Once each year Konbit Board visits The Children’s Place Association (CPA), the umbrella nonprofit to Children’s Place International (CPI) in Chicago. On June 6, Sarah Grey, Joe Shaffran, James Vogel and Tina Vujovich, members of the Konbit board, toured two client facilities of CPA and received an update on Children’s Place International (CPI) programs in Haiti. Konbit partners with CPI to help provide some of the health care services on the ground in Haiti.
CPI believes where a child is born should not determine whether a child lives and thrives. Frequently groups organize “missions” to bring in westerners to perform health care services, and then they leave. This often brings temporary relief, but doesn’t solve the long term problem. CPI on the other hand, believes in partnering with in-country organizations who best understand their communities, their needs and challenges, and can then build and sustain long-term programs. This is how and why CPI partnered with Konbit.
The Family Project Program is led by our partner, CPI, and is funded, in part, by Konbit. This program attends to the needs of 23 HIV affected families including 119 family members in Limonade. It provides profoundly poor Haitian children and families affected by HIV/AIDS with bi-weekly visits and basic needs including food and clean water, medical care assistance, school tuition and supplies and supportive services. Home visits are a cornerstone to this service, but as resources are available, Konbit has been able to work with CPI and Columbus Sunrise Rotary to build seven latrines. In collaboration with other partners, CPI was able to provide new homes to these same seven families. All of the construction and all of the materials were locally resourced with labor often contributed by the receiving families. CPI keeps program metrics based on the progress made by the children in the families. The following data were taken from the most recent Quarterly Report from CPI.
- Children participating in the program: 81
- Number of families enrolled in program: 24
- Number of school age children enrolled in school: 58
- % of families receiving bi-weekly home visitation: 100%
- % of children receiving food assistance: 100%
- % of children passing to next grade: 82%
In addition to reviewing CPI programs, the Konbit board members toured two client facilities maintained by the Children’s Place Association in Chicago. The first facility was an early childhood facility where over 70 children, aged 0 – 5 years, attend a full-day program with specific attention paid to their individual needs. The children who attend the CPA program are from poor Chicago families often living on less than $5,000 a year. The children typically have physical or developmental disabilities which prevent them from qualifying for attendance in other pre-school programs. Using award-winning curricula, the CPA program enjoys the distinction that every student leaving the program is academically and socially ready for kindergarten in the public school system. The second facility the board members toured was a residential facility for 8 – 10 children who are born with substantial physical disabilities, and whose families – living in poverty – are unable to provide the round-the-clock care the children need. The visit to these facilities brought into clear light how dedicated CPA is to their belief “that all children – regardless of health or economic status – should have the opportunity to lead their best lives.”
We hope you share our confidence that Children’s Place International and Konbit Lasante pou Limonad make a partnership which will have a lasting life-changing effect on the lives of the very vulnerable families in Limonade.
In addition to our partnership with CPI, Konbit also funds the salaries for four community health workers. These “ajan santé” are trained health workers and are connected to the local state clinic. They make house calls throughout the countryside checking on patients. They identify new cases for referral to medical professionals. They organize community health meetings and disseminate important information for the control of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and STDs.
The needs are many and additional resources are always in demand. Food, shelter, water, healthcare, education, tutoring, literacy and English language classes, are all ways we can help change the course of a child’s life. If you are compassionate, we are confident you can find a way financially contribute to improve a child’s life. When speaking with the program directors and staff during our recent visit to CPI, it was very easy (and somewhat overwhelming) to see their passion to improve a child’s life. Please support our efforts to help ensure the children of Limonade live and thrive…