to pray for the beautiful people of Haiti. Pray that God will raise up strong and selfless leaders to cast and carry out a vision to rebuild their country.

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