Mission Statement

Stone By Stone- building a road following God's chosen path.  Together with our brothers and sisters of Haiti, we strive to serve the cooperative of HASWEP through Listening, Educating, Supporting, Praying, Working, Advancing.

LESPWA means HOPE in Creole. 
We are full of hope for Haiti.

 

.

 FANMI LASANTE

CLINIC

Desab, Haiti

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Saturday
Aug222015

Fixing Up The Clinic

     Last month I had the opportunity to be a part of a special summer trip to Desab. Julie and I led a Stone by Stone trip for a group of eight young women. Yes, it was me and nine women! Despite the significant teasing I received throughout the week, it was my delight to watch as they made themselves part of the community and accomplished some amazing things. The quick acclamation to a new culture by these women was immediately apparent as they immersed themselves with both children and adults. In addition to that, it was exciting to see them make a visible impact on the community as well, earning the comment from a Haitian, “Are you sure they are teachers, they work like masons.” Their 'masonry' included adding on to a classroom, building clinic benches, and painting the inside of the clinic.

 

     This blog post is to follow up on this hard work by the group. Originally, our plan was to paint the inside of Dr. Gabrielle's exam room. In order to do this though, we brought in a mason to examine several cracks in the wall so the work could be done. After examining the area, the mason informed us that simple patchwork would be a waste of money. He showed us that these were not benign cracks that can form in cement, but the cracks actually ran and extended the whole way down into the foundation. In fact, if these cracks are not fixed the corner of the building could break off.

 

 

 

We had budgeted money to fix up the room, but not enough for a structural project of this magnitude. Fortunately, for our group we were able to gather the materials for two other projects: painting the inside of the clinic and purchase and install a toilet. These projects were exciting because with the new paint we were able to both brighten the inside of the clinic and update the color scheme to Haiti's official medical facility colors (white and green). The toilet finishes off the septic tank project and means that our staff no longer needs to use a bucket to go to the bathroom.

 

 

 

     Unfortunately, we still must address the structural issues of Dr. Gabrielle's exam room, and do it soon as it is something we can simply not ignore. In order to repair this, two rebar supported pillars must be constructed on the outside of the clinic on each side of her window. The rough estimate of the budget we were given was:

  • materials, labor and paint - $1500

     It is very important that we continue to make progress on improving the clinic in both structure and appearance so we can present Fanmi Lasante to the local government for their approval. Please help us with this project. We definitely can not do this alone! All donations are tax deductible. Just write “Gabrielle” on your check or donation via PayPal. We are making great progress on the clinic and want to keep that momentum going!

 

Sunday
Aug092015

So Many Thanks

We have so many people and organizations that we need to recognize and give thanks to for their generosity over the past few months.

 

We had an anonymous donation of roughly 9,000 prenatal vitamins a couple of months ago. This will be life changing for the women and babies in the villages that we serve!

 

These prenatal vitamins came in smaller individual packages which would make them difficult to pack and transport to Haiti. We want to give a huge thank you to Matthew Brenner (April 2015 trip member) and his friend Spencer Schneider for spending hours and hours re-packaging the vitamins into more condensed packages, which will make getting them to Desab so much easier! They worked on this project one night and fell asleep in the pile of boxes in Matthew's house around 3:00am.

 

 

 

We need to send a huge thank you to Converse for donating $5,000 to our July 2015 team. This donation made it possible for them to do several huge projects for the community, including painting the clinic, building clinic benches, and continuing construction on a classroom for the 6th grade students in the primary school.

 

Another big thank you to ProAct Pharmacy for donating loads of brand new prescription bottles for the clinic pharmacy. These are extremely helpful to the clinic, as without medicine bottles the pharmacy tech sends prescriptions home with patients in plastic sandwich baggies.

 

We cannot do all that we do without the help and support of people here at home. So thank you! If you want to get involved and have thoughts or questions about how you can do so, please contact us. We would love to hear from you!

Thursday
Jul302015

An Experience I Will Never Forget

I recently had the immense pleasure of traveling to Desab, Haiti with Julie and Adam of the Stone by Stone team.

The experience was one that I will never forget. Everything about it was completely life changing. I have never been to Haiti before and was truly amazed with the beautiful scenery and equally beautiful people. Our group was immediately welcomed in the village and we felt like we became part of their families and village on the very first day. Everyone wanted to show us around the school, clinic, bakery, and to their homes. Every day we learned something new about a family.

The bonds and relationships I formed with the adults and children are ones that I will treasure and hold on to until I go again in a year when those bonds will grow again. Reginald, Colleen, Kelline, and Mosenu will grow so much in a year!!

It is impossible not to fall in love with the Hatian culture, community, and people. Their unwavering faith, strength, happiness, and positivity are an inspiration and I will carry that inspiration with me always. Ivnalie's family is a perfect example of this. Ivnalie is a 3 year old with a significant disability. Her fine and gross motor skills are extremely under developed, she is unable to walk, talk, or feed herself. This family has many hardships that they endure every day having a child with such a significant disability and it would be easy to send her away to an orphanage, however, Ivnalie's family is doing everything they can to keep her at home. They love her and feel happy and blessed to have her in their lives. Visiting her home and talking with her family members was emotional but one of my favorite parts of the trip. This families strength and undying devotion to each other was incredible.

I feel honored and blessed to have experienced such an incredible trip and am counting the days until I can go back. Only 363 more days!

I encourage everyone to explore the Haitian culture and country and contact Stone by Stone for more information on ways to help or have your own life changing experience. 

Sarah Fisher

Wednesday
Jun102015

Smart Girls

People who know me know that I am a bit of a feminist. I believe in equal rights for women. I believe women can and should be able to do whatever they would like to do with their lives and legacies, whether they choose to be a stay-at-home mother, a PhD, a nurse, or president of the United States. I always try to encourage young girls on the basis of their intelligence and not on how they look or how they dress (although I do find myself doing those things as well). When I see my young female patients for well-child checks and they tell me about their grades in school or their school achievements, I love telling them, “Smart girls can do anything they want,” because I believe that to be true.

 

Except in Haiti.

 

And that makes me so sad.

 

 

There are so many smart girls in Desab, which I am sure is representative of smart girls all over Haiti. The little girls pick up English so easily. They love going to school. As soon as I learned the Creole word for smart (“entelijan”), I started using that when I complimented them. There are so many girls enrolled in primary school in Desab. But when you ask our translators, they can only name two women from Desab who have gone to secondary school (high school). One is currently finishing nursing school and one is in school to become a certified teacher. Out of a village that has roughly 1,000 residents, two women.

 

It breaks my heart that I can't, with confidence, tell the young girls in Desab that they can do anything they want to because they are smart. While Haitian women share equal rights politically, socially and economically in a legal sense, they do not do so culturally due to the widespread belief that women are inferior to men. As one example of this, rape was not officially made a crime until 2005. And even now, spousal rape is not recognized as a crime. Women have to fight hard to climb any ladders within Haiti.

 

I am proud that Fanmi Lasante employs a female doctor, a female nurse, and a female pharmacy tech. Our wonderful healthcare agent Finelia has been a prominent member of the community for decades, as well, and is a role model for girls in several villages. I love that the girls that are in school during the clinic days, and the girls that are brought into the clinic to see Dr. Gabrielle, see that women can do great things in Haiti.

 

When you support Stone By Stone, your money helps fund the clinic, which helps care for mothers and daughters throughout a community of 10,000. We also work with the primary school in Desab, and provide educational opportunities for the healthcare agents, the women's group, and the community as a whole. This October, we will be doing some work specifically with women's health and the trained birth attendants in the villages. And going on trips to Haiti, being present and involved, shows the people that we are committed to them and gives them hope for their futures. They know that we will continue working with them for growth and more opportunity, for better health and education.

 

We would love to have you join us in this endeavor! Please send us an email (info@stonebystone.org) to discuss how you can make this happen.

 

Nicole Pitzer (president)

Monday
May042015

Meet Finelia

Finelia is one of the two healthcare agents employed at Fanmi Lasante.  She grew up in the village of Tima, near Desab.  Both of her parents were farmers.  She had five brothers and one sister. 

 

Finelia got married when she was 21.  She and her husband have eight children.  She gave birth to all of her children at home, sometimes alone, sometimes with a trained birth attendant.  Finelia went on to become both a healthcare agent and a femsage (a female trained birth attendant) because she wanted to help her community. 

 

Finelia is now 60 years old.  She has lived in the town of Cabaret for the past 15 years because some of her children were in secondary school there.  She also cares for her 110-year-old mother in Cabaret. 

 

Finelia has seen many changes in the community throughout the years.  More children are in school.  She says she encourages parents to let their children go to school so they can grow up to become engineers, nurses, etc.  She sees that people seek healthcare more often.  She feels that one of the biggest needs in the area is still more access to healthcare, especially vaccines.  She has seen many vaccine-preventable illness (measles, polio, tetanus, pertussis).  She has seen children die from these diseases. 

 

We would love to have vaccine clinic days at Fanmi Lasante.  Finelia would be one of the healthcare agents involved in coordinating the events and administering vaccines.  We estimate that one vaccine day, using government and NGO funded programs, would cost about $50.  If you would like to help us make this goal a reality, please send an email to info@stonebystone.org. 

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