The Espwa Foundation travels to Haiti annually to provide medical care and relief to the people of Cap Haitien. Over the years, we’ve built relationships with multiple clinics and communities, to include St. Anthony’s, Blue Hills, the children of EBAC orphanage, our Peace & Joy children, and anyone else who has requested assistance.
During the trips, we are constantly amazed by the amount of children suffering from easily treatable illnesses. We typically see an average of 100 patients per day and treat conditions such as malnutrition, abdominal parasites, skin infections (scabies and ringworm), upper respiratory infections, otitis media, vaginitis, hypertension, diabetes, malaria, and cholera.
Through partnerships and support, we bring medications and medical supplies from the US to treat patients, and we purchase additional medications, such as Albendazole, in-country. We are ALWAYS in need of children’s non-gummy multivitamins and prenatal vitamins which we are unable to purchase in Haiti.
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Peace and Joy Family Project
After several years of supporting the Peace & Joy Orphanage, it became clear that the living situation remained unsafe and was simply not the best option for the children. Espwa met with the orphanage’s leadership in 2013 and worked through many issues, ultimately deciding the best path forward was closing the orphanage. We discovered most of the children had living family – a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle – and were not truly ‘orphans’ in the typical sense of the word. Yet after forging relationships with the children, we still wanted to serve and bless them as they grew up. We came up with a plan where the kids were placed back in families (with relatives or a foster family) that we would continue to support and develop.
We’ve always sought ways to be a “hand up” to the families, not a “hand out.” We assist the families by paying each child’s school expenses (annually), healthcare (as needed), and a monthly stipend for living expenses. Our Haitian team members, Paul & Frantz, meet with the families monthly to disperse support, check in on the kids, and strengthen relationships. Our annual beach trip continues to be a glorious day of fun, food, laughs, smiles, and joy.
As our project has shifted from relief/rehabilitation into development, we’ve built on our foundation of trust to continue walking through life with the families. We’ve partnered with EBAC church to provide Christian ministry. We’ve discussed plans of stopping the monthly stipend with each family after 2017, giving them an opportunity to support their own families through small businesses. And we’ve committed to supporting each child’s education and medical care until they graduate school, while ultimately pointing each family to Christ’s love.
Pastor Benjamin Ministry Support
In 2015, Espwa initially partnered with Benjamin Fleurant, pastor of EBAC Church, as part of a welding generator project. Since that time, Pastor Benjamin has led ministry on a recurring basis with the Peace & Joy Families, discipling the children through Bible study and interacting with the parents and families as much as possible. After witnessing the faithfulness and dedication that Pastor Benjamin has brought to his work, Espwa again partnered with him to help him realize one of his congregation’s desires: starting a hospital ministry.
Pastor Benjamin now holds prayer sessions and patient ministry at New Hope Hospital, in an effort to be a blessing to the local population. It is our hope that through these relationships, those who are sick and in need might find comfort in the message of hope. Your support of this ministry will go towards procurement of Haitian Creole Bibles, transportation to and from the hospital and other ministry opportunities, as well as support for pressing needs in the community as identified by Pastor Benjamin.
St. Anthony’s Support
St. Anthony’s Clinic is very near and dear to our hearts at Espwa. As one of our first projects in Haiti, it has always been a key part of any medical mission we send to Cap Haitien. Over the years, we’ve begun to develop relationships with the community residents, and we’ve continued to support some of the nursing and security staff at the clinic. In 2017, we were approached by newly minted Doctor Rodlin Paul, known as “RoRo” to the Espwa team, looking for opportunities to impact the community and use his medical talents. St. Anthony’s was the perfect opportunity. With an expanded building (St. Anthony’s was renovated and upgraded in 2016), RoRo now continues his medical work at the clinic and develops relationships with the community.
While the work at the clinic is largely medical relief in nature, we believe the relationships and trust being built over time by RoRo and other staff will carry out a dual mission of development. We hope for an increase in quality of life due to earlier medical intervention, but also a community that is ripe to hearing about the hope that propels our mission forward.
New Hope Hospital Support
Dr. Eugene Maklin devotes every waking moment of his life to serving his Haitian people and providing them with constant medical care and attention, whether it be at a clinic or driving to a remote area in need. He had always dreamt of building and managing his own hospital, so when Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population approached him in 2013 about this exact opportunity, he immediately took action. The hospital groundbreaking occurred in October 2016 and Dr. Maklin now has the privilege of serving more than 250,000 Haitians in an area that has never had access to medical care.
Espwa assisted in the construction of the hospital, but now supports Dr. Maklin in his most pressing needs. This includes providing medications and medical supplies for the hospital, sending equipment to make hospital wings fully operational, and serving alongside the good doctor during medical missions. We look forward to our ongoing relationship with New Hope Hospital as it blesses so many in need.
Your donations to this project will be earmarked for ongoing pressing needs at the hospital.
Clean Water Initiatives
Over the years, we’ve seen many types of medical conditions that could easily be prevented through access to clean drinking water. When faced with traveling several miles for clean water or drinking contaminated water nearby, sadly, many families choose the latter. In 2020, Espwa embarked on a new way to assist in this area: through installation of clean water wells.
In order to keep this project sustainable, we’ve partnered with Haiti Outreach, an organization that has specialized in clean water initiatives for the past 20 years. Haiti Outreach brings many complementary skills to the table – drilling boreholes, creating and repairing water systems, addressing sanitation issues, and training community leaders – all of which work toward enabling sustainability. We look forward to continued opportunities to work with the people of Haiti in this life-saving work.
Children’s Ministry in Bois-Neuf
In 1999, a school teacher named Caurice Augustin Gilbert (commonly known as Destin) had a vision to help the impoverished children who live on the mountainside behind his home. In 2003, he began gathering members to form an organization to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and provide tangible help for those families in need. The club began with 10-20 children. After two decades, the organization hosts 50 children on a weekly basis. During special events, ministry leaders extend their generosity to the families and neighbors of these children. This children’s ministry traditionally received financial support from a few individuals who became friends with Destin in 2012, however, beginning in January 2022, we are excited to partner with and support these Haitian leaders to further develop the reach and effectiveness of the ministry’s efforts.
The project includes weekly children’s ministry, a Vacation Bible School (1 week), education support, an annual Easter celebration, and an Annual Christmas celebration.