One of the key principles of the Lamp is to build our organization — and the wider Haitian health system — by hiring and developing talented and committed Haitian professionals.
The unemployment rate in Haiti is murderously high, estimated at 41% for 2013. Of persons who are employed, only one third have formal jobs. Underemployment — where a worker is unable to earn a living wage, unable to provide for the basic needs of their families — affects a huge proportion of those who are considered employed.
Given the scarcity of jobs on one hand, and the overabundance of medical needs on the other, it gives us great satisfaction to provide our services with a fully Haitian staff.
The benefits of this philosophy, for the Lamp and the people of Cité Soleil, are also clear to see on the ground: staff with an intimate knowledge of local culture, language and the intricacies of the Haitian health system.
Of course, our focus is not only on the wider health system. We also wish to build capacity, whenever possible, right here in the community in which we find ourselves. We engage with community groups, provide community services, and assist with community improvements. We provide jobs wherever possible. It is very thrilling, therefore, to be able to announce that we have hired our first ever medical staff member (and third staffer overall) from Bwa Nèf itself.
Dénold has long proved his commitment to the Lamp’s cause and his genuine concern for his neighbors by volunteering selflessly at the clinic. With the launch of our radiology facilities on the horizon, Dénold has taken up training as an x-ray technician at St. Luke’s Hospital, a generous and collaborative partner agency. St. Luke’s uses x-ray equipment that is very similar to the equipment we will soon be installing. When Dénold returns he will take full responsibility for the operation of the x-ray unit .
Although we could have chosen to hire one of St. Luke’s own technicians, we could not pass up this opportunity to build capacity in Bwa Nèf. Dénold Joseph is an extraordinary young man, smart and compassionate; he will make a terrific addition to our team.