Our Work

Haiti Program Update

This web page provides information to supplement an update emailed to the AWB community in May of 2016.

Click HERE to read the email.

Click HERE to read background information about AWB’s program in Haiti.

Humanitarian aid is essential after a disaster. However, most aid focuses on physical needs while shock and mental/spiritual/emotional injuries are left untreated. When people are struggling with post-traumatic stress, it is difficult for them to fully benefit from the aid that is given to them, and begin to rebuild their lives. This is because they cannot sleep well or think clearly, and very often the shock in their nervous systems precipitates other debilitating physical conditions. Although Haiti’s devastating earthquake took place in 2010, the need for this type of trauma recovery support is ongoing.

Haiti continues to be a place of great poverty and impaired infrastructure after centuries of superpower intervention and political corruption.

Children at refugee camp

Jean Marie Exavier and Elouse Thumas provide free weekly trauma treatments with ear acupuncture for their community in Leogane, Haiti

Have suggestions for sustaining this program?

E-MAIL AWB Haiti Program Director, Melanie Rubin, melanie@acuwithoutborders.org

Click HERE to contribute!

Here are the next steps needed to create sustainability for AWB’s trauma treatment program in Haiti:

1. Stipends and Salary for Six Haitian Practitioners

Raise funds to keep paying stipends, expenses and part-time salary for the AWB team in Haiti through 2016: $5,000

  • $40/month pays the stipend for one Haitian volunteer who coordinates a weekly clinic treating approximately 150 – 250 people per month. This is only 16 – 26 cents/treatment. Can you sponsor one Haitian Practitioner, for one month?
  • Louissaint Alcide’s stipend is $200/month plus $95/month in expenses. Can you sponsor Louissaint for one month? The above amount also includes funding of $300 to create a simple website that will help Louissaint market his guide and translation services outside Haiti.)

To read statements from AWB’s Haitian volunteers about why this work and these stipends are needed, scroll below.

Children at refugee camp

AWB Founder/Executive Director Diana Fried (2nd from left) meets with the Haitian Minister of Health in Haiti, 2013 (2nd from right), with AWB Trainer Nathalie Guillaume, the minister’s niece (right), and AWB Trainer Randi Savage (left)

2. Strategic Planning Trip to Haiti

Raise funds to send AWB Haiti program coordinator Melanie Rubin, and Haitian acupuncturist Nathalie Guillaume to Haiti for one week of meetings with the Ministry of Health, the medical association, the nursing association, local NGOs with whom we may be able to partner, other interested parties, and local volunteers. $5,000

(AWB staff has not been on the ground in Haiti for more than three years. To create sustainability for this program, we need to find a local partner, seek Ministry of Health recognition/certification for NADA treatment in Haiti, and identify local resources for funding and advocacy.)

3. Assistance from a Haiti Partner Organization

In order to build sustainability for ear acupuncture in Haiti, we are seeking a local partner organization that can act on AWB’s behalf in advocating for ear acupuncture certification, creating opportunities for AWB-trained practitioners to get paid for their work, providing local support for Louissaint Alcide and fostering usage of this treatment approach within hospitals and community clinics throughout Haiti. AWB is seeking funds to compensate a local Haitian partner for this assistance at $3,000/year.

4. Program Coordination from Within the U.S.

AWB must pay for the time and overhead it takes to keep the Haiti program operating. We would like to be able to hire Haitian acupuncturist Nathalie Guillaume on a contract basis to assist with this process. At a minimum, a year of overhead support for this program including AWB time and Nathalie’s time is $3,000.

5. Further Training in Haiti
The mental health coordinator from Haitian health care organization Zanmi Lasante (the Partners in Health affiliate in Haiti), has requested training for more of his staff, and for the organization’s infectious disease doctors. If these professionals can be trained, trauma treatment using ear acupuncture will expand exponentially in Haiti. As well, Haiti clinic coordinator Louissaint Alcide has received requests from dozens of health care workers in Port-au-Prince who want training.

The cost for these trainings, including paying Zanmi Lasante staff time and facilities, and AWB travel and expenses, would be $30,000.

(Note: Steps 1 – 4 need to be funded first. Since Step 5 is a big chunk, AWB won’t take this step unless we can secure major funding.)

A city of tents within the larger city

AWB Trainer Julia Raneri mentors students at a 2011 training in Haiti while Father Eddy, Zanmi Lasante’s Mental Health Coordinator, looks on Photo: Carole Devillers

What AWB’s Haitian Volunteers Say About Why Your Help is Needed

Several of the practitioners in Haiti who run free, ongoing, weekly clinics in their communities recently shared why these treatments must continue to be offered, and why they need the stipend AWB has been providing in order to do this work. AWB would like to be able to increase the stipend at some point, since currently each practitioner only receives $40/month, which clearly is not enough. (The following statements are translated from French.)

Acupuncture has become an essential tool to heal our wounds. Since 2013 Haiti has welcomed acupuncture throughout the city and also in the country. It is an obligation to continue to relieve the population with acupuncture because it’s free and easy. The stipend is important to us.  

Sanon Chelirose

Acupuncture relieves thousands of people in Haiti and is a big benefit in this country. In my clinic it is always a joy. It is good to continue to support the Haiti program. Without the stipend, we cannot continue to work. Please put more money in the Haiti program. Thank you to AWB and thank you  also to our donors.

Miguerline Lima

Acupuncture has always been a good thing for Haiti, specifically for the area of Cite Soleil. Families benefit from the program and it is good for the population. I ask all donors to continue to support Haiti. The stipend is very important for us. 

Estherline Abraham

We welcome your ideas, resources and connections to help make this program sustainable.

For example:
Do you know anyone who would like to fund matching contributions for this effort?
Do you have a good way to get supplies to Haiti?

To contact AWB Haiti Program Director, Melanie Rubin, melanie@acuwithoutborders.org,  click on the button below:

Please support trauma recovery in Haiti, including stipends for local practitioners.

If you wish, specify how you’d like your contribution to be used.
A city of tents within the larger city

Elouse Thumas treating community members in Leogane, Haiti

Acupuncturists Without Borders is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.
Your donations are tax deductible and you will receive a tax receipt.