HRF Fall Newsletter
In this issue...
- The Class of 2020 enters!
- A letter from Jean Laurent, FSRL sophomore
- Living through Hurricane Matthew at the Léogâne Campus
- Jean Dornevil artwork sales to benefit HRF
The Class of 2020 Enters!
The new class arrives and then the rain began...
The second class arrived, all smiles, at FSRL (Faculté des Sciences de Réhabilitation) to begin the four year program in rehab therapy at the health science campus in Léogâne of the Episcopal University of Haiti.
Shortly after their arrival the deluge of Hurricane Matthew began. (See Dean O'Flynn's first hand report below in this newsletter.) Both the students and the health sciences campus (which was built to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes) emerged from the storm in fine shape.
A letter from Jean Laurent, FSRL sophomore
I am Jean Laurent Michaud, a second year student at FSRL. I would like to tell you in a few words the reason that I chose physical therapy.
Since I was in High School, I have had a friend who lives in Miami named Wadson Michel. He is a psychologist, and one day during my next-to-last year, of high school he came back to help the people in Jacmel, in his part of Haiti.
That day I went with him. While we were walking in the town of Jacmel, I saw a boy of about six years of age. He had a deformation of his legs, so that he could not stand up straight. When I saw him, I asked Wadson if he could help him. He answered me, saying that he could not do anything for him, because this was not his field of expertise. When I continued asking questions about this case, he told me that only a therapist could help that boy. After that answer, I immediately proposed to my friend that he help me financially after my high school studies, because I knew that I was going to learn how to be a physical therapist, to help my country and to help the world, if God wills it. After the 12th of January, 2010, I had even more motivation to embrace these studies. The reason is that so many people who had lost their legs did not have the help of any therapists in this country. So I would like to do this work, in order to give everything I have to the advancement of health care in Haiti through this profession.
Living through Hurricane Matthew on the Léogâne campus
by Dean Janet O'Flynn
The week of October 2nd was quite a week for the campus in Léogâne. During the first part we all waited, in an eerie quiet, for what might be the biggest storm on campus (and the biggest I personally have experienced.) The Dean of the Nursing School, Hilda Alcindor, provided excellent leadership in preparing the campus.
On Tuesday, when the wind began truly to howl, and the rain to pour, it was like being in a train station for noise. It went on for hours and hours. Since no staff could travel to the campus, there were no classes and meals were at odd times as the students stepped in to help the cook. The fourth year guys took initiative to monitor the buildings for any danger spots. Their most dramatic intervention was to use a pickax to pound a hole at ground level in a wall of the courtyard (photo above), to let out pooling water which was threatening to spill over into the classrooms. It worked!
The power was out for 2½ days except for 2 to 4 hours of generator, when everyone scrambled to get devices charged up. There was no internet for 1½ days, meaning that we knew less about the disaster than anyone in the world who watched CNN for ten minutes!
When the wind died down people began to move around again, but the long slow steady rain went on for another 12 hours. On Wednesday, the rain began to taper off, I rallied the 4 FSRL students who live on campus and we had an anatomy class. It felt good to get back on track a little. It was a relief when, the next day, faculty members were finally able to arrive and classes were held for all students at the school.
Students who ventured off campus on Thursday brought back photos of people standing and walking in water, or standing on their little porch and water washing across the porch. The group that went out carried first aid supplies, but came back without having found or treated any injuries, thankfully. I finally left campus on Sunday, five days after the storm first hit, to walk about a mile across town to church. By then I saw dry streets, with piles and piles of branches and leaves, carefully cut into lengths and swept together. A lot of trees went down – and so the sun was a little brighter on my walk.
I think that for Haitians the relief of still being here, after the storm, is almost immediately followed by a sense of alarm about the next thing! Maybe that’s true in every part of the world, but here the calamities seem to roll along at a faster clip. So a practice of stopping to give thanks is a very timely discipline. In fact, it is part of everyday habit to say, when asked “how are you?”, “Fine, thanks to God!”
Jean Dornevil artwork sales to benefit HRF
Jean Dornevil, Haitian-American physical therapist and artist, has made a wonderful offer. From now until January 15, Jean will support the Haiti Rehabilitation Foundation by donating 10% of the purchase price of any of his beautiful paintings.
Just go to Jean's website, Haitian Art, and mention "HRF". While you are there, take a look at Jean's description of his excitement about the new programs for OT and PT at FSRL. An original painting by Jean Dornevil would make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone special...
Keep the FSRL Reality Growing Through Your Support
Donor support has made all the difference to the success of the new program at FSRL. We need your ongoing support to continue educating Haitians in rehabilitation therapy at the Episcopal University of Haiti.
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THE HAITI REHAB FOUNDATION is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. The mission of HRF is to support education for rehabilitation science professions in Haiti.
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Haiti Rehab Foundation
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Hamilton, NY 13346
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