To help the people of Haiti recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake in 2010, Direct Relief made targeted grants to several small, grassroots organizations assisting their communities, including these two organizations, Solidarite Haitienne and Bureau de Doleances Social.
Solidarite Haitienne is a grassroots foundation created by a group of residents living in the Christ Roi neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. After the earthquake, the founders wanted to help the devastated area to come back to life. Foundation President Jean Edy Gaston has done everything possible to assist his neighbors–including setting up a free medical clinic in the area.
In June 2010, Solidarite Haitienne brought a mobile clinic to Saint Rock, a village two hours from Port-au-Prince, with a team of four nurses and a doctor. When they arrived, a line of over one hundred people were waiting to be seen by the doctor. That day, they vaccinated children and provided medicine to 147 patients. The mobile clinic program expanded to Duvier as well.
To help increase access to healthcare services for these remote villages, Solidarite Haitienne began to train health agents to provide basic health services in the community. With Direct Relief’s support, Solidarite Haitienne trained 12 health agents who now serve these areas.
The health agents are trained to look for signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, and malnutrition, which are common in these remote areas. Since they are members of the communities they serve, they have relationships with their patients and an existing level of trust. When the health agents are aware of their neighbors’ conditions, they can keep a close eye on them, making sure they take their medications and follow treatment plans prescribed by the doctor.
The Direct Relief grant to Solidarite Hatienne has brought healthcare services to these remote villages in Haiti that previously did not have access to basic healthcare.
The January 2010 earthquake caused a lot of damage in the area of Carrefour Feuilles in Port au Prince. An untold number of people and homes were lost. Bureau de Doleances stepped in to help its community overcome these traumas.
In May 2010, the Bureau de Doleances Social established a program for children age 5 to 15. The program lasted for a year and was done in several sessions to have groups of same-age children intermingle. During the year, the younger children were taught songs and games under the watchful eye of a monitor. Some would find a quiet spot to draw a picture. Teaching awareness about cholera was done in a song. A different approach was used for the older children, since their education also included issues like children’s rights and cholera prevention. The psychosocial program was able to help 360 children, who will share their knowledge with even more children.
Though the psychosocial program is complete, Bureau de Doleances is still collaborating with other organizations in the area and addressing the needs of the community, including a six-month education program that will focus on manual skills and games to stimulate the minds of the children. All the work will be done by a team of young leaders in the community.