Healthcare, goats and a sense of awe: Mission Manna wraps up its fall session in Haiti

Asheville-based Mission Manna makes two trips a year to Haiti to provide healthcare to children living in and around the town of Montrouis and in the mountains just inland. Plus, there are also the rabbit and goat projects to check in on. Below are excerpts and some photos from the group’s blog:

Oct. 7 —
We had our final clinic of the trip in Shada. This week we treated well over 1000 children for parasites, infections and malnutrition.

Oct. 6 —
Yesterday we drove up to the mountains. It was a very intense drive with a deep gorge in the middle of the road and we had to cross it by making a bridge….
Waking up at 5:30 to the sound of roosters, we set up our clinic and began treating over 450 kids which took over 6 hours without a break! …

We visited three families in our goat program. The mission MANNA goats were the healthiest goats on the mountain. Franckel, the goat community health worker is doing a great job. Also, Rosmela, the CHW in Fond Baptiste was present at clinic today and is taking excellent care of the kids up there. If only we could expand the program to include more kids…

We’re very proud of our Haitian counterparts Frankel and Rosemela’s work with 23 families in Fond Baptist. Twenty of these families now have goats for breeding and a better diet of milk and meat.

So here we are on our last night in Montrouis, wrapping things up to leave tomorrow. What a whirlwind of a week! I thought I would come here and feel alot of pity and sadness for the children and the country. Instead I feel a sense of awe at what these resilient people deal with daily; how they survive and how they overcome. This morning at Fond-Baptiste we saw the sickest of the sickest. Things I’ve only seen in textbooks.  Infants crusted from head-to-toe in scabies or impetigo. Others with eyes swollen shut and skin splitting from kwashiokor. Toddlers burned from falling into cooking fires. Children that likely won’t survive. But life goes on here. It’s accepted and understood. Going home tomorrow i’m sure will feel like stepping into an alternate universe. But I will be forever changed. And I will be back…!
Jennifer C. Nicolini, MD
Asheville Internal Medicine

Some photos provided by Laura Baskervill.


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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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One thought on “Healthcare, goats and a sense of awe: Mission Manna wraps up its fall session in Haiti

  1. Leo Martin

    I must say I was deeply affected by reading this account of your time in Haiti. I have been in Haiti and spent time in Montrouis at a church an visiting a child that I sponsor. I also support a mission school in Montrouis.

    I do financially support Mission Manna and believe that you are doing good work for the Kingdom of God. You are making a difference and I am proud to have a small part in that. God Bless you. Don

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