Direct Relief has recently granted an additional $75,000 to three new grassroots groups in Haiti who are instrumental in helping their communities recover from the effects of the devastating earthquake in January 2010. The total granted to similar groups now tops $632,000. The recent grantees are:
Association of the Peasants of Fondwa- The Association of Peasants Fondwa (APF) is a grassroots organization that works to promote healthy communities that promote the civil and human rights of the poor. Together, APF and its communities have created basic infrastructure for the residents of Fondwa, including healthcare services; financial services; agricultural training; and primary, secondary, and university-level education. These opportunities improve the quality of life in Fondwa and strengthen community relationships. APF’s facilities built over the past 22 years were destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. With the loss of housing and high levels of poverty among the peasant population, healthcare needs in the community dramatically increased.
Direct Relief has awarded a $25,000 grant to fund APF’s basic medical healthcare, screening, and prevention for the roughly 50,000 local residents. These funds pay the wages of three community health workers, two nurses, two physicians, training, and transport for medical supplies and food for six months. By providing health education, nutritional supplements, and basic immunizations, Direct Relief and APF hope to improve the overall health outcomes of the vulnerable residents of this community.
Foyer Espoir pour les Enfants- Foyer Espoir Pour les Enfants, or Hope for Children Orphanage, supports orphans and homeless families in the Delmas community of Port-au-Prince, where the number of families who needed help increased dramatically after the earthquake.
The orphanage provides shelter and food for about 50 resident children and also provides education for more than 200 children whose parents cannot afford to send them to a private school. Its goal is to educate more children to become productive citizens in the community. The facility also provides skills training to parents, operates a free canteen for the children and community, and helps locals find employment.
Direct Relief’s $20,000 enables Foyer Espoir pour les Enfants to hire more teachers, purchase desks and school supplies, establish a sustainable canteen, and accept more orphans into their home and more students into their school.
Mary Jo, Foyer Espoir Pour Les Enfants, Port-au-Prince
Konbit Sante- Founded by a group of U.S. healthcare professionals, Konbit Sante works to create effective healthcare systems in developing countries. Through its professional connections, the group was introduced to leaders in the public health system in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city, approximately 85 miles north of Port-au-Prince, where Konbit Sante now supports various health facilities. The population of Cap-Haitien has grown tremendously as people displaced by the earthquake have sought refuge and a new start.
One of Haiti’s ongoing health issues is its very high maternal mortality rate – 670 deaths for every 100,000 live births – mostly caused by delays in care. Direct Relief’s grant of $25,000 to Konbit Sante is targeted to address two of the three most common delays to obstetric emergency care: delay in recognition of an emergency and delay in seeking care. With the funds, Konbit Sante is providing monthly training and supervision to 40 traditional birth attendants on the danger signs of obstetric emergencies, as well as establishing a dispatch and transportation system so that mothers facing an obstetric emergency get to the hospital.
In the region, an estimated 500 to 750 pregnant women at any given time, 15 percent of which will likely experience some level of obstetric emergency and require timely, skilled intervention. This grant is anticipated to serve at least 80 pregnant women facing an obstetric emergency over the two-year grant period. This simple, low-cost approach is scalable, and has the potential to significantly reduce maternal mortality in the region.