Bless Back outreach began with our first trip to Haiti in 2010. Since that time, we have worked with local Christian-based ministry partners that run churches, orphanages, and schools. We serve alongside these ministry partners providing medical and non-medical services to those within their communities. All projects are customized, based on the gifts and skill sets of team members and the needs within the community.
Medical Work in Haiti
Our ministry partner in Haiti is Mission of Hope International. MOHI provides a modern and highly functional clinic building for Bless Back to use as a home base on its trips. It is not unusual to have 100 or more people waiting in line early in the morning to see the “American doctors”! A typical week might consist of working in the clinic for 2-3 days and traveling to remote villages for 3-4 days to provide medical care in make-shift, mobile clinics. We bring our own supplies, instruments, and medications. We have established relationships with nearby hospitals so, when surgical teams are present, we can use their facilities. Medical work in Haiti is both challenging and rewarding. We have learned to expect the unexpected!
An exciting area of service is providing medical workshops to the Haitians who serve in a medical capacity locally. Our teams provide workshops in prenatal care, diabetes, hypertension, first aid, dental care, and a variety of other topics. Our doctors and dentists are passionate about mentoring their Haitian counterparts and, when possible, we team one MD/DDS with their local counterpart for a week of knowledge transfer. Bless Back is in the process of exploring a tele-consulting program where Haitian providers can consult with our medical specialists in the US.
Our non-medical volunteers play an important role in our work in Haiti. Depending on the collective skill set of each team, the work of our non-medical volunteers can vary greatly. Bless Back takes extra care in our planning process to ensure that each team member’s gifts are effectively used within the context of the need. Some of the projects our non-medical volunteers have completed include: re-roofing buildings, teaching personal hygiene classes to children, building and supplying books for a library, teaching English classes, and making improvements to local school facilities. The opportunities and needs are tremendous!
A Snapshot of Haiti
The needs in Haiti are staggering.
- Haiti is ranked 161 of 186 in the 2012 United Nations Human Development Index.
- 80% of the population live under the poverty line; 54% in abject poverty.
- Haiti is the fourth most food insecure country in the world.
- There are over 400,000 children without parents in Haiti.
- More than 70% of the labor force do not have formal jobs.
- Literacy rates in Haiti for the general population were 52.9% in 2013.
- Only 1 in 3 children in Haiti go to school. The cost of school is more than most people make in an entire year.
- Mean years of schooling for adults is 4.9 years.
- 83% of the population lives with unimproved sanitation access.
- Roughly one half of the population practices voodoo.
- The World Food Program reports that the food supply covers only 50% of the population.