I need your help.
I spent the summer of 2010 in Haiti, helping out after the earthquake. I remember what I was doing this day two years ago – my team and I were frantically putting into place the last details before we opened our mobile clinic in Chabin two days later. We had assembled a staff of a Haitian doctor, assistant nurse, and pharmacist that worked alongside a visiting medical team.
Our Haitian assistant nurse was my dear friend, Ruth. This is her story.
Ruth and I both worked for Haiti Village Health and spent most of every day together. Ruth had been studying nursing, but her school was destroyed in the earthquake. But her story began before that horrible day. This is what she wrote me [my translation from her French]:
“My name is Ruth Pierre Louis and I was born in 1988. In 2008, I was able to finish my secondary studies, with the 2nd highest grades of my class. My adoptive father was my financial aid and he was assassined by gunshots in the streets of Port-au-Prince. Following this extreme sadness and hardship, I started volunteering and working to ensure my survival. After the earthquake, I had to live with my older sister. She worked with an organization that provided houses. One recent night, heavily armed bandits came to the house at 3:00 in the morning, asking for money and threatening to kill my brother-in-law. My sisters and I hid under a bed in a room behind the house, calling different people to come help us. 45 minutes later, a police car arrived, all the bandits fled after shooting the doors of the house and my brother-in-law’s car. We all escaped alive. Three weeks later, the same robbers showed up at my brother’s house and, as he was fleeing their gunshots, he fell into a hole 20 feet deep that I believe God created to save his life. We were advised to no longer stay in our hometown. My mother went to live in a city a to the west of Jacmel and I now live with my aunt in port-au-Prince. My whole family is separated.”
Friends, in the two years that I have known Ruth, I have known her to be a caring, generous, and determined young woman. She has applied several times in recent years to nursing schools (in the U.S., as many of the schools in Haiti were destroyed in the earthquake) and while she was always accepted, she was always denied a visa to enter the U.S. In that time, she has seen many of her close friends get opportunities to pursue higher studies (two of whom I know well and have – Fredo is now in China on full scholarship and Gaby is studying nursing in Moncton).
The good news is that Ruth recently got accepted to nursing school in Trinidad. Not only was she granted a student visa, but she also won a partial scholarship to cover 50% of her tuition. And best of all, one of her sister’s lives in Trinidad!
I firmly believe that higher education is one of the keys to Haiti’s future success. I desperately want to help send Ruth to school so that she can come back to Haiti and work in the north as a qualified nurse. I am sending her as much as I can and I am asking any of you that feel so inclined to help me in this endeavour. I am trying to raise $2000 – any amount would be a great help.
If you are interested in helping and would like a tax receipt, please go to the Bridges of Hope website http://www.thebridgesofhope.com/index.php?p=Donate and donate there. *Important: On the last page of the donation process, please click on the “Add special instructions to the seller” and specify that this donation is for “Haiti Village Health – Ruth.” Otherwise, please feel free to make any donations to me personally and I will send the money right away to Ruth. Whichever way you decide to donate, please do send me a note with your mailing address and the amount donated.
Thank you so much everyone!
Namita and Ruth