I shouldn’t be surprised, but every time I return to Terre Blanche I discover healthier people and a more stable community. I was a member of the June medical team and had the opportunity to work in the medical clinic. I also spent time walking through the village and visiting with Haitians. The overall look of those who live in Terre Blanche is vibrant and healthy yet there are still many individuals in the surrounding areas who do not have access to care and come to the clinic with advanced medical conditions.
The children in particular are healthier. This is partly due to the daily nutritious lunch the school children receive and the community health programs that are supported by Haiti Foundation of Hope. This nutritional support allows students to be focused enough to participate in school and other educational opportunities – it is this involvement that excites me the most. I got the sense that the children are absorbing more information and are more eager to learn.
After clinic finished for the day scores of children and teenagers would join us on a walk down to the river or up into the surrounding hills. A teen named Francky was one of them. I had met Francky several years ago and at the time he was a shy and introverted boy. Now I noticed that Francky had not only grown physically to a tall young man, but was also more outgoing and engaged. He was outside the clinic every day and constantly looking for an opportunity to speak English with the American team members. It was his interest in learning English, and his thirst for knowledge in general, that really stood out to me. He is a student at the secondary school in Terre Blanche and has aspirations to go to college. He talks about how he wants to learn more so he can have more choices for himself in the future. I kept thinking to myself that if there were no school in Terre Blanche and no nutritional support for the children, that this generation of young people like Francky might never exist.
It is through nutritional support, education and community health engagement that Haiti Foundation of Hope has seen the most impact in Terre Blanche. I count it a privilege to be part of this organization and to see firsthand the changes made. I look forward to future visits to see what kind of impact Francky, and others like him, have on Terre Blanche and all of Haiti.
By Larry Moore, HFH Board President