Eridana helped her 9-year-old daughter Elana start her own flower bouquet business called Blissful Blossoms to help raise money for CHI Haiti. Elana charges $4 a bouquet and each subscription she sells is 2 bouquets a month. She is donating 50% of her proceeds to CHI Haiti. Our Marketing & Communications Strategist, Brittany Chenelle, met up with Eridana & Elana on Zoom to talk about their business and why they chose CHI to support this summer. Check out the video below!
CHI is so grateful and thankful to Eridana & Elana for their support this summer and we look forward to seeing how their business blossoms over the next year and beyond.
Check out some photos from Blissful Blossoms belwo that display their beautiful flower bouquets.
Written By: McKenzie Logan
Civil unrest continues to develop following the funeral held for Haiti’s former
president, Jovenel Moïse, as the nation is experiencing the difficulties that
accompany a political gridlock. However, there was a breakthrough as Haiti’s
government sworn in Ariel Henry as prime minister. One of Henry’s first
statements regarded the gang violence engulfing the nation, claiming he
aims to create unity and stability.
Regardless of this new sense of leadership, gang related chaos has showed
no signs of slowing down with over 19,000 Haitians being displaced from
violence - as a result of gangs controlling over 60 percent of Port-au-Prince.
In response to lacking support, these displaced families and individuals are
being herded into the only shelters available, large concrete buildings that
provide no level of privacy or security – leading to high occurrences of rape
of the local aid workers and civilians.
In June alone there have been roughly 150 gang-related deaths, as gang
members are characterized walking the streets with guns in hand catching
civilians, including children, in the crossfire. The various gangs extend their
influence over a critical location within the capital – the main port.
In consequence, limitations to basic needs such as clothing, food, and
medicine have grown exponentially, leading over 46 percent of the
population experiencing food insecurity – one of the highest in the world. It is
not solely imports that are being blocked, but also goods trying to get out, as
traders and buyers no longer have safe access to purchase Haitian
commodities and thereby stalling the little economy that remains.
Haiti suffered a terrible 7.2 earthquake in the morning on Saturday Aug 14th. CHI will help provide support to the Haitians who have been affected. Here’s how:
Please consider supporting our efforts by donating to CHI over the next week to help cover shipping of supplies. You can donate HERE.
Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to expand my participation in CHI as the new Medical Director. While in my emergency medicine residency, Dr. Chris Buresh first introduced me to Haiti. Since 2014, I have traveled several times a year to a small community, Les Anglais, about 8-9 hours southwest of Port au Prince. My heart found its true home in that community and with the incredible friends and colleagues that worked alongside me. I formed relationships that are some of the most important in my life and that continue to this day.
In early 2020, I then had the pleasure of joining CHI on a medical trip in Arcahaie. I was lucky enough to find yet another community that touched my soul. I have continued with CHI as a board member and am honored to call many of CHI’s members, both stateside and in Haiti, my friends.
I am extremely excited to continue Dr. Val Kestner’s incredible work and hope to focus on providing consistent care to our patients in Arcahaie and the surrounding communities, as well as solidify CHI’s ability to procure medications solely in country. I am eager to support and empower our amazing Haitian team in any and all ways that I can. Hopefully, as we continue, the roles of our Haitian colleagues will grow and evolve, while positions like mine will become smaller. Mesi anpil!
CHI would like to thank Dr. Val McDougall Kestner for her time serving as CHI's first-ever Medical Director! Dr. Val's contributes have helped implement new strategic strategies to our Haitian Led Clinic model. Dr. Val will continue to serve on the CHI Board as the Board Vice-Chair.
By: Mckenzie Logan, CHI Summer Intern
As political unrest continues to develop, the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was the subject of an assassination attack on July 7th- killing him and leaving his wife, Martine, severely injured. According to Haitian investigators, two dozen mercenaries attacked Moïse’s home, claiming to be a part of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and overpowered security. The alleged attackers include a number of retired members of Columbia’s armed forces as well as two US-Haitian citizens.
While much is still unknown, it has been suggested that these men were under the impression they were being recruited by an American company that needed reinforcements for a job in Central America, offering a significant amount of money. The unnamed recruiter insisted that they were going to aid in the recovery of its national security and democracy, assuring the mission was a noble cause. Now, 18 of the attackers are in Haitian custody. James Solages, one of the US-Haitian citizens implicated in the assassination, has claimed that he and Joseph Vincent were hired as translators after finding the position online.
The professed leader of the assassination is Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a US-based Haitian doctor. Haiti’s National Police Chief, Leon Charles, told news sources that Sanon has been arrested after he flew to Haiti accompanied by security guards with the intention of taking over as president. It was also stated that Sanon allegedly hired the Columbian mercenaries through a security firm based out of Florida.
As Sanon continues to deny any knowledge of the assassination, authorities are still working to apprehend more suspects.
By: Gabrielle Belanger, CHI Summer Intern
As the novel coronavirus raged around the world in 2020 and early 2021, it seemed that Haiti had been spared from the worst. Haiti endured a wave of COVID-19 infections in March of 2020, but otherwise reported low infection and death rates. As of April of this year, Haiti reported that 22 individuals per million residents had passed from coronavirus or related complications. However, the number of infections and deaths is likely to be much higher due to limitations with coronavirus testing and receiving medical attention in parts of Haiti.
During the pandemic, the country did not fully shut down, with most businesses remaining open and many people opting to forgo masks. Nonetheless, the openness and ventilation of buildings in Haiti helped prevent the spread of the pathogen. In addition, with such a young population – with an average age of 23 – the virus is likely to have had less severe consequences for those who caught it, as COVID-19 infections tend to be less detrimental in younger individuals, which likely contributed to a low concern for the virus among citizens.
However, as many other countries begin to return to normal, cases and deaths have surged in Haiti. Since the beginning of May, hospitals have been overwhelmed with new cases on a level that had previously only been seen in Haiti in March of 2020. This surge of cases can likely be attributed to the highly contagious coronavirus variants that emerged from the United Kingdom and Brazil. The cost of medical care has skyrocketed and vaccinations are still unavailable in the country, contributing to the magnitude of the issue. As of early July, Haiti has reported 467 deaths from coronavrius.
In light of the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, the COVID-19 crisis has become even more dire with increased rates of transmission and difficulty of accessing medical care. People avoiding the unrest have been forced into cramped spaces which facilitate the spread of the virus and the violence has hindered access to necessary aid and medical attention. At this critical point in the nation’s history, the country’s political issues have become intertwined with the COVID-19 crisis, threatening the health of Haitians.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CHI has changed our way of delivering health care to our patients by offering mobile clinics throughout the past year and a half. Our staff are being very cautious and are ready to postpone clinic if needed, but were adamant about going ahead with the clinic after the assassination, because they did not want our patients to miss their prescription refills or to feel abandoned during this frightening moment. They also distributed dry beans and rice on the home visits, as some warehouses with food burned in the unrest following the assassination, causing food prices to triple overnight. The feedback we got during the July Haitian-led clinic is that people rejoiced when they saw our crew setting up in the village!
Andre Paultre, Sarah Marsh. “Coronavirus Wave Takes Haiti, Yet to Begin Vaccinations, by Surprise.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 9 June 2021, www.reuters.com/world/americas/coronavirus-wave-takes-haiti-yet-begin-vaccinations-by-surprise-2021-06-09/.
Beaubien, Jason. “One Of The World's Poorest Countries Has One Of The World's Lowest COVID Death Rates.” NPR, NPR, 4 May 2021, www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/05/04/992544022/one-of-the-worlds-poorest-countries-has-one-of-the-worlds-lowest-covid-death-rat.
Charles, Jacqueline. “Haiti’s COVID-19 Surge: A Cautionary Tale about How Quickly Things Can Change.” Miami Herald, 2 June 2021, www.miamiherald.com/article251840458.html.
Parker, Claire, and Emily Rauhala. “Twin Epidemics in Haiti, Violence and Coronavirus, Usher in ‘Critical Phase’ in Wake of Assassination.” The Washington Post, 8 July 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/08/haiti-health-crisis/.
By: Mckenzie Logan, CHI Summer Intern
Haiti’s political stability has been faltering with violence and civil unrest continuing to develop. Opposition groups have displayed their lack of approval of the current events taking place within the government, as they believe that Jovenel Moïse has fulfilled his presidential term but refuses to step down. The dispute comes after the end of his 5 year term this past February, however Moïse stated that he did not take office until 2017– arguing that an interim government occupied the first year as there were delays due to allegations of electoral fraud, thereby extending his presidency until 2022.
While civilians are scared of a looming dictatorship, Moïse is pushing for a constitutional referendum that some say is a power grab. The proposed constitutional changes alter the restrictions around serving terms. Haiti’s current Constitution limits presidents from serving two consecutive terms, but the proposal allows for these to be served consecutively allowing for more time in office. The proposed changes also include the abolition of the Senate and the position of Prime Minister, forming a unicameral legislature and a full presidential system of government. As a result of COIVD-19, the referendum has been postponed until September.
Throughout his presidency, Moïse has been accused of corruption and irresponsible actions. These opposition groups contend that the weak government is the cause of the proliferation of gang related crimes and kidnappings occurring predominately within the capital, Port-au-Prince. The escalation of gang related violence has been deemed to have reached unprecedented levels by the United Nations, suffocating the economy and causing astonishing levels of displacement. Since last June 1st, approximately 13,600 civilians have fled their homes in reaction of rising physical and sexual violence, and the threatening attacks on property. The disorder has interfered with everyday life, furthering the nation’s humanitarian crisis as restricted movement has resulted in the lack of basic necessities and accessibility to reach hospitals – leaving people to die in the streets.
The United Nations continues to fear about Haiti’s deteriorating stability after James Cherizier, a leader of the coalition of gangs, G9, warned he was launching a revolution against the business and political elites. Cherizier is a suspect in various massacres and crimes, however he characterizes himself as a community leader filling in for the weak institution. By placing himself in public eye, the tension continues to gain momentum. As the civil unrest and violence continues alongside the declaration of rebellion, many are uneasy as the degrading government is not equip.
Written by: Gabrielle Belanger, CHI Summer Intern
Agnes is one of our Community Health Workers. She was introduced to CHI by one of her friends who helped her get a position doing home visits and checking in on patients. She especially enjoys working with elderly patients.
Agnes sees firsthand the impact CHI has on patients, and says she has enjoyed seeing the many patients who have been living healthier and longer since CHI entered the area. She plans to continue working with CHI and hopes that there will one day be a full-time clinic or hospital where she could work consistently.
Written by: Gabrielle Belanger, CHI Summer Intern
Widlyne is one of five Community Health Workers (CHWs) that has been trained by CHI. She works with other nurses and CHWs to help care for patients at clinics and during home visits.
She says that working at CHI has changed her life. With this job, she’s able to better care for her son and can afford to send him to school. Since working at CHI, she feels that she has become a more important person in her community.
Widlyne also says she’s seen a lot of change in the community. CHI has helped address the lack of access to affordable healthcare. In the future, she would like to train to become an OBGYN to help women and their children. She also hopes for a permanent hospital run by Haitian healthcare workers that would be able to serve the community at large.
Written by: Gabrielle Belanger, CHI Summer Intern
Francesca joined the CHI team in 2017 as a nurse. After coming to a CHI clinic to see a doctor, she saw our medical team’s work and wanted to help out. She got her nursing degree in Port Au Prince and now helps whenever the clinic team needs her. She loves helping people and enjoys working with CHI because of how the team “respects the community” and provides “really good services.”
Francesca loves her work and hopes to become a Community Health Worker in the future. She wants to be able to help her own community where people must travel long distances to receive medical care due to a lack of hospitals or clinics in the surrounding area.