Warm greetings from Haiti—I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since the February team members returned to the wintry weather of the northeastern states. I am enthusiastically acclimatizing to the details of neighborhood life in Port-au-Prince: roosters crowing at 10 p.m. or 2:30 a.m., little dogs with large barks, delicious cooking aromas in the neighborhoods and plenty of activity. There’s calmness, thoughtfulness and resourcefulness to daily activities, with bountiful smiles. Having learned how best to conserve my laptop battery life and connect into the internet because the electricity is turned on generally only in the evenings, I feel ready to adapt to whatever may come my way.
It is official: the Association d’Homeopathes Communautaire have officially registered the first homeopathic organization in Haiti with the Ministère des Affaires Social et du Travail. This group, our first graduating class (13) of community homeopaths from the Fundamentals Homeopathy Program, is serious about bringing homeopathy to their communities and throughout the nation—permanently. It’s remarkable that just a year ago this group gathered for their first introductory session to homeopathy. And now, 12 months later they are determined to bring homeopathy to others on a national-level—extremely impressive and inspirational.
On February 11, the HWB team of Lauren Fox, FNP, CCH and Wendy Pollock DC, CHH, the Homeoapthe Communautaires of Port-au-Prince and myself offered a free community clinic in Le Plaine. This clinic was organized by Homeopathe Communautaire Wilby Vernet. Eleven of us, along with our traveling dispensary, peeled out of a six-passenger vehicle and went to work for the day. The Homeopathe Communautaires quickly transformed yet another public meeting space into a free community clinic, while many people waited patiently to be seen by a Homeopathe Communautaire.
During their lunch break, the Homeopathe Communautaires gathered outside in the shade of the trees to officially convene their association.
Elected officers to the first homeopathic organization in Haiti are:
- General Coordinator: Mhaidjiv (PG) Legerme
- Assistant Coordinator: Loveline Renelus
- General Secretary: Linda Edouard
- Assistant Secretary: Jean Margareth
- Treasurer: Edwidge Jean
- Assistant treasurer: Eugène Emith
- Port-au-Prince delegate: Wilby Vernet
This past Sunday I attended the Committee’s weekly meeting. Not only was it another awesome opportunity to watch these movers and shakers of homeopathy in Haiti, but it was an ideal time for me to practice my developing Kreyol skills. (Not wanting to interrupt their process, I declined the assistance of a translator.)
They have organized the association as a membership organization, with expectations to have delegates throughout the country. The association will provide members with continuing education, staffing and remedies for community clinics organized by members, and camaraderie by attending special functions such as their weddings and parties. The membership fee will help support the association’s mission. Some of their future aspirations include developing a supply chain for remedies and establishing homeopathic universities and hospitals. Their first order of business, after they receive their paperwork from the Ministère des Affaires Social et du Travail, will be to assemble documents and justifications to present to the Ministry of Health for homeopathy to be legitimized in Haiti.
One of my first impressions from teaching and working with students in Haiti is their incredible vision, dignity and determination to provide for themselves. Now, having lived here for a month and making shifts to doing with so much less (electricity, office supplies, internet access), my awe in them is even more heightened. It has been an honor to be here with Homeopaths without Borders providing a Fundamentals of Homeopathy course—all made possible with volunteers, many donors and suppliers of remedies and donations for clinics. This education project is the springboard to bringing a viable healthcare option to the people of Haiti. Your help is still needed as we continue to ground the fundamental education program—please consider donating in whatever way makes sense for you: service, money or supplies.
Mesi anpil, Holly Manoogian, Executive Director