Who We Serve

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and ranks the 17th poorest country in the world (IMF, 2016).

 With extreme poverty comes
a lack of access to food/nutrition, clean water, sanitation, education and
health care. Thus, the need for reliable,
quality medical care is very high
and Lamp for Haiti helps to fill this gap and
care for people in need.


Scroll over the chart listed to see
some of the facts about everyday life in Haiti.

One In 10 Children In Haiti Is Acutely Malnourished And One In 5 Is Underweight.

62% of the population is below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day

One In 13 Children Will Die Before Reaching The Age Of Five

Only 37% of women have a skilled attendant at birth. Lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 83

Chronic malnutrition affects 24% of children under five

62% of the population has access to an “improved water source”

Only 24% of the population has access to sanitary facilities

One third of girls over 6 never go to school. Only 2% have more than a high school education.

The adult literacy rate is 49%.

Our Community

The Lamp for Haiti Health Center is located in Cité Soleil, a large sprawling slum on the outskirts of Port-au- Prince, the capital of Haiti. Bwa Nèf is the neighborhood within Cité Soleil where our health center is located. The tiny houses of Bwa Nèf are built to the very edge of the swampy coastal strip. The area is one of the most impoverished in the country. As with the rest of Cité Soleil, the land has been designated as public property and no effort has ever been made to make it suitable for housing.

Diseases resulting from poor sanitation are extremely prevalent, as are malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and respiratory disease. Sewers are open ditches; electricity is redirected from main road power lines in jury-rig fashion; potable water is not available. Government health services consist of a hospital located in a distant section of Cité Soleil but health care standards at the facility are very low and patients are charged at every phase of their treatment. The large majority of residents cannot afford to use government services.

These environmental and institutional issues are compounded by the inability of the police to impose law and order on the area. Security is poor; local gangs control the area. Only persons at the extreme lower end of the economic spectrum choose to live here.

Nevertheless, Cité Soleil has a population of approximately 300,000 people, around 35,000 of whom live in Bwa Nèf. The population is very young. There are four schools in the immediate vicinity of the Lamp for Haiti Health Center, each serving hundreds of children.

Cité Soleil has a bad reputation throughout Haiti but this reputation is too often used as an excuse to avoid considering the legitimate needs of this population. The Lamp has chosen not to look the other way. One of our guiding principles is the simple notion that “We are all one human family.” This family certainly does include the wonderful people of Bwa Nèf.