JULY 23, 2017

In the months after the hurricane of October 2016, the staff of Centre de Sante de Gatineau has been busy distributing relief supplies and housing materials to people in communities around the clinic site.  We have been assisted in our hurricane relief endeavors by the 24 Community Promoters who we had previously trained in our Water and Sanitation community development project.  They were tremendously helpful to us in distributing food supplies in their communities and in helping us decide what families were most in need of rebuilding their homes after the hurricane.

We are now trying to get our Water and Sanitation project back on course, so that we can expand our efforts to educate communities on the need for drinking treated water, using good hygiene and washing their hands with soap.  You may recall that we built 210 latrines in the six communities we initially worked in with this project (35 latrines per community).  Many of these latrines were damaged in the hurricane.  So, one of the tasks these past few months has been to visit each latrine, determine the extent of damage and estimate costs to repair these latrines.  Here are some photos:

Latrine without a door serves as a storage room (this is specifically taught to latrine recipients as something NOT to do).


Latrine walls are down, leaving only the cement slab and seat


Latrine with old tin in place of its broken walls


Once we have determined a budget for repair of these latrines, we will seek funding to meet this budget.  If you want to help repair a previously built latrine, please let us know!

Last year, we trained another 12 Community Promoters from six new communities, ones that are further up in the mountains.  These promoters had just started their educational activities in the communities when the hurricane struck Haiti and things came to a halt.  Now, we want them to get back to their initial objective of educating their communities on water and sanitation issues, under our direction and supervision.  Earlier this month, we brought in all the promoters for a half-day seminar at the clinic.  We spent some time having them share stories about the hurricane – miraculous stories of survival, neighbors helping neighbors, everyone trying to live day to day in the midst of destruction.  We also heard about the ongoing needs in the communities for food and permanent housing, needs that were repeated over and over throughout the day.

One of the most important aspects of our time together, though, was to review the training materials and lessons that they had learned in their initial training.  We quickly ascertained that not all of the Promoters have appropriately mastered the educational information nor are they as familiar with the teaching aids and posters as we want them to be.  So, Gemi and Viel, our community supervisors, will be making frequent visits to these communities to listen to the promoters in action as they teach in order to be sure they become adept at teaching the fundamentals of the water and sanitation lessons they are supposed to be sharing with others.

Community Coordinator Gemi Baptiste introduced each promoter to the others, telling what he most appreciated about that particular promoter.

All 24 Community Promoters participated in a feedback and continuing education seminar at the clinic July 2017


New and old promoters paired up to share training lessons with the group.


We are encouraged by the success of this Water and Sanitation project and want to see it continue to make a positive impact on behaviors.  We appreciate your prayers for these dedicated Community Promoters.


This past week was spent reliving the past as we had a visit from nurse Jayne (Benninghoff) Henderson, someone I grew up with in New Jersey and who spent a summer working at the hospital Cherlie and I used to work at in Bonne Fin, Haiti.  Jayne was immediately comfortable in her surroundings here, both in our home and at the clinic, and quickly settled in to help us out.  She helped Cherlie with initial patient evaluation, observed me doing consultations, helped pack medications in the pharmacy, took photos of the clinic and grounds, gave out gifts to the patients, organized storage rooms and supplies, helped us cook supper and washed a lot of dishes!  In the midst of all the activity we had plenty of time to catch up on one another’s lives and she was able to get a good feel for our ministry here.  She even helped me do some shopping for Haitian crafts to send back for our annual banquet in Milwaukee in the spring.  It was a wonderful week with a true sister in the Lord!


Good friend and helper Jayne Henderson 


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  1. Barbara Tyler on July 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Informative update. You seem to be busier than ever. Hope you are both managing to stay well