OLC/Haiti Connection-Making a real difference in helping “poorest of the poor”.
The goals for the OLC/Haiti Connection team is to build community with St. Jacques de Mejeur near Jacmel, Haiti. To better the living conditions of the people by providing consistent education, promoting and developing health programs, providing clean water, sanitation, food, dental care, clothing and opportunities for self sufficiency by helping promote jobs in the community.
Haiti Dental Mission March 2018
“OLC/Haiti Connection sent down the first dental team on 02/26/2018 that would serve the area around St. Jacques, Haiti. We hired two Haitian dentists to extract close to 250 teeth that had been decaying for who knows how long. Everyone was so happy to have the opportunity to get some relief from the pain that they have been having.
Richard Woodruff, Christine Veltkamp and Lisa Ringler comprised OLC’s team from Michigan and we joined up with Patrick and Robinson (our translators) and Dr. Pascal and Dr. Patrick (our dentists). Our team relied heavily on the cooks, those who carried water for us, those who ran errands for us, the bread lady and Fr. Maxis to make everything work.
Along with extracting teeth, we also put fluoride varnish on all of the school children (175) and showed them a Haitian video about the importance of brushing, flossing and taking care of your teeth. The varnish is supposed to cover and protect their teeth for up to six months.
The children also received tooth brushes, some floss and toothpaste to take home with them.
Along with the dental clinic, we also visited four different homes that had been destroyed back in January of 2010 when the earthquake hit. These families have had no way to reconstruct their homes as they lack the necessary funds to do anything to them. Three of them are using tarps for walls and one has no walls at all. It was an eye opening situation to see a family of one dad and six children sleeping in the one bed that the ‘house’ has. The children normally will sleep on the dirt floor since there is no where else to go.
Our group thanks our parishioners for their continued support of this mission. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to call or text Lisa Ringler at (616) 824-8353.”
2nd Medical Mission to Haiti April 8-17th, 2016
Medical Mission Team Members:
Keisha Casimir, Jom Kovach, Eryn Sprenger, Zach Blanchard, Linda Blanchard, Amy Veltkamp, Lisa Ringler and Alysse Tefft
The majority of Haitians are Catholic though many have a varied belief system. Creole is the main language spoken, however the illiteracy rate is 53%.
The majority of people survive by farming & selling their crops to make, on average $560 annually. There is limited access to safe drinking water and sanitation and Haitian’s struggle with malnutrition, Malaria, intestinal parasites & other afflictions. Health care is poor at best – most Haitians endure reduced life expectancies. Access to electricity is limited and many communities are in remote areas where travel is difficult.
Alysse Tefft is putting together our 2nd medical mission where the medical teams will assess and treat hundreds, if not a thousand, people during the week that we will be in our sister parish, St. Jacques de Majuer. The local priest, Fr. Maxis, will house and ensure the safety of the group while they reach out to those in great need. There are many costs involved with this mission..ie medical supplies, medications, translators, transportation while in Haiti, housing costs, gas, etc. This past years medical mission had expenses of close to $15,000. The medical team pays for their own flights and most of the ground expenses while there, but if you feel to help out please consider donating by clicking this link…..
The Haiti Connection is currently planning a Medical Mission to Haiti in March.
In remote areas, where the need is great, people may have to travel for days by foot to get medical attention. Although those with medical or healthcare experience are needed, all are welcome and will helpful to those most in need.