Leaving India and Sri Lanka

Leaving India and Sri Lanka

After spending two weeks visiting eleven of our affiliated projects in India and Sri Lanka, knowing that the St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel in Khammam was the last home I would be seeing on my trip left me with a bittersweet feeling. India and Sri Lanka are both full of beauty, diverse cultures, and wonderful people who face extreme hardship every day. Sri Lanka has suffered greatly from natural disasters and decades of civil war; India suffers from overpopulation and dire poverty caused by gender inequality and disparities in income.

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The House of Life: Chapter 12

The House of Life: Chapter 12

Hi, my name is Richard Hammond. My wife, Barbara, and I founded Friends of the Children of Haiti. With the help of many Haitians, we built a clinic in Haiti for our medical program and living quarters for our volunteers.

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The House of Life: Chapter 11

The House of Life: Chapter 11

Geographically, Haiti is very diverse. Here atthe clinic the view from the upper balcony is paradise. We are surrounded by beautiful tropical foliage, turquoise water and green mountains. If we walk or drive just a little way down the road we see tiny houses or tent like structures housing an entire family. We see muddy roads and garbage lined streets. We see unimaginable poverty. 

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The House of Life: Chapter 10

The House of Life: Chapter 10

Measuring the success of global health programs and medical relief efforts is multi-faceted and complex to say the least. However, FOTCOH boasts several features, which have certainly contributed to the success of the organization in providing medical care here in Haiti.

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The House of Life: Chapter 9

The House of Life: Chapter 9

As I come to Haiti this May, I come with a little different perspective. My daughter is pregnant, so I am expecting my first grandchild in September. One of the women I saw today at the clinic is also pregnant and due this September. It made me think of the trials of having children in Haiti. As a provider, I see a number of babies brought in by aunts because the mom died in childbirth. I also see some kids that are starving because mothers have to decide which child to feed. My granddaughter will be born in a hospital having had prenatal care. She will be seen by a pediatrician who will monitor her growth and development. We take so much for granted for medical care in the United States. As I care for the patients this trip, I am thankful I can give whatever assistance I can to make these families a little healthier because the clinic is here.

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The House of Life: Chapter 8

The House of Life: Chapter 8

I was born on a Monday in the city of Kumasi on what I’m sure was a sweltering evening in one of Ghana’s most populated cities. My life story, however, has played out in the comfort and privilege of Canada’s peaceful borders, yet I was always painfully aware of the people, the language, the food, and the struggle my family left behind. 

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The House of Life: Chapter 7

The House of Life: Chapter 7

This is my fifth mission with FOTCOH.

I continue to be impressed by the beauty of the country and of the people of Haiti. 

I am not a small person who can easily be lost in a crowd and often I see the recognition in the eyes of patients as they approach me. This trip I am working in triage so I take their vital signs and look for any serious conditions that would require immediate treatment. Immediate treatment is a relative term here, of course. In the states, working as a paramedic, I would take many of these patients to the hospital within minutes of onset of their symptoms, but here immediate means they are taken to a provider after they have travelled for hours to get here, then waited in line for their turn.

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The House of Life: Chapter 6

The House of Life: Chapter 6

The question, “What brings you to Haiti?” is often used as part of the team’s first day at the clinic. Many tell stories of being invited by a friend who served on a previous team. Some speak of always wanting to serve in a foreign country. Others tell of wanting to give back, as they reflect on all they have been given.

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The House of Life: Chapter 5

The House of Life: Chapter 5

This is my fifth trip to the FOTCOH clinic in Haiti. Each time it seems to hit me during the first few days of clinic just what these people must endure on a daily basis and what they must have to do to get themselves to our clinic.

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The House of Life: Chapter 4

The House of Life: Chapter 4

Today, I am here in Haiti attempting to bring knowledge and medical care to individuals who have limited or no access to resources, which are basic essentials in my life at home, such as water, food, and shelter.

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The House of Life: Chapter 3

The House of Life: Chapter 3

This is my third mission trip to Haiti, and it still affects me. I think I know what I will see, but I never truly know what to expect. The poverty is unmatched by many other countries. Being a country with very little money means that the people will suffer with hardly anyone to help them. I’m told that some of the people that we see at the clinic have never seen any kind of doctor before. Ever.

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The House of Life: Chapter 2

The House of Life: Chapter 2

I have been blessed to come to Haiti with FOTCOH six times now as a non-medical volunteer. I have been especially blessed to have a daughter of mine come with me for the first time on this trip. I love experiencing what has become routine for me through eyes that are experiencing Haiti, and the clinic, for the first time.

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The House of Life: Chapter 1

The House of Life: Chapter 1

Today was a good day. We saw lots of patients, many of whom were getting better. The most remarkable patient I saw was a woman with diabetes and hypertension. I told my interpreter, Yougains, that her blood sugar was out of control, and her blood pressure was even higher. Although the patient did not speak English, she understood that I was concerned for her, and she started to cry. She was sitting on a short bench, so I moved her bag over, sat down, and put my arm around her.

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Educating a Nation

Educating a Nation

It is an unfortunate reality that even in modern times, girls have fewer opportunities than boys when it comes to receiving an education. Girls all over the world face discrimination within their cultures. They are typically seen as unequal to boys, and there is therefore an absence of emphasis on educating them. Barriers such as early marriage, low social status, chores and responsibilities, unsafe schools, and a lack of sanitation prevent young girls from learning, and from getting jobs that generate a steady income. Women without an education can’t educate their own children or other family members, either, which keeps entire families and countries living in a cycle of poverty.

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