Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

I just want to send a big thank you to all of you who donated to support MESS's
incredible endeavors.
Because of your support MESS has been able to provide free medicine, primary health care
and mental health support to the Jacmel communities affected by the earthquake.

So far, we have raised almost $600 and still wish to make our goal of $35oo for MESS.

Thanks to: Anandi Wonder and Andrew McGarrell for their individual donations and to The Firefly and Miss Ruth in Chicago for setting up 2 successful benefits.
The more benefits the merrier!

This has been a hell of a week!

I have been to numerous meetings and have been able to successfully lay the foundation work for Bumi Sehat's Health Education program. We recently recruited over 50 women to become peer health educators from MESS and they have already coordinated themselves into the 6 respective groups and found a space to meet in!
Way to go ladies!!
Many thanks to the hardworking Bumi Sehat/MESS planning committee:
Darline, Ania, Esther, Dadine, Nicole and Diana.
You are a force to be reckoned with!

I had a meeting this week with Fanm Deside, a women's anti violence organization. They have agreed to train the MESS volunteers for the Bumi Sehat's sexual violence workshops.
They have over 350 active members in the Jacmel area and provide vast support to abused women including hospital visits, provide legal representation and host educational workshops on this serious and important issue.
Sadly, violence against women and girls is an ever pervasive problem here in Haiti.
Thanks to organizations like Fanm Deside and AHDESSE, a men's anti violence organization, for doing this amazing and often difficult work. They are an affialate of Kay Fanm, the organization Magalie founded.

The Health Ed workshops for Bumi Sehat include:
family planning, healthy pregnancy, breastfeeding, nutrition, joyful parenting and sexual violence.
This Sat we will have a meeting to finalize the workshops with 5 American midwives, 5 Haitian midwives and a couple of social workers!
The first three workshops will be held this week starting Monday morning.
They have also started their bi-weekly prenatal clinics up in the dome.
Unfortunately, I will not be here to attend any of them but am so pleased to have worked hard to get them going.

As I get ready to leave I am feeling the strong ties and connections I have made and the blossoming of new and old friends alike.
I look forward to returning here to work and to also enjoy time with my wonderful friends.
I am also looking forward to seeing all of my friends back at home, I miss you very much and am excited to share stories with each other.

Before I leave I am hoping to write two more posts about the vigils held during the month anniversary and about the commemoration for Magalie, Ann Marie and Myriam that I attended on March 8th in Port au Prince. I will keep you posted!!

Until then,
xo, Ivy Jeanne

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