NOVA Hope for Haiti sent a delegation to Haiti from February 2- 5, 2014. The delegation consisted of the President of NOVA Hope for Haiti, Joseph Nuzzi, our Medical Director, Dr. Charles Kordula, and members of the board Libby Barrett and Solanges Toussaint, who lives in Port au Prince. The team also included Mr. Nicola Servedio of Upper Saddle River who is a builder and proprietor of M.N.G. Home Improvements. Mr. Servedio volunteered to accompany the team to lend his professional expertise in inspecting the construction of our new clinic at the 30% completion mark.
Mr. Servedio reported that the construction is on schedule and that the work to date is being done extremely well. From the photos of the building (see here) the construction may not look like much yet, there is in fact great progress. NOVA’s farm house in Martineau, our future clinic, had no running water and the electricity was run on the outside of the walls as it had been added well after the house was built. At the time of our team’s inspection, the foundation had been expanded to include the covered 10′ gallery which will surround the building. (This is invaluable space where the climate is always warm. It will be used for waiting patients, and will be large enough to provide space for educational seminars on health and hygiene.) The roof and wooden second floor, as well as all wood in the existing structure had been removed. The second story now has a poured concrete floor. All of the electrical conduits have been run and the plumbing is in. In addition all of the rooms dividing the first floor had been erected and the crew was working on the second floor partitions. The construction is moving along very well and quickly.
While the team was in Haiti, we also interacted closely with our staff in Boileau at the Centre Materno Infantile. We met to discuss how the clinic is running, to tighten up some accounting procedures and to deal with a few issues that the staff is facing. We are very proud of our full-time medical team of eight in Haiti. They are hard workers, self starters and problem solvers. They take initiative and they are doing a great job of providing medical care to the people of the area. While we were there we also took an inventory of all of our pharmaceutical and medical supplies. This will help Dr. Charles Kordula who is responsible for ordering these supplies for the clinic. The staff also appreciated our input and help.
NOVA is committed to sending small medical delegations up to 4 times per year to meet with our staff and ensure that the clinic is running smoothly. We are also committed to sending members of the Board of Directors to inspect the construction site from time to time to insure it is progressing on schedule and abiding by the terms of our contract.
We do this for two reasons: (1) we want NOVA to run well and we believe that oversight and face-to-face meetings are invaluable to the proper functioning of our organization, and (2) we realize we have a commitment to our donors. We are committed to assure that the financial support of the friends of NOVA is being protected and used optimally to provide healthcare to the people we serve.
Here is our pharmacy after our team took inventory and restocked supplies:
On a lighter note, because of the snow storm in New York City on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, the day our delegation was supposed to return home, our flight was cancelled and we were re-booked to return on Thursday February 6th. Our team left the frigid weather in the northeast and flew down to Haiti, but because of the amount of work we needed to accomplish in 2 days, there was no time to visit its pristine beaches. Well, the snow storm changed that and we were able to enjoy a half of a day at Rainbow Beach before heading back to Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. Do not think that Haiti is only poverty and need. It is also a beautiful country, with an amazing history, a unique culture and wonderful people. Here are a few photos of the beach where NOVA’s volunteers relax when we have some down time from the work we do.