By Melissa Knight
THOMONDE, Haiti–Tonight, as I sat listening to the infamous Jerome play songs about Haitian history, poverty, and the ongoing struggle to survive, he emphasized how much he appreciated all that Project Medishare has done for the Central Plateau and how much the organization has changed the population’s way of life. To me, before actually arriving in Haiti, this trip just represented a great experience for me to learn more about helping the underserved in an international setting. I did not realize that Project Medishare was actually trying to affect the infrastructure of Haiti and fundamentally change the way in approaches health care and economics.
Today, we traveled around the Central Plateau and saw all of the Project Medishare projects. First, we visited the Integrated Community Health Program, a massive project that is bringing health care services, education and economic development to the town of Marmont and surrounding areas. We visited Centre de Sante de Marmont, the health clinic that serves the area, and the women’s health clinic that is currently under construction. We also visited the L’Ecole National in Marmont, which is one of the few nationally funded schools in the Central Plateau. While learning about the school, our group quickly drew a crowd of curious students. This was our first real interaction with Haitians not associated with Project Medishare, and I think that the one thing that struck me the most about Haitians is that there is an unexpected joy present. The simplest tasks for these people require a huge amount of effort and daily life is an enormous struggle, yet they have this happiness that is really quite indescribable and remarkable. Finally we went to Centre de Sante de Thomonde, an impressive hospital that, to my great surprise, has an X-ray machine.
As our day ended by the sweet songs of Jerome, my realization about the extent to which Project Medishare affects the community of Thomonde and Haiti as a country really came full circle. I am truly proud to be a part of this organization and cannot wait to get started on the medical part of our trip.