Choose Hope Medical Care Mission – One Week – A Change Life
We See Haiti With Potential. Do You?
On behalf of all my Lighthouse Covenant International and Espwam colleagues, we congratulate you for getting your year off to a great start – and of course, thank you for honoring us with your financial support today. As one of the coordinators of this mission, I look forward to using this platform to describe some of the interesting and exciting things going on in our organization. This occasion, however, seems a good time to show you our progress.
After 10 enormously interesting and challenging years, we at Lighthouse Covenant International made a very deliberate decision to take on a challenge with another iconic organization, Espwam, to bring change in the form of health care to Port- au-Prince, Haiti. We leapt at the opportunity!
The population of Haiti was 9.7 million. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and ranks 149/182 on the UNDP Human Development Index 2007. In 2001, 55% of the population lived in households that were below the extreme poverty line of US $1 per person per day. Hospital and clinical facilities in Port-au-Prince have long been compromised by infrastructural deficiencies, electrical blackouts, water problems and general impoverishment. Haiti experiences significant water and sanitation problems. In 2009, 45% of the population lacked access to safe water and 83% of Haiti’s total population did not have access to sufficient sanitation (WHO/CCS). In 2007, 47% of the population lacked access to basic health care, with the majority of the population seeking care from traditional healers. An estimated 40% of households experience food insecurity, manifested by low birth weight and nutrient deficiencies.
The reality is, despite these facts, we never stopped believing in either the greatness of the Haitian people or the nobility and importance of the work we do. In fact, we believe in those things now more than ever. We connect the world, and in doing so, we make it a smaller, smarter, more dynamic, more prosperous and simply a better place. Of course, our noble mission doesn’t mean that we do not have serious challenges in front of us. You are probably aware that in order for Haiti to secure its future success of the country it has to go through a reconstruction – an outcome that will ensure fairness and opportunity for its entire people.
We are honored to be part of the change that is emerging in Haiti by providing hope through superior health care and education. We expect to emerge from this experience an effective, more efficient and far more competitive humanitarian organization.
However, let us talk about what’s not going to change. First and foremost, our commitment to human rights and equality will remain paramount as well as our commitment to providing services and uplifting those considered least among us, all grounded in the belief that we rise and fall as one people and we are great because we work as a team. We are continuing to move aggressively along with our partners, to build the premier global health care organization. Likewise, we are moving full speed ahead with the most ambitious and dramatic change in our history – one that will result in Lighthouse Covenant International organizing the most effective health care mission to Haiti. We remain committed to investing in the services, products and partnerships to provide the Haitian people with world-class health care services.
We can assure you that our team will be working hard to do a great job for you who trust us to provide superior health care to the people of Haiti. You deserve an organization that is striving to be better and better – and Lighthouse Covenant International and Espwam are such organizations.
Let us close by thanking you for your support. My colleagues and I are going to be working very hard to earn your loyalty for many years to come.
Maurine McFarlane/Carol Blacken
Lighthouse Covenant International