We are so please to announce that the ElderCare program will be partnering with a Notre Dame program called Bon Sel Dayiti, which means Good Salt in Haiti. In America, our salt comes iodized which prevents mental retardation and growth deficiencies. In Haiti now, only 11% of households use iodized salt. This program has also researched and developed a way to add diethylcarbamazine to the salt which will prevent Lymphatic filariasis, or elephantitis, a common disease in Haiti in which the legs or other extremities become swollen and incapacitating.
While we are there in January, we will be purchasing the salt for some of the elders to resell at the Titanyen market. They will keep any profits they make as a way to provide income for themselves and gain dignity and worth in their community.
For more information on the salt or the program please visit:
Monday, December 3, 2012
I am so excited to be making my third trip to Haiti with two very good friends! Cindy Romanik (pictured on the left) has been a bible study and prayer companion for about 8 years. Shannon Faust (pictured on the right) and I have daughters in the same grade and same girl scout troop in Mahtomedi.
Neither one of them have been on a mission trip before, but both already have amazing hearts that are so willing to serve in whatever way is needed. Cindy is a nurse and will be putting her skills to use at a medical clinic we will be holding for all of the Elderly in the Healing Haiti program. Shannon knows French so she will make communicating for all of us much easier! I am so amazed at how God puts people together for each mission trip in a way that utilizes each of their gifts!
This ElderCare Advocate trip is already being filled with activities that I hope will only improve the lives of the elderly. Here is what we hope to do while we are there:
- Viewing elderly homes in disrepair with Jean to come up with a plan for improved living conditions.
- Doing a trial market day where the elders sell items that we have purchased at wholesale costs, so that they can keep the profits as income.
- Purchasing salt that has been iodized and enhanced with a medicine by Notre Dame researchers that will help prevent elephanititus (a common ailment of Haitians). This will also be sold by one of our elders as a way to make income.
- Teaching some of our elders how to make things like bread, necklaces and baskets as a way to create income.
- Medical clinic with Dr. Sem for all of the elderly.
- Christmas luncheon and activity day for all of the elderly.
- Organizing and inventoring all of the ElderCare supplies to develop a better way to monitor what supplies are needed.
- We are trying to visit Global Outreach, another organization in Titanyen that also runs and elderly program, to see how we can partner with them to best serve the elderly.
- We will be delivering a laptop for Carrolle to use while at Grace Village as a way to stay in better communication with the ElderCare team.
- We will be evaluating the current elderly visitation schedule to see if there is any way to add more elders to the program (we have over 10 on our waiting list!).
- Visiting with the Grace Academy director to discuss how to start an adult literacy program for the elderly.
- And if we have time, we hope to do some video interviews with some of the elders that will eventually be made into a memoir book.
Whew! Only God knows the plans for our week, so these items may or may not get done! God will lead our week, so whatever does get done will be in His will and will keep us moving forward with His plans for the elderly. Please pray for our preparations, both physical and spiritual, as well as our safety and our impact while we are in Haiti. 5 weeks to go!