Our team never gives up!
2022, like the year that preceded it, has been challenging for Haiti. Headlines reveal details about persistent political crises and widespread public violence. Haitians across the capital city of Port au Prince are expressing their frustration with a broken system. There is genuine rage and plenty of it. One does not excuse violence, though there are those who believe we cannot turn our backs on the conditions that create it. Paul Farmer--the late global health revolutionary--asserted in Pathologies of Power that “Human rights violations are not accidents; they are not random in distribution or effect. Rights violations are, rather, symptoms of deeper pathologies of power and are linked intimately to the social conditions that so often determine who will suffer abuse and who will be shielded from harm." At H.O.P.E., we seek to treat people as well as conditions that cause suffering. We will do this work in any conditions.
In the north, people have witnessed and perpetrated far less overt violence, even as they, too, face the realities of living in a nation that has been affected by deep and radical global inequalities. We see massive fuel shortages, insecurity, and opportunism in the north. These direct costs of political turmoil are worsening. Further, shortages, fear, and uncertainty affect the commune of Borgne, making it difficult for the staff (many of whom live in Cap-Haitien and travel to Borgne for the work week) to actualize our programming. Yet, the staff of Alyans Sante Borgne finds a way. They never give up! Our doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and community leaders persist with surety to walk the last mile in Borgne. Our network is in fact greater than the sum of its parts and we know how to navigate anything from an emergent epidemiological challenge, like cholera, to working in the dark (when the generators run out of fuel). UNICEF reported on September 22 that "lives are being lost as life-saving services come to a standstill." Our system relies on indigenous networks long established and frequently nurtured; we are suffering the same shortages, but we will not shut down. That is our pledge, and we have the team in place to guarantee this promise to the people of Borgne.