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
Apr252015

Mesye Mompoint

One morning during our January trip, one of my favorite moments in Desab occurred. A few team members and I were sitting on the porch eating breakfast, around 8:30am or so. A Haitian man, whom I had never seen before, showed up and sat on the porch. “Bonjou,” he greeted us. Then he just sat there for a few minutes. Jeanty came out and talked to him and then told me it was Mesye Mompointe. I had never met Mesye Mompoint, but I love his wife, Finelia, so I was very excited to get to meet him. Jeanty said something to me in Creole. I understood “priye”, which means “to pray”. Mesye Mompoint had come to pray with us? Jeanty said with a smile, “Wi.” I didn't quite know how to respond, so I just said, “Ok.” Mesye Mompoint stood, so we all followed suit. He raised his hands and prayed what sounded to be a wonderful prayer. I understood the words “love”, “understand” and “learn”. When he was done, we all sat down and we served him breakfast, then he left.

 

We had never met Mesye Mompoint. But that morning, he got up and walked 20 minutes from his village, Tima, just to pray for Stone By Stone. That both amazes and humbles me. Not because he's so poor and I'm not and I should praying for him, or some other white person guilty thought process. But just for the fact that he came to meet us and pray for us. I don't do that. Nobody I know does that. It humbles me to think that what we are doing matters so much that someone would make such an effort to come and pray over us. And it has been amazing to see some of the things that have transpired since that prayer.

Saturday
Apr182015

Thank You, Volunteers!

Today ends National Volunteer Week.  We wanted to take a few minutes and thank all of the volunteers who have helped us along the way.  So many people have collected empty pill bottles, baby clothes, medical supplies, personal hygiene items, etc.  We've had several people give us bags of crochetted baby blankets for us to take with us.  We have people who support us in social media, which goes a long way in today's culture.  There are several people that we want to specifically thank for their efforts for Stone By Stone...

  • Barb Appleton - Barb has sewn hundreds of pillowcase dresses for the girls of all ages and sizes in Desab.  We are always happy to see these pop up on our trips. 
  • Nancy Fasoldt - Nancy planned and executed Hillcrest Helps Haiti, a dinner that helped us raise enough money to start a dental program in Fanmi Lasante.  This has been something that the community has wanted and needed for some time now.  We raised enough money to buy the dental chair for the clinic, start-up supplies, and start paying the dentist's salary. 
  • Greg Miheli - Since learning that we can redeem cans and bottles for 5 cents each in New York state, this Pennsylvania resident has collected thousands of cans and bottles for us to redeem.  His coworkers give him their cans and bottles, calling it "Nickels for Haiti".  We have been able to use this money to check extra bags on flights and buy extra supplies for projects on trips. 
  • Megan Guanciale - Megan helped serve at the Hillcrest Helps Haiti dinner and has since become involved in supporting us in other ways.  She has been selling bracelets made by Ansanm Nou Fo at her high school in order to raise money for Stone By Stone. 
  • Lexi Tulowiecki - Lexi proposed a first aid supply drive for Stone By Stone to her high school's SADD club and they collected enough first aid supplies for us to make 9 first aid kits for the health care agents. 
  • Wendy Lucas - Wendy has helped sort hundreds of clothing items that were donated to Stone By Stone at the end of the Polka Tots sale in central NY.  She then worked on listing these at Wear It Again Kids consignment store, so the items can provide an ongoing fundraiser for us. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered in any way for us!  We could not have gotten to where we are today without the generous support of family, friends and strangers! 

If you would like to get involved in Stone By Stone, or have ideas for fundraisers, please send us an email via this website. 

Sunday
Apr122015

I Held An Angel

I don't want to write this.  Not just because it shouldn't have to be written but I honestly don't want to be writing this now because the emotion is too raw.  My sadness, anger, frustration, grief are all on the very surface of my being.  I don't want to be writing but I am. I am forcing myself because this little angels death should not be for nothing.  His all too short life and the grief that his young mother is now suffering should not be in vain.

 

We were up at the guesthouse on Wednesday when our interpreter came to get us saying that Dr. Gabrielle had a patient that needed emergency help.  My first question?  Is it a baby?  As I rushed down to the clinic with our nurse Sue, I actually prayed that it would NOT be a baby.  Everyone in Desab knows Julie is the baby lady.  In the pharmacy we found a young mother holding this tiny, tiny bundle in her arms.  I immediately asked for the baby and my heart stopped.  I did not need any medical knowledge to know that this was bad.  Very bad. I had been here once before.  It is a horrible place to be.   His body was limp, his skin clammy, his eyes barely open and only a slight whimper came out of his mouth.  He was dying.  In my arms, this child was dying.

 

Dr. Gabrielle confirmed that the baby was near death.  As if that was not enough, she informed us that he was 7 and a half months old and weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces.  You read that correct.  7 months old, 6 and a half pounds.  As we formulated a plan for this little guy my honest instinct was to just walk out of the clinic with him, get on a moto and go.  I didn't do that, it seemed irrational, I wish I had.  Oh how I wish I had.  Not that the outcome would have changed but selfishly I wouldn't be beating myself up right now.  What we did do was give the mother money to take the child to the closest hospital for emergency care.  

 

As I held this angel, Sue and I prayed.  I silently prayed for his life to be spared, Sue prayed that God would cover, protect and comfort him.  As angry as I am, I know that her prayer was what this child needed.  I know that my God knew what was going to happen and He indeed comforted His child until the end.  They made it to the hospital but it was too late. 

 

It should not have happened.  This mother most likely delivered premature.  In her house.  No medical care.  This little angel most likely was a failure to thrive infant at birth.  This was likely this child's first visit to any clinic.  Her reason for not getting help sooner?  No money.  

 

Anger aside, I know we can make a difference.  This is not a "throw your hands up in defeat" moment.  I have already begun to research resources. If you are asking yourself, and I honestly do not know how you can not be, how can I help?  We want to establish a fund for Dr Gabrielle to use for patients who cannot pay.  If we weren't there it is entirely possible this baby would never even had the chance to make it to a hospital.  It will be a discretionary fund for her to use for emergencies. 

 

We are planning on holding a community education session to educate parents on WHEN to bring their children to the doctors and what are their options when they have financial concerns.  We could use funds to provide information to families for them to take home. 

 

The clinic currently has no infant medical equipment.  This would be a huge blessing to have. 

 

I will NEVER forget.  In time, I know my emotions will get in check.  But honestly, I don't want to forget.  I was blessed to hold an Angel.  I will never forget.

Thursday
Feb262015

Meet the Dentist

 

Say hello to Dr. Thimote Fortune, the newest edition to the staff of Fanmi Lasante. Dr. Fortune was born in Port Au Prince. He became interested in dentistry while in secondary school. His father was a doctor and three of his six siblings became medical professionals. His father had a vision of opening a multidisciplinary medical office that was staffed by his family. Dr. Fortune went to dental school in Port Au Prince, graduating in 2008. His father and one of his sisters died in the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January of 2010.

 

Dr. Fortune is 31 years old. He and his wife live in Port Au Prince. He has worked with Vermont Haiti Project in the past. He currently works in Port Au Prince by appointment only. We are excited to bring him on to help improve the health of the community that we serve. The community has been asking for dental care, so they will be even more excited than we are to see this addition to Fanmi Lasante!

 

Dr. Fortune has some equipment of his own. He is hoping we can help get some items donated to Fanmi Lasante so he doesn't have to bring his equipment with him every week that he is working at the clinic. In order to get to Desab, he will need to take a tap tap from Port Au Prince to Cabaret, and then a motorcycle up the mountain road.

 

In September 2014, we had a fundraising dinner, Hillcrest Helps Haiti, with the purpose of bringing dental care to the community. The dinner raised enough money for us to buy a simple dentist chair for the clinic and pay Dr. Fortune to come to the clinic every other Wednesday to start without having to dip into our regular operating budget. Along with his hourly salary, transportation costs $15/day for him. If you would like to help support dental care in Desab and the surrounding villages, you can make a donation via PayPal on our website or via check, with the designation of “dentist” in the memo. You could also help us find some donated dental tools for Dr. Fortune to use at the clinic. We have a list from him available upon request. We are so excited to see Fanmi Lasante grow and are thankful for every one of our supporters that has helped make this possible!

Tuesday
Feb172015

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fears

I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel with Stone By Stone to a mountainous village in Haiti. It was such a life changing experience, as well as an over whelming look into life outside of America. From the food to the people, it was a nonstop journey into a new culture.

I started my trip off with the one thing I was fearing the most. Eating goat! So, as soon as we landed and got to lunch, that is what I had. The one thing that helped me through my first goat experience was my favorite Haitian beer, Prestige!

As the 6 of us (and our amazing captain, Fenel) started the drive up to Desab, I had absolutely no clue what to expect. For me, the situation is different than for the other 3 new team members. My parents have been going to Haiti for almost 5 years, from the time we adopted the kids until Stone By Stone was created. I had some knowledge of the terrain and culture from photos but nothing could prepare me for physically meeting all these people I’ve heard so much about.

It was the start of a week with no electricity or running water and a whole mess of Haitians that were excited to see us!

We were lucky enough to experience a truly Haitian and God filled Church service to start our week. We carried the praise and blessings through the week as we met so many families, the clinic staff and a man from another village who walked 35 minutes, just to pray with us.

We were able to accomplish things as a team but also as individuals. Lennea was able to educate 36 community members on preventing pregnancy. While Nicole took care of her stuff back at the house, the rest of us took a 2 hour trek to a waterfall for our first rinse of the week! We rode a “moto” down a mountain and into town. I spent my time catching baby goats, feeding the dogs and the kids laughed while I did it.

We had to say our goodbyes Friday morning, which was as tough as expected. Lenny and I were drowning in our own tears as we made our way to Wahoo Bay Resort to decompress with the ocean. As our day spent in the sun came to and end, we had a great meal with an ocean breeze as we all talked about the week behind us. Heading to the airport the following morning and boarding the plane with the loony matching shirt mission groups was bittersweet.

It was time to say See You Later to Haiti and all the amazing people we met. Once again, on the plane, Lenny and I drowned in our own tears!

It was a major relief to touch down in New York and be greeted by my dad and Adam.

I wasn’t ready for it to be over but I am ready to go back. God blessed us so much with this experience and I couldn’t be more grateful for what I saw and what I have here at home.

Emily Rumo

 

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