Practical assistance for Haiti
By Denise Clay
ABOVE PHOTO: HaitianS receive medical care under a makeshift medicial clinic.
(Photo by Angela Sharp)
When you look at the situation in Haiti, and wonder what you can do to help, the answer might not be as complicated as you think.
In fact, it may be as close as your feminine products aisle, according to Maurine McFarlane of Lighthouse Covenant International who has recently returned from Haiti.
"A group came to Haiti brought over half a million dollars in medicine," she said, "But the women didn't have sanitary napkins. We had over half a million in medicine, but no sanitary napkins. There are a lot of things that are easily accessible here, and we take them for granted. But they're things that they don't have here."
But if McFarlane, chair of the board of Lighthouse Covenant, a Philadelphia-based humanitarian organization, has her way, that will change. Partnered with ESPWAM, a local volunteer organization that provides medical assistance, clothes and food to Haitian children, and hosted by Church of the Rock in Haiti, Lighthouse Covenant International worked in a clinic, providing care to those still battling the remnants of the now two-year-old earthquake.
McFarlane joined 16 fellow volunteers recently on a trip to Belmas, Haiti, near Port-Au-Prince, where they worked with doctors and provided medical care for 1,600 people in four days. The group included five doctors and four nurses, including three obstetrics and gynecology doctors.
They provided care that most Haitian women have never received, she said.
"[These doctors] had never seen the things they'd seen there," McFarlane said. "The women had major infections and diseases that are easily curable. Because these women were poor, they didn't have access to these services and had never been to a doctor. OB-GYNS were usually for upper class people."
In addition to obstetric care, the clinics provided podiatric, vision, and other general care during the time the volunteers were there. Many of these people had been in dire straits since the earthquake two years ago, but while everyone rushes to the scene of a tragedy immediately when it happens, the time to provide help is after the initial assistance has been given, McFarlane said.
Thus, Lighthouse Covenant and EPSWAM are trying to raise funds for another trip to Haiti. They have also reached out to the city's five major teaching universities in hopes of finding interns to take to Haiti with them, McFarlane said. If you are interested in donating to the effort, go to www. Lciintl.com.
+ Top Story
Philadelphia officials have identified an inspector who fatally shot himself a week after a building collapse that killed six people as a dedicated 16-year veteran. Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says 52-year-old inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer was found dead in his truck Wednesday night with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
District Attorney Seth Williams said the scope and depth of the grand jury process will help prosecutors, the city and others to "completely and appropriately investigate" what happened when a downtown building under demolition collapsed onto a neighboring Salvation Army Thrift Store, killing two employees and four customers.
To know the Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Germantown, is to love him. Recently, about 700 people came to the church to show him the love and to wish him a happy retirement from the church that he's served for 31 years. Jones, 73, will become Pastor Emeritus of the church in July.
According to AAA, the summer travel season begins this weekend, when 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 or more miles from home over the Memorial Day holiday. Nine out of ten travelers will take to the nation’s highways, according to the AAA forecast released this week.
Father's Day event details here.
One cannot comprehend the level of danger that would lead a mother to send her child away to ensure his safety. But that is what Grace Sankoh did 12 years ago when she helped her son, Adams Kamara Daramy, flee war-torn Sierra Leone at the age of 6 to seek refuge in the United States.
State Sen. Anthony H. Williams put another solution on the table today for children in Philadelphia, offering to boost the school district’s coffers with a pair of bills that would increase the liquor-by-the-drink tax and authorize a cigarette tax for the city.
When then-Sen. Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth on White supremacist websites around the world due to the perception that a Black man with the power of the Presidency would enslave whites as a first official act.