Remembering Paul Farmer

May 23, 2022

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Paul Farmer was one of the greatest movers and shakers for the promotion of global health in the last century. Since his days as a medical student at Harvard, he poured his love, his brilliance, and his resources into Haiti, his beloved second home.

photo source: Wikipedia

The world of international public health was devastated by his premature death at age 62 on February 21 of this year.

To honor him, I share this photo with you. It is of the statue of Nèg Mawon which stands in the plaza of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince. It is a beautiful and dramatic image of a runaway slave. For more than 50 years it has been inspirational for millions of Haitians. It is a symbol of independence from slavery but it also evokes the ongoing struggle for Haiti to free itself from almost total dependence on outside aid.

The Nèg Mawon was inspirational for Paul Farmer; he chose to have a photo of this magnificent statue on the opening page of his book Haiti after the Earthquake.  It can inspire us as well.

by Greta McKinney, HFH board member

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