(Oct. 31, 2016) Catherine Read talks with fellow Rotarian Sarah John, MD, about her ongoing work in Haiti. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January of 2010, Dr. John began working with a mission to provide medical aid to the people in the western and more remote areas of Haiti around the village of Chantal.
After joining the Rotary Club of Centreville-Chantilly in 2010, Dr. John began coordinating multiple Rotary Clubs throughout District 7610 to fund annual projects in the village of Chantal. These projects included medical and dental equipment, solar arrays to bring electricity to the village, construction of bathrooms for the largest school in Chantal, an infirmary with capacity to keep seriously ill children overnight, and most recently construction of a kitchen at the school in Chantal.
Much of that five year effort was wiped out when Hurricane Matthew swept across southwestern Haiti on October 4th, 2016. The damaging winds took down houses, the solar arrays and the school kitchen under construction. The flooding damaged medical equipment. There was loss of life and serous injuries as well property damage and many people were left without anything except the clothes on their backs.
The photos Dr. John shows are from one week previous when she journeyed to Haiti to provide immediate medical relief and to survey the damage in Chantal. With the help of local Rotarians, the organizations We Care to Share and Brothers Brother Foundation, Dr. John is working on her next mission to Haiti in January to help with the rebuilding efforts.
She has set up a Go Fund Me page to help in raising the needed funds to do repairs in the village and to move forward with the project slated for this Rotary year. The photos in this interview give a good on-the-ground view of what was being done in the direct aftermath of the hurricane to bring relief to the people of Chantal.