During Hurricane Matthew, many homes were damaged or destroyed in our community of Cavaillon, Haiti. Part of our plan for the money donated to our Hurricane Relief Fund included helping some of the poorest people in the town rebuild or repair their homes.
While we can’t fix every home in town, our donors have made it possible for us to commit to repairing at least 15 homes and we have begun that work. Below are the photos of some of the houses that are currently being repaired as part of NOVA’s hurricane Matthew relief efforts in Cavaillon. In some photos you will see Dr. Nixon Altenord, our head doctor, who has personally visited all of the homes to be rebuilt.
Dr. Altenord,has been volunteering his time after work and on weekends to make sure this project is successful. NOVA Hope for Haiti also temporarily hired Stanley Durand, to direct our relief efforts in Haiti so that our staff can focus on the medical care which is their primary responsibility. Mr. Durand is doing an excellent job of sourcing and pricing materials, hiring builders, documenting the work and reporting the status of the project to the NOVA Board or Directors.
Cavaillon, Haiti, where our clinic is located suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew and we are still getting information about the damage people have suffered. We have only had sporadic communication with Dr. Nixon, our head doctor and Ketlene, our head nurse, and Fr. Antoine Ingrid. Thankfully communication is slowly improving and we will follow add information and images to our website as we get them.
HOW DID NOVA’s CLINIC FAIR IN THE STORM:
One solar panel blew off of our roof but the remainder seem to be functioning, we lost some outdoor ceiling tiles, and we lost several large trees on our property but that appears to be the physical extent of the damage. Our water well is still providing potable water. This is a major blessing at this time since in post storm recovery access to clean uncontaminated water is a major problem and leads to post-disaster diseases.
HOW ARE THE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY OF CAVAILLON?
There were four confirmed deaths, including a mother and three children who were swept away when the river overflowed. Unfortunately we are expecting this number to rise. The river has flooded the town center and the neighborhood of Grand Dieu which was hit hard when the river burst its banks.
“More than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the flood waters and violent winds,” said Ernst Ais, the mayor of the town of Cavaillon, near Les Cayes.
NOVA’s CLINIC A TEMPORARY REFUGEE CENTER
During the storm the roof at the local orphanage blew off and 60 children slept at our clinic during the storm. In addition, 10 local families who live near the clinic whose homes were destroyed had to seek refuge at our building during the storm. The children from the orphanage are now in another facility, but our neighbors are still living in the clinic because they lost everything. There are still 37 people temporarily living in the clinic, most of them children.
WHAT NOVA IS DOING TO HELP
In addition to sheltering some of our neighbors, NOVA is providing emergency supplies of rice, pasta and cooking oil to families who lost everything. The President of NOVA has authorized the staff to purchase and distribute these basic items for people in the community in the most desperate need.
NOVA is also providing electricity to charge phones so people can be in touch with family members in other parts of the country and the US. Cavaillon is still without power but NOVA’s solar electrical system, although damaged, is still functioning to provide some power to the building.
Thankfully our well was not damaged by the rising river and is still providing clean water to the community.
Our clinic is still open but with limited staff. Some of our staff is still unable to travel to work due to unpassable roads but our doctor who lives on site has been open and treating patients throughout the storm and its aftermath, with the assistance of our security guards and maintenance people.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THE PEOPLE OF CAVAILLON
NOVA is establishing a dedicated hurricane relief fund for the people in our community. While our primary mission is to provide medical care, at this time we are in a position to help in provide emergency shelter and care. Our intention is to help the people in our community in the immediate emergency phase of the aftermath of the storm and assist our people in getting back on their feet. We are already incurring extra expenses and this will continue. Thanks to all the support from our donors in the past, our newly constructed clinic is one of the few safe buildings in town so we will do what we can to provide whatever basic care we can as well as continue to provide medical care to our patients.
We need help.
NOVA’s Friends are helping raise money for NOVA’s relief efforts:
Our friends at DOMUS are generously donating 10% of all proceeds from sales in their store at 413 w 44th st | ny, ny 10036 on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9th to help NOVA with our work and relief efforts in Haiti. In addition they are hosting a sale in their store of artwork donated by local artists who donated pieces to raise money for NOVA. 100% of the sale price of the artwork goes to NOVA Hope for Haiti.
In November 2015 NOVA Hope for Haiti hit a great milestone: we sent to Haiti our 20th Medical Mission to Haiti! This is a great gift to our friends in Haiti who rely on the medical care NOVA’s medical missions bring. NOVA’s 20 medical missions have saved lives. They have brought care, comfort and healing to thousands of people in Haiti. Over the years, we have seen the children who come to our medical missions grow up strong and healthy.
Mission 20 also saw another great first for NOVA: we partnered with Arise & Walk Ministries Foundation, Inc. to bring dental care to our patients for the very first time. You can read more about the dental mission HERE. We hope that this will be the beginning of providing dental care at regular dental missions from NOVA’s facility in Cavaillon.
Years ago, NOVA’s medical missions gave birth to a dream of a permanent medical facility that would provide medical care to the people of Cavaillon and the surrounding villages year round. In late 2014, that dream became a reality and NOVA opened our permanent clinic in Cavaillon staffed by a staff of Haitian medical professionals and on mission 19 in May 2015 we officially inaugurated our clinic. Today that clinic treats between 400 and 500 patients each month!
NOVA is dedicating our 20th mission to all of the volunteers and donors who have made this happen. Thank you all for a job well done! Congratulations on the 20th mission and especially the Mission 20 volunteer team!
In April, a team comprised of two adult doctors, three pediatricians, two nurses, one EMT, seven Creole translators, one team leader, one facility manager, one photographer, and two non-medical support volunteers went on NOVA’s 19th Medical Mission. It was a landmark mission. We stayed at NOVA’s brand new volunteer residence for the first time. For the first time in 13 years, our team did not have to travel an hour each way in our yellow school bus to and from a hotel. This saved us valuable volunteer time and more it allowed us to keep the clinic open for an extra hour per day and treat more patients.
In addition, it allowed NOVA’s volunteers to spend more time with the people in the community we serve. NOVA’s facility is intended to be a community center in addition to a medical facility. We held three movie nights for the local children, complete with popcorn. Each night, over 60 neighborhood children, most of whom live without electricity or running water at home, came to watch the movie.
On the last day of the mission, NOVA’s clinic was privileged to receive a visit from the Haiti’s first Cardinal, Chibly Langlois. Our mission team was joined by additional longtime NOVA volunteers to mark this special occasion, including Father Bob Stagg from Church of the Presentation (where NOVA’s mission was founded in 2002) , to mark this special occasion.
Dignitaries and invited guests from as far away as Port-au-Prince came out to participate in the inauguration and blessing of our clinic. We enjoyed the beautiful sounds of an acapella choir and a traditional Haitian meal with over 80 guests.
Here are some photos from the mission:
NOVA’s 17th Medical Mission traveled to Haiti from April 26 to May 4th to provide medical care to the people of Cavaillon. The team consisted of 24 people including 3 pediatricians, 3 doctors for adult patients, nurses, an EMT, translators and general volunteers. NOVA has a 12 years history and lots of experience sending medical missions to Haiti and this work and experience shows in the way our missions are set up and run. While it is still a lot of hard work, which is done in very hot conditions in a building with no electricity or running water, the team traveled to Haiti, settled into our Hotel in Aquin, set up the clinic in Cavaillon and went to work with great efficiency. In a lot of ways this trip was very much like NOVA’s other missions. And that is a good sign for our organization.
However there was something very unique about this mission. For the first time in many years, 50% of the team of the 17th Medical Mission were new NOVA volunteers. NOVA’s network is expanding which is great for our organization. But more importantly we got to meet new, amazing, generous, hard working people who fit right in to our pool of volunteers who give of themselves selflessly to help people in great need. It is amazing and inspiring to be able to constantly meet such great people.
NOVA’s volunteers have always paid for their own airfare, but for the first time, because of financial constraints, NOVA has had to increase what we ask our volunteers to contribute to their trip to $1,000.00. The rest of the cost of the mission: the medicine, ground transportation, our driver’s salary, and supplies are paid for by our donors who support NOVA. So our volunteers not only give of their time, but they make a financial sacrifice also. Many of our volunteers ask friends and family to sponsor them for their trip which makes the mission a community affair of volunteers, their family, friends and our donors.
During this week-long mission our team provided medical care to over 850 people from Cavaillon and the surrounding rural communities. Since February of 2013 NOVA has employed a medical staff which provides medical care year round. When our medical missions are in town, our permanent staff is paired with US medical professionals to work with them for the week. So our missions now provide the additional benefit of offering our staff a week of learning and collaborating with other medical professionals from the US. Plus, in one week the additional medical volunteers from the US can provide care to twice as many patients than our staff can see in a month. These missions still provide a great service to the community, are highly valued by the people in Cavaillon and are very important to the total medical care NOVA provides in the area.
There will be more stories coming from our volunteers. Keep an eye out for more about the impact NOVA makes in our area of Haiti.
Thank you to all of our volunteers and supporters who make NOVA’s work possible
NOVA Hope for Haiti
UPDATE: FEBRUARY 22, 2014: Due to the generosity of a longtime supporter of NOVA Hope for Haiti there is a MATCHING GIFT currently in effect for all donations to the building project. CLICK HERE for details!
It has been a long time coming, but NOVA Hope for Haiti had a groundbreaking ceremony during our 16th Medical mission this past November 2013. Members of the Board of Directors who were volunteering on the mission were present for the ceremony. It was small and modest, but construction began in earnest at the end of November of this year. The photos below show the first phase of the construction process: we are “renovating” an existing two story home to become the clinic. This renovation entails taking down the roof completely, the stairs, and some of the outside walls. Much of the existing structure, however will be incorporated in the renovation.
The building needs a completely new water and septic infrastructure, completely new electrical infrastructure, new roof, new stairs, and will be surrounded by a 10′ covered porch on three sides of the building. NOVA has raised enough money to renovate the structure and begin to provide medical services from this building when complete. However we have not yet raised the additional $71,000.00 need to add an addition on the rear of the house to accommodate a lab, a pharmacy, a records room, and a storage room on the first floor. These will temporarily be housed in two of the four the rooms dedicated to be examining rooms. This is not ideal, but it will allow us to begin to function until we raise the additional money to add the addition.
The future addition will also add an expanded dining area and two additional bedrooms to the second floor. The second floor is being renovated into an apartment to host small volunteer medical missions of up to 8 people to provide specialized care.
As soon as the construction is complete NOVA will start providing medical care for pregnant women and children to the people in and around Cavaillon. NOVA’s Annual Fundraiser in March 2014 will be dedicated to raising the money to furnish the clinic with furniture, supplies, equipment and medicine, and we will begin to raise the money for the expansion to the building.
The Board of Directors and NOVA’s volunteers are very excited that the building project is underway. In 2014 we will see NOVA’s permanent pediatric clinic opening in Cavaillon!
In fact our March 2014 fundraiser will be raising funds for this Pediatric clinic: to pay our staff and to complete the extension on the building! These are exciting times at NOVA and it’s all possible because of the dedication of our volunteers and because of the generosity of our donors.
What will NOVA’s clinic look like when it is completed?
These renderings show the clinic with the addition which will be built as soon as NOVA raises the additional funds.
These renderings show the clinic with the addition which will be built as soon as NOVA raises the additional funds.
In November 2013, NOVA Hope for Haiti sent out 16th Medical Mission team to Haiti to provide medical care in Cavaillon, Haiti. Since 2005 NOVA has been providing medical care to the population in and around Cavaillon. Barring natural disasters like hurricanes which have prevented our mission one year, we have been a consistent presence in the community for the past 8 years. Some of our pediatric patients are growing up with NOVA as their primary medical care. The care we provide has been greatly increased since February of 2013 when NOVA hired a medical staff including a physician, nurses, pharmacists and lab technician to provide medical care in the area year round. Our staff is working out of a rented space in Boileau, a village about a mile from the town center of Cavaillon.
This mission ran smoothly. The team arrived on a Saturday and returned to the US on the following Sunday. We followed our typical schedule of clinic days, with one exception: The members of NOVA’s board of directors, who were on this mission, took time out for a groundbreaking ceremony at our property in Cavaillon. NOVA has finally begun construction of our own permanent clinic! This is great news and an exciting new venture for NOVA.
Our next medical mission is scheduled for April 2014. This is two missions in about 6 months. It has been a while since NOVA has sent multiple missions in less than 12 months, and this is keeping our volunteers busy. The team is almost together, but we still need Haitian Creole translators to work with our doctors. If anyone would like to volunteer and is fluent in Creole please contact Joseph Nuzzi at email@example.com.
On February 4, 2013 NOVA Hope for Haïti commenced operating the Centre Materno et Infantil de Boileau in conjunction with the Haitian Pilgrims of Lewisville, TX. As the name implies, although open to the population at large CMIB is creating programs that will address women of child bearing age, pregnant women and new born infants through the age of five years.
The center provides counseling, routine pre and postpartum examinations, referrals for complicated pregnancies, practical courses in health and hygiene, routine childhood examinations and vaccinations and transient nutritional intervention where acute malnutrition is documented.
The clinic is presently open four complete days a week and this will expand as patient census increases. NOVA has hired two registered nurses, two laboratory technologists, a practical nurse who oversees the pharmacy and a full-time physician who also serves as clinic administrator.
The facility has running water and a full-time dedicated generator during operational hours. There are two examination rooms, a large three-bed observation room where procedures can also be performed, a file room/office, dedicated laboratory and a new large pharmacy. After NOVA’s new clinic has been completed on the property in Martineau, CMIB will continue as a full-time satellite operation for patients far to the south and east of Cavaillon.
Monthly spreadsheet reports of clinic activity , supplies and expenses are delivered via Internet. Members of a small NOVA’s team will travel to Haïti four times a year to spend a week at CMIB reviewing charts, refurbishing supplies, listening to and acting upon staff suggestions and making additional recommendations. The initial two months of operation have been a great success and having a permanent medical staff on the ground will greatly facilitate the large annual traveling team to meet up with appropriate patients who have the greatest medical needs.
Click here to help support NOVA’s full time Mother-Child clinic in Boileau, Haiti.
On January 26th to February 3rd NOVA will conduct our 15th Medical Mission in Haiti
2013 will see the largest team NOVA has sent to Haiti to date, with 33 doctors, nurses, translators, and other volunteers going to Cavaillon, Haiti to open a week long emergency care clinic.
Things are looking good: our medicine is already in Haiti, the team is complete, we have our tickets, and NOVA’s bus, donated last year by the Knights of Malta is ready and waiting to carry us across the country to the people we serve.
This year’s mission has more work than usual and the large team is going to make it all possible. Part of the team will be dedicated to getting Boileau Clinic up and running. For the first time, NOVA will be able to provide medical care year round in the area. This is a quantum leap in the care we provide. Our sickest pediatric patients will be referred from Cavaillon to Boileau (only a 10 minute drive away) if they need follow up care after we leave.
In addition, Fr. Lampy, the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Cavaillon, has asked us to hold a one-day satellite clinic in a remote fishing village about a 45 minute drive from town, for which he is responsible. Our team who were in Haiti in November to organize the Boileau Clinic visited the site and thought that it would be well worth the effort to help these people who are a long distance from the town center.
All of this will be in addition to seeing our normal throng of over 1200 patients during the week. It will be a lot of work but this team is top notch and ready for the challenges.
In addition to getting the clinic organized, ordering medicines, purchasing plane tickets, making travel arrangements for a team of 24 people in Haiti and everything else that goes into organizing a major medical mission, the team is also responsible for raising the funds needed for this mission. This does not include airfare which the volunteers pay for themselves.
Once again, $13,000.00 of the $22,000.00 is being generously donated by the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, NJ, and we raised about $5,000.00 at the annual garage sale hosted by our friends at DOMUS.
We need your help to make this mission possible. All money donated toward the upcoming medical mission will go directly to purchase medicine, supplies, and ground expenses for the team. Please help us provide medical care to men, women and children who have none in a country that has suffered much.
A $500.00 donation will pay for all the expenses of a medical mission volunteer to provide medical care, including medicines, for the week we are in Haiti. Can you help? Any amount will be great appreciated!