PFH – ANNIVERSARY ARTICLE
Two years ago today, a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake turned an already fragile Haiti into a land of utter devastation. On the tail of the 30-40 second earthquake, 52 aftershocks ensued…over 300,000 lost their lives, another 300,000 were injured and over 1,000,000 became homeless… An already starving country became famished and most, helpless.
Helpless… That’s how Dr. Leo Vieira, Guiga Vieira and Dr. Robert Ferreira felt… They knew they wanted to help, but they encountered many roadblocks in trying to get to Haiti with various organizations offering aid. While Guiga worked tirelessly gathering medicine and supplies, Dr. Vieira and Dr. Ferreira found a path to Haiti.
Within two weeks of the earthquake, Dr. Vieira’s feet were on the ground in Haiti and Dr. Ferreira arrived the next week. They provided medical care to hundreds in dire need while Guiga continued drumming up support and donations at home. Though the three were on separate missions, their hearts were united and within them arose a dream … A BIG dream…
And on January 28, 2010, People for Haiti was born. What was started by 3 led to 13 completed missions to Haiti by 97 missionaries, hundreds of supporters, over 10,000 patients treated, 34 surgeries and over $150,000 in donated goods… and counting!!! People for Haiti is a dream come true, not just for its founders, but for the people of Haiti.
Today, People for Haiti travels to Haiti every other month for medical and surgical missions. On our missions, we employ local translators, many of which are now enrolled in nursing school. Our volunteers have sponsored approximately 75 children, allowing them to attend primary schools. We raised approximately $13,000 to assist with providing a water filtration system to an orphanage and surrounding village… And we formed a family, not just of our volunteers, but of our friends in Haiti.
Though the earthquake in Haiti may be a faded memory to some, it is vivid in the minds of our missionaries. Once your feet stand on the ground in Haiti, your mind struggles to comprehend how they are forced to live, your eyes are opened, your heart pours out, and your life is forever changed. The people of Haiti have given us a richness greater than monetary wealth and they taught us compassion and love on a whole new level.
To the people of Haiti, we thank you for welcoming us into your country and your lives, and for teaching us what life is really about. People for Haiti vows to continue in our mission to provide free medical care to the people of Haiti and we look forward to adding new members to our family along the way.
Today, we pause to honor the people of Haiti…. We love you and we will continue to be there for you!!!!