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TESTIMONIALS

Myrvine Bernadotte

 

Myrvine Bernadotte MD

After my first trip to Haiti as an adolescent I vowed to never go back. As a child born in the US, I was appalled by the abject poverty and absence of everyday necessities such as electricity, adequate plumbing and clean water. Furthermore, the mosquitos nearly ran me out of the country. Thankfully, with age and maturity, my determination waned and I returned to Haiti first during my medical training to volunteer for a couple of weeks. My perspective has changed tremendously since that time. Each time I returned to Haiti, I wholeheartedly believe that I receive more than I give. I always come away profoundly changed and a more balanced human being. I fall more deeply in love with the patients and people I meet, the culture, the beauty of the land. I am also deeply touched by the volunteers who interrupt their lives, leaving their families behind to come on an Inspire Haiti mission.

Haiti is a difficult place to visit, work in and especially live in. Each time, I quickly learn to make do with the bare necessities of life without incessant complaining. However it's also in the small inconveniences and simplicity of life that I find beauty. I am continuously grounded by the experience. When I hear a patient say they've walked hours up and down the mountains to arrive at our clinic at 7am or see the pain in the eyes of a mother who cannot guarantee her child a meal or feel the joy of a child receiving a goody bag filled with toys and treats, I am again able to prioritize what it is truly important and rededicate myself to that. Words cannot describe what you see in Haiti...

I am so thankful to be a part of Inspire Haiti. I am so thankful to the people of Haiti for continuously teaching me that with God's many blessings comes humility and the formidable responsibility to reach back and inspire someone else to do the same. 

 

Nadgela Duperval

Last time I was in Haiti was for my great grandmother funeral in 1990. I was excited when asked to volunteer my time as a translator. At first I was hesitant for many reasons one of which being my daughter'sbirthday was on the day I would be out there. Once I told her she why I wasn't going to celebrate her birthday with her she understood. As excited as I was for the challenge that lay ahead of me I was also extremely apprehensive. I couldn't help but think what do I have to   offer? I have no relevant skills, I am not particular strong, I have no medical skills and I'm a cry baby. All I had was the determination and drive to help. But was this enough?

I felt lucky and privileged to join Inspire Haiti team for their medical mission trip to Haiti. It was definitely a life changing experience: witnessing the extreme poverty of my country: extraordinary faith in GOD, and the love of the children. My Haitian people are full of joy. Even with all their problems they continue to glorify and praise the Lord. Our team was wonderful and every day we hustled to see all the patients, worked together in assisting children, woman, and men.

The daily work was physically and emotionally distressing. The people I met have not had a bright moment. Their future seems bleak and the amount of aid I was giving never seemed enough to me. But, that despair only leads me to pray even more.  Because, no matter how impossible something may look, there is no reason to stop hoping, praying, and asking, What more can I do to help? My Haitian people are full of joy. Even with all their problems they
continue to glorify and praise the Lord. Many thanks to Myrvine, Sam, and everyone who took part in organizing this wonderful trip. Many thanks to the great team of volunteers.

 

Portia Chinnery

When I began thinking seriously about going on a medical mission I had no idea what I'd be in for. I had never been to the island of Haiti before. I'd never even been to The Dominican Republic.  I had however; watched the earthquake aftermath intently much the same way that most of us did: through the eyes of the media. My only frame of reference to draw from was what I saw on CNN or what I saw on a movie screen. What would Haiti REALLY be like though…the real deal Haiti, minus the media hype and the Hollywood sensationalism? I recall leaving the airport and seeing with my own eyes the devastation that still exists in Port-Au-Prince. It was beyond what was seen on television. Large tent cities and dilapidated buildings still exist 2 years later: People living without plumbing and running water. Unclean water and garbage everywhere. Where was all of the help that we all saw pouring into the country in the aftermath? felt like we were a very small part of what this country needed. I felt helpless. How could we really help?  That was the first day. Each day after our arrival we set up clinic daily and helped people in a myriad of ways. There were triumphant outcomes daily. The medical care that we gave however; would be considered a drop in the ocean on the grand scale of what is needed in Haiti but I know that with each return the help that we give leads to a bigger movement. Each time we go back we can effect more and more change, and mold our help into educational opportunities from which the Haitian people can begin to help themselves... until the help that the members of Inspire Haiti gives is no longer considered a drop in the ocean but one that is far reaching across all of Haiti. The enormous amount of help that is needed is why I MUST return... and I will. I am so blessed to be a part of such a movement and I'm excited at the possibilities…they are endless.

 

Nadege Sanon

This was my first trip to Haiti in 33 years, I left when I was four years old, having left at such a young age and never returning not even for a holiday over the years I learned about the country and culture through foreign/domestic media and recounts from friends and family. What I learned during the week of Jan 14-22, 2012 is that another persons perception however sage will never be your reality. I had the opportunity to formulate my own opinions, from what a real "TapTap" looks like, to experiencing firsthand the staggering class divide, grand homes built with cement nestled between simple homes made of twigs and straw. During one of many humbling moments I was asked by a patient to write down the instructions for the medications which the doctor had prescribed, he turned smiled to me and said, "I'm not very smart but I have a child who is..."in that sentence both the disappointment of his limitations and the pride and glimmer of hope for the child who had already gone further came to surface , the Inspire Haiti mission made sense to me in that very instance with that one sentence it all made sense.

I look forward to volunteering with Inspire Haiti in the near future.

Sincerely,
Nadege Sanon
Reaching Higher but staying Grounded - Namaste

 

Olivier Volcimus

I was born in Haiti July 1st, 1977. Due to a serious illness, I lost my father around the age of 6. In 1988, my 2 brothers, my sister and I left Haiti to come to the U.S to be with my mother. It took me a very long time go back to the country of Haiti after I left Haiti. Growing up in the U.S as a kid, I didn't have a choice but to go on with my life as if I was born here. Although I had grown to detach myself from the country of Haiti, the culture is berried in my soul. I had kept a forward stare to the future for so long, I had forgotten what I left behind me. Occasionally, I would wonder what it would be like to go back to my country. With rumors and speculations of all sorts, I was reluctant go to Haiti to visit family members that I have left behind for so long. As if seeing my family again was not a good enough reason, I wanted to wait some more before going back.

I have always thought that Haiti needed help to create a better system that would allow the country to be self sustained before the earthquake. In 2010, the earthquake happened to hit Haiti really bad. A country that was doing badly before the tragic shakedown is doing worst now. Thousands of people died and thousands more are suffering from poverty. Like many others, I thought about how I could help my people without having to step foot in the country. Again, like many others, I donated some money to one of the many charities that was created to help the people of Haiti. Still, I felt like I didn't do anything. I learned about Inspire Haiti from Samuel Denis, who is one of my best friends. He told me about the foundation and what its mission is and I thought it was a great thing to do. He would come back from a mission and he would be so excited to tell me what it is he had seen and done during the mission. I would find myself at an envious position because I wanted to be a part of the mission. I want to give up my time to help my country. Especially, the way I left the country without ever looking back. I felt guilty! Thanks to Myrvine and Samuel, I finally went on a mission with Inspire Haiti this year. I can proudly say that I felt so good to have been back in Haiti, to breathe the air, to see people, the see way people are living in the country, to see the good, to see the bad, to see the ugly and in the end, it is still a beautiful country. Sending money is great, donating clothes is great, donating food is great but to actually touch a person, who is in need of medical attention is even better. I will donate my time, my strength and my heart ten times over to help inspire Haiti in every mission to Haiti. The reward is to good not to do it again.

Sincerely,
Olivier Volcimus

 

Renée C. Powell

When I first learned that I would be going to Haiti, I was eager and excited to be able to provide medical care to my fellow Caribbean. This mission evolved at a time in my life where chaos was my existence.  I was so busy trying to attain the 'all American dream' that I lost touch with reality and the things that should really matter in life.

From the moment we arrived in Haiti, I started to realize just how many things in life I take for granted. Basic necessities such as running water and adequate plumbing were considered luxuries for many of the people we served. These stark realities quickly humbled me and I became even more determined to do what I can to make a difference.

Although many of the places we visited were impoverished, I didn't see despair and disdain in the faces of the people. Instead I saw love and pride and profound determination. Going on the Inspire Haiti medical mission has rejuvenated my spirit over and over and over again.  I truly feel fortunate to have been surrounded by such wonderful people.

From this experience I have been Blessed in more ways than I can count. Now, whenever I feel there are insurmountable obstacles before me and I find myself complaining, I remember the fortitude of the people of Haiti and I am once again humbled.  What used to be my chaotic existence is now a more clear and purpose-filled life and for all of these reasons, I am forever grateful.

Mwen sweté bondy kontiny beni w'anpil, Inspire Haiti.

SPECIAL THANKS

Since January, Inspire Haiti has been fortunate enough to donate thousands of dollars worth of medications, hundreds of walkers, crutches and wheelchairs etc to various clinics in Haiti. Your very generous donation will allow us to continue our work and reach the greatest number of people.

Special thanks to the following people for their tremendous efforts and donations:

Kenyanna Scott, Esq and the Managing Partner, Attorneys and staff of Jenner & Block LLC

Medgine Bernadotte, Esq and St. Paul Traveler's Indemnity

Tiffany Serviss Senior Director - Integration Management Services HRG North America

Marcy Sasso NJ Surgical Centers

Dr. Ralph Gousse and Haiti Help Med, Inc

Dr. Valery Pierre Antoine, St. Marc Haiti

Dr. Joseph Feldman, Chairman,
Emergency Trauma Department Hackensack University Medical Center

Amy Newman of Amy Newman Photography

Jody Matthews Schwartz of Jody Matthews Design, Inc.

Special thanks to the following silent auction donors:

Brian Atwood and Dr. Jake Deutsch

Maggie Dash
Estee Lauder, Origins

Samantha Giordano
Naars Associate Manager Artist Relations/ Global Communications

Jim Hanley
Executive Cheff, Lattitude Bar and Grill NYC

Mary Kleen
General Manager, Pisa Brothers Travel

NY Jets Donations

Mr. and Mrs. Yves Joseph

Martin Jones
Esq. and Author

Jody Matthews Schwartz
Jody Matthews Design, Inc

Jessica Meyers
Marketing Assistant, Shoba

Jennifer Reaback and Gregory Sutton

Allison Strangeby
NY Giants, Director of Community Relations

Bradd Swett

Helaine Szabo
Pono

Mark Veeder -
CEO / Executive Creative Director, VPC Partners

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"Haiti will never die" written and performed by Yves "FanFan" Joseph.