Persistence, Expertise and Community Buy-In Generate Results

“Cocktails for a Cause” supports local doctor’s initiative in Haiti

 

When Montclair native Dr. Jim Morgan had been providing medical services for a few years in
Cité Soleil, an area scourged by terrible poverty in Port au Prince Haiti, he was approached by
one of the local women who had been working with him since he started the Lamp for Haiti Health
Center in 2006.

 
“How long,”she asked, “will you keep coming back?” His answer: “Until they put earth over my
body.” Fast forward a few years when a powerful earthquake devastated the beleaguered island
and Dr. Morgan almost overnight found a flight to Haiti and got a cab to the Lamp health center.
He was greeted by Jesalah, the woman who had questioned his commitment a few years back. “I
can’t believe you are here,” she wept. Dr. Morgan took her hands and said, “I told you I would
be.”

Being there, in the midst of the dire poverty, the lack of sanitation, running water and electricity;
being there, after the earthquake, after the hurricanes and tropical storms, and after many NGOs
and volunteers have left the island in despair, is what Lamp for Haiti does.  And that commitment
to taking care of the health needs of part of a community of 300,000 people living on less the $1
day has won the respect of the local people for The Lamp, and their full participation in its growth.

In the 11 years since Dr. Morgan and a few like-minded people, including his wife, Ellen
Cunningham, M.D., decided that they could provide, “some level of dignity” to the people of Bwa
Nef, the neighborhood in Cité Soleil where they have located the health center, both the numbers
of people served and the staff have grown. And the staff is entirely Haitian,  a number of whom
live in Cité Soleil. Fifteen men and women - two doctors, five nurses, a lab technician, community
health workers and other staff - provide primary care and emergency care and health education.
Five years ago maternal and child health care was added; more than 13,000 patients are treated
with children counting for nearly half.

As much as health care is desperately needed in a land where malaria, cholera, HIV-Aids are
endemic, that is not all the area needs nor all that The Lamp does. Besides providing health care
and related jobs within the health center, Dr. Morgan noted that the The Lamp creates jobs
around it.

“People sell drinks and snacks outside the clinic and we use local workers for capital projects,” he
said. Recently, The Lamp had to have a $10,000 drainage canal built and all the labor was local.
And, In addition to building and maintaining other sanitation projects, including a public toilet, The
Lamp also offers tuition sponsorship to more than 30 children.

Dr. Morgan recounted how the level of deprivation around the clinic can be mind-boggling to
outsiders. And adding to this deprivation, the slow pace of any progress and bureaucratic
roadblocks  have led to abandonment by some foreign aid organizations, workers and volunteers.
“When we first started,” Dr. Morgan said, “The people here had had it up to here with outsiders
coming in, meaning well, dropping stuff off, starting mobile clinics, taking photos and walking
away.” People are well-intentioned, he added, but there has to be a willingness to listen, a hunger
for input from the people in the community. Without legitimate buy-in from the community,
“programs don’t stand a chance.”

Persistence, expertise and community buy-in are the reasons Lamp for Haiti has succeeded.
From its start as an effort by a few well-meaning Americans to distribute medications to needy
Haitians, the Lamp has developed more and more of a Haitian identity, with Haitians providing
health care and coordinating with other Haitian agencies in the area to serve thousands of people
who would otherwise do without. With a $400,000 annual operating budget, Dr. Morgan and the

Haitian and American staff have their work cut out.  But Dr. Morgan’s guiding principle never
wavers. “I have the capacity to impact lives - to makes lives worth living, the way my life is -  that’s what
connects me to the Lamp for Haiti,” he said. “And I want other people - here and in Haiti - to feel
connected to that work too.”

Written by: Noreen Connolly
Media Representative: Cocktails for a Cause
Noreen ConnollyPersistence, Expertise and Community Buy-In Generate Results
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The Spring Campaign is a Success!

Our Spring Campaign this year focused on the Lamp’s services for children.  Fully one third of all of our patients are six years old or less!  The women’s health clinic is also a key part of the Lamp Health Center and this means that our doctors see a lot of very young infants as well.

Our goal for the campaign was to raise $25,000 for children’s services.  In fact, due to the generosity of many people, we easily exceeded this target.  The total raised was $26,962!  This level of health care funding will have an immediate and real impact on the lives of children in need.  We will be able to move forward with all four activities that we were hoping to fund:

  • We will be able to purchase a full range of essential medicines in special pediatric formats and doses;
  • We will hold health fairs in two local schools and provide each child in two grades with a new pair of shoes;
  • We will be able to give at least 200 expectant mothers a new infant kit – something we have not done before!
  • We have already given our staff the word to expand our child nutrition program, and will add at least 50 children to that program in the coming months.

It is a privilege to be able to pass on this great news to our staff in Haiti!  Thanks to everyone that participated!

adminThe Spring Campaign is a Success!
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The Lamp Goes to City Hall

The Lamp is always eager to work in partnership with any organization that seeks to improve conditions in Cité Soleil.  This principle certainly includes collaboration with the government, both national and local.  Our recently established Community Health Worker program, for example, takes full advantage of our collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Health.  Because of this partnership we are able to put our own staff into the Ministry’s training courses and utilize health education materials that have been developed and approved by the Ministry.

Last week we took a new step in this direction.  We held our first mobile clinic at City Hall in Cité Soleil.  The name Cité Soleil is typically used to denote the huge shanty town on the edge of Port-au-Prince (where the Lamp’s Health Center is located) but it is, in fact, also a “commune” – that is, a municipality with its own mayor.  The mobile clinic was organized in direct collaboration with Mayor Huslain Frederick, a politician with a genuine desire to make a positive impact.  The joint effort increases the standing of the Lamp in the larger community and allowed us to provide medical services to a whole new population.  We will continue to explore this partnership.

Despite the normal difficulty of setting up in a new location, Lamp doctors saw 235 people and continue to follow up with those who need ongoing care.  “It was a hard and beautiful journey in Cité Soleil” said our Medical Director, Dr. Hyppolite.

 

adminThe Lamp Goes to City Hall
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Supporting Lamp for Haiti’s Community Health Workers Initiative

Supporting Lamp for Haiti’s Community Health Workers Initiative

Thank you for your support. Your financial and promotional contribution to this campaign will help us improve the quality of care for hundreds of residents living in Cite Soleil, Haiti.

You can help our campaign by:

  1. Donating

You can donate to Lamp for Haiti’s campaign by clicking on the campaign link on our website at www.Lampforhaiti.org, going directly to https://www.crowdrise.com/thelampfoundationinc, or by going to www.crowdrise.com and typing “LampforHaiti’ or ‘The Lamp Foundation” in the search bar.

  1. Sharing this campaign on your social media

CrowdRise allows users to directly share this campaign on their Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking on the links provided. To share this campaign on other social media outlets, such as LinkedIn, you can copy the following text onto your page

 Hi Everyone,

Please help an organization I really care about raise money to provide health care services in Haiti. You can check out their crowdfunding campaign here:

https://www.crowdrise.com/thelampfoundationinc

  1. Forwarding this campaign via email to your contacts

Cut and paste or forward the letter included in this tool kit in the body of the email to your contacts

 Starting or supporting a Lamp for Haiti (The Lamp Foundation) team fundraiser on our CrowdRise page

 Starting a Fundraiser

Scroll to the bottom half of our page and click on ‘JOIN THE TEAM’. This option requires you to sign in using your Facebook page. Please Note: Lamp for Haiti will not have access to your Facebook page this way, and CrowdRise does not use your Facebook account to solicit you or post anything on your page, this is just an option to easily sign into CrowdRise.

The second option is to sign up for CrowdRise which you can do by providing your name, email address and a password you created. Once you sign up you will be considered a team member of this specific campaign and you can use a photo of yourself to represent your page and write messages to your team. Please Note: If you choose this option, Lamp for Haiti’s description of the campaign will automatically populate onto your page.

Supporting a Team Member’s Fundraiser

Go directly to https://www.crowdrise.com/thelampfoundationinc, click the donate button and select the team member you would like to support from the drop down option on the donate page.

 

NOW LETS ROCK!

adminSupporting Lamp for Haiti’s Community Health Workers Initiative
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Parade Charity

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Yes! I am a citizen! Now which way to the welfare office? I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I work, I work. Bart, with $10,000 we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like…love!

delinois1@optonline.netParade Charity
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Children’s Classic at Sanctuary

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Good morning, oh in case i don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight. excuse me, i’d like to ask you a few questions. we’re going for a ride on the information super highway. Here she comes to wreck the day. here she comes to wreck the day. alrighty then kinda hot in these rhinos. we’re going for a ride on the information super highway.

delinois1@optonline.netChildren’s Classic at Sanctuary
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Climb for Courage

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That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don’t have a place within an organized religion. Son, a woman is like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you’d step over your own mother just to get one! But you can’t stop at one. You wanna drink another woman! The Internet King? I wonder if he could provide faster nudity.

delinois1@optonline.netClimb for Courage
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Children’s Gala

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Books are useless! I only ever read one book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin…but what good does *that* do me? I’m a Spalding Gray in a Rick Dees world. You don’t win friends with salad. The Internet King? I wonder if he could provide faster nudity.

delinois1@optonline.netChildren’s Gala
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Children’s Colorado Hoops Fest

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There’s one way and only one way to determine if an animal is intelligent. Dissect its brain! It’s a T. It goes “tuh”. Anyone who laughs is a communist! Morbo will now introduce tonight’s candidates… Morbo’s good friend, Richard Nixon.

delinois1@optonline.netChildren’s Colorado Hoops Fest
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