| I have realized it has been a few months since I sent an email update and so much has happened that I don’t even know where to start! I am excited to give you a glimpse of all that happened. I say glimpse as I am going to try to keep this as short as possible while still sharing all God has been up to in and through ministry these past few months.|
For the past year I have been diligently working to pull all the details together to launch the new outreach center in Port Du Paix (PdP) which is an hour from NWHCM St. Louis Du Nord where all outreach events were previously held. This is a huge transition not just for me as it involved me moving to a new town but also a BIG change for the outreach families who now will have therapy in PdP for 20 weeks a year instead of 10, have new therapy time schedule, and will still have parent education and fun activities at NWHCM in St. Louis Du Nord. Thankfully all these supplies from the boat arrived 3 weeks before grand opening. We were able to paint all the cabinets dad had build for storage of all the new clinic supplies and toys thanks to help from NWHCM interns. We got the clinic all arranged moving the STAND tables upstairs and laying the new foam floor tiles down to create pediatric treatment area thanks to help of a visiting church team working at a local school. Upstairs we turned a closet a depot and office was created by adding shelves and a metal gate to secure money and all supplies. The amazon wish list of supplies for the clinic was a huge success and all items were purchased and shipped on the boat and arrived! It was alot of work but we are fully up and running.
The first week of the new clinic was a little slow due to continued political unrest causing riots and making it uncertain of safety for traveling. Many families didn’t want to risk the travel this past week. Although we did have 44 of the 77 children scheduled for therapy. It was nice to have a slower first week to get used to new schedule, new space, and new supplies. The new schedule is that everyday there are 3 groups of kids for therapy each day and each group has 7 kids. One group starts at 8AM, second group at 10:30AM and final group at 1:30PM. The children receive 2 hours of therapy followed by 15 minutes of prayer and devotion. One day per month they receive their week worth of vitamins and get their weight taken.
MEET OUR AMAZING STAFF
Lionel is the director of the outreach program he has spent the last 4 months learning from Presiendue and has been a great addition to our team. His role is coordinating and overseeing all the other staff, regulating/buying supplies, and overseeing the financial aspect of outreach and doing receipt reports. Jenny is the lead Rehab Technician and I over the therapy aspect of the outreach program. She has been interning with me the last 4 months and has grown greatly in her leadership skills and is very capable of running the program. She is also my translator to ensure things are communicated clearly to my staff during staff meetings and education. Joseph- is a Rehab Technician he has worked at the Miriam Center for the past year and has completed my 4 month pediatric course. Sony- is an Activity Assistant who has been working at the Miriam Center for the past year and has completed my 4 month pediatric course. He plans to go to school in fall to become a Rehab Technician.Nancy- is a volunteer Activity Assistant. She has worked at the Miriam Center for 7 months and has plans to go to school in the fall to become a Rehab Technician. She wants to keep growing in here skills before school. Miss Marlee and Miss Roselande- are Pediatric Nurses who works for the outreach program. Their role is to run the multi-vitamin program and Ricket vitamin program, to advocate for kids in the hospital ensuring they are getting quality care, doing medical homevisits to check on kids and doing post-hospital clinic follow up homevisits. The nurses play a key role ensuring the kids get the best medical care we can provide.
Please check out my facebook page for tons of pictures and updates from the new clinic. I am posting multiple times a day. A plus to the new clinic in Pdp is better internet.
ANNUAL MEETINGSOur annual outreach meeting happens the last Friday of May every year. This is when we have all the families come to a big meeting in which we change out their calendars/schedules for the next year. I have put countless days and hours preparing for the meeting starting while I was stateside in February where I created and printed everything with dad’s help so it would be color coded. I carried in over 30lbs of paperwork! This year the schedules had to be different as the program was expanding and moving locations. Instead of 4 groups of kids we would have 7. Instead of 10 weeks of therapy per year they would receive 20. We had a record number turn out for the annual meeting 140-150 families. Some were given new calanders/schedules, some were given graduation invitations, and sadly some got moved back to the waiting list due to poor attendance the year before. Since that meeting we have had 2 more smaller meetings catching people who were unable to make the main meeting. It was definitely a crazy hectic day but honestly could not have gone better minus one big paperwork mess up that gave me a slight heart attack lol.
TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCEWe have many families who travel hours one way to receive services. The cost of coming 37x per year (20 weeks therapy, 12 parent education seminars, vitamins pick up, and 4 fun activities per year) is to much. We have an aspect of the program where they can apply for transportation assistance. This year we had over 50 families apply for assistance. I set a limit to start of being able to hand out only $2,500USD worth of help. Well honestly after homevisits and narrowing it down to this amount we still have kids that desperately need the transportation assistance help. So far through facebook I have been able to raise $2,000 towards this need. I am really trying and praying about raising $2,000 more dollars to help more of these families who truly need help to get to their 37 appointments. The assistance we are providing doesn’t cover their full transportation but part of it. I believe that all the families would give something but for most it covers 1 way. Would you pray about sponsoring 1 child for transport for this year. If so you can respond to this email how much you are willing to give and I will send you a picture and story of 1 of the kids waiting for transportation assistance. Thank you for standing in the gap for these families and seeing the benefit and the program and wanting to help the families receive the help they need to succeed.
3 OUTREACH MOM’S NOW OUTREACH STAFFNahomie’s mom collects, dry’s, and powders moringa leaves each week. Brianna’s mom takes the powder that Nahomie’s mom makes and places them into various size capsules forming our moringa vitamin’s that in the next year will replace our multi-vitamins that we currently buy from the states and hand out to the active outreach kids on a monthly basis. What is Moringa Tree? It is a superfood that is nicknamed the miracle tree. It is packed full of vitamins, protein, and calcium. It has been proven to have dozens of health benefits. We have been using Moringa powder for years already in the Miriam Center kids food and as a main ingredient in the Nutrition food that we make for the nutrition aspect of the outreach program. Nahomie’s mom’s salary has been covered. We are still looking for monthly donors to help cover Brianna’s mom salary of $20 per week equalling $80 per month.We most recently hired Wilter Jean’s mom to be the cleaning staff for the STAND clinic. She will be coming Monday through Friday at 4PM to wipe down all the equipment, sweep and mop the clinic. We are still looking for someone to become a monthly donor to help cover her salary she like Brianna’s mom makes $20 a week.All 3 of these mom’s were unemployed secondary to having their special needs children and not being able to go out and find work. Nahomi and Brianna mom are working from home and Wilter Jean’s mom has older children who are able to watch him by late afternoon to come clean. NEW HOUSEI have officially moved to PdP which is 45 minutes to an hour from St. Louis Du Nord where I have lived the last 10 years. Moving is hard no matter where you live but in Haiti brings on a whole new level of challenges. I am thankful to so many friends who helped me find a house, pack my stuff and move. It took 2 big trucks and 2 little trucks to move all my house and the outreach clinic supplies. I have decided to rent a house with my lead Rehab Tech Jenny. We are living a short 5 minute walk from the STAND clinic. Our new house has 2 bedrooms, a nice living room, kitchen, and bathroom. I have upgraded to running water (part of the time), electricity everyday for 10 hours, and better internet service in this bigger town. The transition has been overall smooth but I sure do miss the Miriam Center kids and still finding a new rhythm to daily life. I am praying I will be able to stay healthier with running water and power that will allow me to cook meals ahead and refrigerate or freeze. I will be able to heat food up quickly in the microwave. The new clinic runs from 8AM-4PM and have been getting home around 4:30 or 5:00 compared to getting home at 9 or 10PM. This is a big difference. Overall I feel this change will be good. I could not have done with move with out a TRIBE of supporters from around the world. Thank you to everyone who has been praying me through this transition. Thank you do my boyfriend Nathan who has completely changed his schedule to make sure to be available and supportive the last month. Thank you to my parents who have been busy helping me stateside. Mom has been busy sewing curtains for my new house and dad has been gathering supplies and doing western union runs. My NWHCM family has helped me on the ground with packing and actually moving. I feel blessed by my amazing tribe.
STAND MAY TRIPWe saw a record breaking number of kids during the 2 weeks of STAND in May. Both weeks we had 3 amazing therapists that helped evaluate, treat, provide home exercise plans, fit AFO’s/shoes, make hand braces, etc. We had an amazing team of Haitian therapy trainees who helped build all the chairs, standers, walkers, etc. This was the first STAND trip that I have had a leadership team which made my weeks go much smoother. Lionel the director for the outreach program ran the pediatric front desk and he did an awesome job. Jenny the lead Rehab Tech ran the building area which saved me hundreds of flights of stairs running up and down checking on things. This allowed me to not be completely exhausted at the end of STAND weeks which was super helpful as I had just moved a few days before and the day after STAND left we started transforming the clinic to prepare for the Grand opening of the Pediatric Clinic.
4 MONTH PEDIATRIC THERAPY TRAINING-GRADUATIONI can’t believe 4 months has passed by so quickly. The days were long & challenging but the weeks and months flew by. Every Monday afternoon, Tuesday Morning, Thursday afternoon, and Friday afternoon we had education time slots. The 4 Rehab Techs and 6 locals (planning to go to therapy school) learned a variety of treatment techniques, knowledge about various pediatric diagnosis and how to treat, and had lots of time to practice new skills with the kids at the Miriam Center and outreach program. At the end of the 4 months they took 3 exams to ensure that they learned the information. They all passed and received a certificate of pediatric Continuing Education. The Rehab Techs had 4 options of places to apply that are hiring and looking for rehab techs that had completed training specializing pediatrics. The 6 locals had a chance to apply for activity assistant positions for the next 6 months while they wait and prepare to go to either Rehab Tech school or OT/PT school. We ended the 4 months of training with a nice dinner where everyone received their certificate’s of completion.
17 LAWS OF TEAMWORK BY JOHN MAXWELL TRAININGWhile I was in Oklahoma with No Boundaries International I studied and learned the 17 laws of teamwork and decided to train my 13 therapy trainees and outreach staff on these 17 laws believing it is knowledge that would make us all better team players and individuals. I happy to share that they enjoyed doing the training and all shared what they learned was helpful.
MIRIAM CENTER NEWEST CRAFTBefore moving to PdP I wanted to make sure to help the Miriam Center kids make a new craft for their “store.” The older MC kids love making things in therapy and then selling them to visiting teams. The kids who help sell all get a $1 each time to buy a treat and the rest of the funds go back into the Miriam Center. This time we had fun making various trees. The Itty Bits make footprint palm trees and the older kids make hand print and finger print trees. They are even laminated to last longer. They turned out so cute! Come to Haiti so you can buy one!
AHE/HAOT WEBSITE- NATHANS HARDWORKNathan has been extremely busy on the weekends working hard on developing a custom website for AHE/HAOT the National Occupational Therapy Society for Haiti. He has added every detail we have asked including it be in multiple languages (french, creole, English), have member only page, have PayPal attached and a way to pay dues online, fundraising page, etc. The work he has done would have costed our association thousands of dollars and he is doing it all volunteer. We are so blessed. Check out the website at www.ahe-haot.com.
SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY’SI had 2 memorable birthday party’s this year. The first was at the Miriam Center where Bertho and I shared a birthday party thanks to Stephanie and the nurse. It was so much fun to celebrate with the kids. Especially as I have been missing them alot since moving to PdP. The second was definitely a surprise that Nathan (all the way from Brazil) and Jenny through for me Monday after my birthday. I can’t believe they even got a cake made with pictures of Nathan and I on it (didnt know this was possible in haiti) and decorated the wall with Ductape. I celebrated with all the new STAND Haitian Staff.
EASTER OUTREACHShortly after getting back to Haiti after my unexpected time stateside due to the unrest in Haiti we celebrated Easter during parent education. I had started planning this event a year and half ago when after Christmas I got the idea to buy candy canes super cheap and found a candy cane heart ornament on oriental trading website for a very cheap discount price. I planned to do something at Christmas but my staff felt it was more appropriate for Easter. So this Easter we had 120 parents that we shared the biblical representation of the candy cane that Nathan did a wonderful job writing and Jenny translated. They went home with 5 candy canes, candy cane ornament, and a paper with the story of candy cane on it. It was our best attended parent education to date!
WOW THATS ALOT THANKS FOR BEARING WITH ME!!! AS YOU CAN SEE GOD IS UP TO SOME EXCITING AND AMAZING THINGS!
UPCOMINGMISTY AND MICKEY COMING TO HELP START SPONSORSHIP. I am super EXCITED that my friends Misty and Micky are coming to spend a week with me in pdp to specifically help me take sponsorship photos and collect sponsorship information. As I have been praying the last few months on how to move forward with fundraising and gaining the needed funds God has laid on my heart sponsorship. I hope to officially launch sponsorship for the outreach kids this fall. I will be looking to get all 140 active outreach kids monthly sponsors for the year. I haven’t finished all the details yet but God gave me a sign I am headed in the right direction when Misty contacted me about coming days after God gave gave me this idea. She used to be a photographer and this is one of her passions another one of her passions are special needs kids in Haiti. It is going to be an EXCITING week. Would you and your family pray about becoming a monthly sponsor for 1 child in the program. The money would go to helping them with therapy, medical assistance, transportation assistance, parent education monthly, and 3 fun activities per year. My hope with sponsorship is getting that child and family prayed for each day as well. That their sponsors would commit to being their prayer warriors as well. I plan to open a facebook page for outreach and post pictures daily. You can follow that page and look for pictures of your sponsor child. MY TRIP TO BRAZIL-PLANS WHILE THERE– I have decided to take a much needed break August 22-September 22 and go to Brazil to spend a month with Nathan. Life has been very stressful and overwhelming and busy with all the change, transition, and growth that I am EXHAUSTED on every level. Nathan and I found out that his work would not approve his vacation for this November to Haiti and he would not be able to come to Haiti till February. We both didn’t want to wait a year and a half to see each other in person and so we began looking for tickets. We are thankful that come February he has bee approved for a month vacation to come to Haiti and do ministry alongside me for a month. God confirmed it by finding a cheap 1 way ticket and using my frequent flyer miles to get back to Haiti. We are both excited about the trip. While in Brazil we have lined up 2 church’s for me to speak at. We will also be working on developing the outreach facebook page and developing a blueprint for a website for 5 star global ministries that Nathan will be working to develop the rest of this year. Most of all Nathan and I plan to spend quality time together and do some fun stuff together like going to the zoo, going bowling, etc. I can’t wait for August 22 to get here! GRADUATION– The first Friday of July is our annual outreach graduation and annual celebration of all the outreach kids progress last year. This by far is going to be the largest graduation we have ever had as we not only have 20 kids graduating from the therapy aspect of the program but we also have 20 Ricket Vitamin Children graduating from that program. Each family is allowed to bring 4 guests to graduation on top of the 150 outreach families who will be their for parent education (but instead will participate in graduation). We are expecting over 400 people!!! It is so big we will have to host it at the church and have 2 separate graduation processionals. It is going to be a great day of celebration. We will celebrate developmental milestones reached by kids who are not graduating, we will hand out prizes of kids who had perfect attendance or almost perfect attendance to the program, and there will be a slideshow of pictures to look back on the year. With that said I was not prepared for this event to be this big. I expected 15-20 graduates not 40. We are going to need close to $800 to pull this off including graduation gift and food for everyone in attendance. Decorations were bought a year ago in the states when on sale after graduation season. FINANCIAL NEEDSGRADUATION- $800USD TRANSPORTATION FOR OUTREACH- $2,000USD BRIANNA MOM’S SALARY- $20USD PER WEEKWILTER JEAN’S MOM’S SALARY- $20USD PER WEEK
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