Good-b Causes We Love
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 80% of the people of Haiti live on less than $2.00 per day. Malnutrition, disease, political instability, lack of water, food, and the most basic health care plagued the population long before the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in 2010.
There is a saying in the Bible that, “Whatever you do for the least of me, you do for me,” this Catholic-based organization takes that mandate to heart. NOVA Hope for Haiti is co-founded by dynamic child advocate and inspirational leader (and my personal friend) Joe Nuzzi who has a dream along with fellow congregants to provide basic medical care for the children of Haiti.
What makes this extraordinary 11-year old organization different than the dozens of others with a similarly stated mission is that this project is an ALL-volunteer program. The doctors, nurses, technicians, organizers, and clinic helpers use their own funds to travel to Haiti twice a year and build a week-long health clinic for mothers and their children to provide basic medical care: medications, immunizations, and treatments for malnutrition and simple to complex diseases. Unlike many other organizations including the Red Cross and United Way, NOVA leaders and members take no salary and pay their own expenses. All donations go directly to the medical mission of caring for mothers and their children.
The real heartbreak according to Joe Nuzzi is what these families do when NOVA Hope leaves. They watch their children suffer from illnesses that a simple antibiotic could resolve or other basic medical care could prevent. The Dream for NOVA is to provide not only HOPE for a better life for the children of Haiti, but to establish a permanent quality medical clinic staffed with Haitian and American doctors and nurses that provides urgently needed medical care to the long-neglected the Children of Haiti. (Read the story below about Joe and NOVA’s current campaign to build a full-time clinic in Cavaillon, Haiti.)
The organization has successfully raised $195,000 of the $300,000 needed to build the first clinic. This Holiday Season, giving to NOVA Hope for Haiti will make a mother’s dream for quality health care for her sick child come true.
With Love and Gratitude, Monika
(Monika Mitchell – Founder/CEO Good-b)
Why we are building a Pediatric Clinic
NOVA Hope for Haiti has been running medical missions to Haiti for over 10 years. All it takes is for a doctor or nurse to come on one of our medical missions once and they realize that while we do amazing work, which at times even saves lives, we are not really making a sustained difference in the life and health of the people we serve.
I say this will all due respect to the work we do, to our volunteers, to our donors, to the people who come to our clinic for whom there is no other medical care, and most of all with all due respect to the lives that have been saved by the care they have received at our clinics over the years. I myself have been on every medical mission since the beginning. I know first hand how incredibly important they are.
It nonetheless remains true that providing medical care one or two weeks per year will not qualitatively change the lives of the people in the community. However, having a facility that provides care 12 months out of the year, with a doctor on staff to serve the people will make that kind of impact.
Right now, there is almost no medical care in Cavaillon, Haiti. And while Cavaillon is itself a small town, it is the center of a rural population of over 100,000 people who live in villages spread out around this town center. This means that a mother or father who wakes up to a crying child who has a high fever, or vomiting, or diarrhea has no where to bring their child for help. While we can quote statistics about Haiti having the highest under 5 infant mortality rate in the western hemisphere (see UNICEF) the numbers do not do justice to the horrible reality that they represent.
I have seen women carry sick children as much as 4 hours on foot to get to our clinic in the hopes that we can help them. I have seen impossibly poor parents spending what little they have, often with charlatans to try to help their kids when they are ill. And I’ve been in Cavaillon when a funeral was held for a child who died. I witnessed the horrible grief of inconsolable parents. The pain of losing a child is just as strong and terrible if you are poor and live in Haiti as it is if you are materially well off and live in the USA; only it happens 10 times as often in Haiti as it does in the US.
A week long clinic once or twice per year is invaluable when their is nothing else, but NOVA has always planned to do more.
This is why we are striving to build a pediatric clinic as the first phase of our permanent facility. Our building project will have 3 phases which we will complete as we have the funds to do so. The entire project will cost about 1 million dollars, and will include a pediatric clinic, a staff and volunteer center with room for health education and community building project, and finally a larger clinic to see adults as well as children.
We are starting with the pediatric clinic to help first the most vulnerable population and because we believe that to help a child stay healthy and strong will increase the child’s chances of a fruitful life. The pediatric clinic can also be built within the existing structure on NOVA’s property (an old farm house) which makes this project affordable. We are just $150,000 away from being able to build the clinic and run it for year one.
We are hoping to raise this money in the next couple of months and be able to begin construction in 2013. We already have our architectural plans in place. Below are two of our architectural plans.
Vice-President NOVA Hope for Haiti
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