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