Meet Our Partners
Children’s Place International (CPI)
CPI is the international arm of The Children’s Place Association, a not-for-profit organization located in Chicago, Illinois that provides care and services to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. The mission of CPI is to improve the present and secure the future for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in resource poor settings outside the USA. The goal is to help vulnerable children break the cycle of illness and poverty so they can grow to be healthy productive adults.
Konbit’s partnership with CPI assists in developing systems of support to help families meet the physical, cognitive and emotional development needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS. At the core of the Konbit/CPI programs are the Child and Family Support Workers (CFSW). They serve as the primary support and contact for the children and their care givers in the program. Care plans are developed for each family with the following three goals for each child. The goals are:
Healthcare/Nutrition: Each child receives regular medical care to address HIV/AIDS status and each child’s nutritional needs are met.
Education: Each school age child is enrolled in school and attending school regularly.
Emotional Health: Care givers address the child’s emotional needs of nurturance, love, guidance, predictability and safety by visiting the family regularly.
Currently there are 23 families enrolled in the program including 84 children.
Centre de Sante de Limonade – the State Clinic
The State Clinic is the community health center established in association with the Haitian National Health Services. The clinic works under the auspices of the Haitian government but there is very little funding from the government. The staff includes one physician, three nurses, a counselor and four community health care workers. They see approximately 500 patients per month.
Konbit provides funding for the four community health care workers. The community health care workers role is to improve community health through education, prevention efforts, referrals to other healthcare providers as well as immunizing children and adults by going out to the people in the community. In addition to visiting homes, the community health care workers conduct community meetings where they speak about family planning, the prevention of cholera, sexually transmitted disease and the spread of TB as well as providing general health education.
Meet Our Ajan Sante
Left to right: Raoul, Myrielle, Jean, and Darlyng
Konbit funds the stipends for four community health workers. These “ajan sante” are trained health workers and are connected to the local state clinic. The government clinic in Limonade has meager resources, so with our support, its outreach can be greatly amplified through the work of these ajan sante. They make house calls throughout the countryside checking on villagers. 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. They choose the areas most in need of the twice yearly “pop-up” rural medical clinics.
Myrielle is a local grassroots organizer who teaches in a primary school during the mornings. Jean, father of two young children, works overtime as an ajan sante, and rides his motor bike out into the countryside daily to visit the people. Darlyng works with local women’s and youth groups. Raoul is an experienced community health care worker. The ajan sante are supervised by the director, Dr. Myrthil and the nurse practitioner, Nurse Thelus.
Meet Those Who Work in The Family Project Program
The Family Project Program is led by our partner, Children’s Place International and is funded, in part, by Konbit. In this program the needs of 24 HIV affected families including 81 children in Limonad are addressed. This program aims to provide Haitian children affected by HIV/AIDS and their families with bi-weekly visits and basic needs including food and clean water, medical care assistance, school tuition and supplies and supportive services. Program activities include: assessment of school attendance and success; access to health services and medical advocacy; medication adherence support; food, formula and water security support; safe housing support – rent and refurbishment; access to savings and loan groups; cholera, zika and chikungunya prevention activities.
Left to right: Roland St. Cyr, Lucima
Lucima is the Sr. Case Manager for the program. Caseworkers supported by CPI/Konbit provide bi-weekly home visits to our families, help parents or caregivers and the children access critical health services, medications, food and transportation. In this work, Lucima also helps families improve their housing situations, as well as linkages to income generating activities. Most people in the community know his name and everyone calls on him. Lucima often works 7 days a week, from 7 am until dusk, to meet his client’s needs.
Carole Bien-Aimee is an Outreach Worker. A former seamstress and mother of two boys, Carole became an Outreach Worker on the CPI/Konbit Team in 2009 and provides vital services, wisdom and hope for 24 families and 81 children affected by HIV in the Limonade community.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Shannon first traveled to Haiti in 2016 with a Columbus youth ministry group. The group installed insulation (to cool temperatures) at a child nutrition center in Jede. Since then, she has volunteered extensively for organizations who work collaboratively with Haitians in the Limonade area. Alfa Adult Literacy, Hands up for Haiti (child nutrition), and Water with Blessings (clean water initiatives), are a few examples. She recently relocated to NW Arkansas, but continues her efforts to bring awareness and financial support to vital programs that make a positive impact in Haiti. She has served on the Konbit board since 2017.
Carol Lyvers, Chair
Carol Lyvers have been involved in Haiti since her first trip there in September of 2010. Since then she has been to Haiti every year, sometimes more than once, with different focuses. Ranging from youth group trips, clean water initiatives, adult literacy, sponsoring young people’s education to Konbit’s work to improve health in the local population. One thing she has learned is that in order for any project or mission to work, we must listen to and work side by side with Haitians. She chose to become part of Konbit because of our partnership with the Limonade State Clinic and the ajan sante who work every day to improve public health.
Christine Vujovich retired after 31 years in 2009 from Cummins Inc. as vice president, marketing and environmental policy. Her interest in Haiti emanates from an early association with the scholarship program at St. Bartholomew Church in Columbus, IN. Konbit has allowed Tina to become aware of other needs in Haiti and so membership with Konbit seemed an opportunity to gain knowledge and use her resources to help.
Kathleen Sheehy, Secretary
Kathleen Sheehy is originally from the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Columbus since 1977. She is a former Speech-Language Pathologist, primarily working in hospital and longterm care facilities. Her husband is a retired physician, general internal medicine. They have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren. She became interested in Konbit after participating in medical missions in Honduras. She found the “once-a-year for a week” model lacking. Konbit’s model of sustainability year-round with local health workers seems a healthier choice. Her only “claim to fame” was participating in a youth circus for several years in Washington state.
Katy Ritter, Treasurer
Katy Ritter lives in Columbus, Indiana and has been on the Konbit board since 2019.
Beth Parkhurst is a native of Columbus, Indiana and currently is the CFO for Cornerstone Development. She is a 1989 graduate of Franklin College, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She is married to Barry. Together they enjoy spending time with their four adult children and one granddaughter. She also enjoys traveling and playing viola in local orchestras and string ensembles. Beth has recently become re-engaged with the Konbit Board and looks forward to working side by side with those we support in Haiti.
Katia Hatter is a marketing professional with over 20 years of expertise to connect clients with their audience. She specializes in media relations, content creation, digital marketing and social media outreach. She is currently the Managing Partner at TD Advertising in Columbus, Indiana. Prior to joining TD Advertising, Katia worked for 12 years as Marketing Director for the Columbus (Indiana) Parks and Recreation Department. Other previous experience includes Government and Public Relations for Cummins Inc. (Columbus, IN), and municipal government advocacy, public relations, technical writing and event planning for government affairs and not-for-profit organizations in Washington, DC.
Katia is a 1996 graduate of Hanover College, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is married to John and is mom to three kids, Willow, Paige and Sam. Katia is also a certified health coach. In her free time, she serves as an advisor to Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Chi Omega sorority at Hanover College, enjoys volunteer work, cycling, reading and spending time with her family.
Anna Marie Horak
Anna Marie Horak traveled to Limonade, Haiti in the summer of 2016 and the people and the land have left a permanent mark on her heart and mind ever since. It was her experience in Haiti that first sparked her interest in non-profit work, and since then she has spent years accruing non-profit and humanitarian centered experience in Indiana, Washington, Ecuador, and Washington, DC.
Anna Marie is a 2020 graduate of DePauw University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Spanish. She is currently a student at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, where she lives with her fiancee & their two cats, Merry and Pippin.
Anna Marie plans to practice public interest law, so that she can better work towards making tangible and sustainable changes in regards to the equity of marginalized communities not only living in the United States, but around the world.