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Haiti - A Photo Documentary by Larry Davis

The Haiti Project - Mission

The Haiti Project was begun in 1991 by the Reverend Raymond Deshomme of the Calvary Christian Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When Reverend Deshomme arrived in Mahotte, a town approximately 40 miles north of the capital of Port au Prince, he found a poor fishing village with about 4,000 people, no electricity, no running water, no medical care, and very little food. Sixty percent of the children of the village cannot afford to go to school, and many are dying of disease and malnutrition. In addition to starting a Christian mission, he set up a program to provide nutrition, education, public health, and medical care using volunteers who come from the United States twice a year to help.

Among the volunteers who has helped in Haiti is Dr. Thomas Ertle, a 1977 graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Ertle works with Hearts For Haiti, an interdenominational Christian organization headquartered in Alliance, Ohio whose mission is to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the people in Haiti. In addition to Mahotte, the Hearts For Haiti provides services in Bon Repos, a poor suburb of Port au Prince, and in Doco II, a mountain village overlooking Mahotte.

Dr. Ertle and his colleagues organize and lead short-term (usually about seven days) medical work teams providing these areas with the only medical and dental care they receive on a regular basis. Care is provided free of charge, and each team member is responsible for his or her own expenses, usually running around $900. The youngest team member has been four years old, and the oldest 77 years old. Nurses, dentists, and physicians of all specialties are always needed, but all that is required of a volunteer is a willing heart and attitude. Teenagers and young people are especially welcome, and a number of students from the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine have joined Dr. Ertle on his trips to Haiti

Teams are usually sent four times a year for one-week periods, suiting the schedules of busy professionals. They provide unsophisticated but often life-saving medical care in a very challenging setting without the benefit of a laboratory, x-ray studies, etc.



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