As Konbit Sante closes one year and begins a new fiscal year, I want to take a moment to pause, acknowledge, and celebrate a few of the many accomplishments we’ve shared together this past year.
The team on the ground in Cap-Haitien, steadfastly continues to work through difficult times. Each one carries a smile and so much hope despite the hardship their country has faced this year. Since last fall, we have recruited and on-boarded several new staff members. A couple of them are former Peace Corps fellows with a ‘can-do’ attitude that is much appreciated. We have also hired a new program director in Haiti, who formerly worked with us. This has benefited us greatly as she brings deep and valued historic knowledge. Without this incredible staff in Cap-Haitien and Maine, our work would not continue. We are excited to continue to strengthen the Konbit Sante team and collaborate on our shared work for the upcoming year.
Photo above: Team in Cap-Haitien, Haiti (Left to Right): Dominique, Rupal, Ruddy, Tezita, Rony, Josaime
We are pleased to report that this year there is a 40% increase in the number of volunteers engaged in Konbit Sante projects. As a result of the pandemic, many of them are volunteering remotely from Maine and other parts of the country. Volunteers assist in tasks associated with communications, fundraising, and development. In-person volunteers continue to spend time in our Maine-based warehouse sorting supplies for shipment to Cap-Haitien. Language volunteers are coordinating with us on translation tasks as we develop new policies and procedures. So despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic our konbit continues and we are so thankful.
This summer, our ‘We Walk with Haiti’ fundraiser was a grand success as it raised over $80,000. The funds raised from the walk allow us to do more for the people of Cap-Haitien. Our support came from you, our community, which has stood by Konbit Sante over the years. We also welcomed a new set of donors as a result of the team members that joined Konbit Sante over the past year and feel proud that our community continues to grow!
Throughout 2020-2021, we celebrated several accomplishments that have strengthened our overall operations. We are now officially recognized by Charity Navigator (100 out of 100 score) and GuideStar (gold seal status), which are assessment organizations that evaluate charities in the USA. They provide information about an organization’s ability to adhere to best practices in terms of financial accountability and transparency. We launched ‘Champions for Change’ and ‘Volunteer Spotlights’ sections on our website, both of which feature amazing individuals that are an integral part of Konbit Sante. Several of our staff members have travelled to Cap-Haitien through the pandemic to connect with team members, to learn more and to support the work on the ground. The programs team is starting to conduct assessments at our partner healthcare facilities, in an effort to develop targeted support plans for the upcoming year. There are many more accomplishments that have streamlined our daily work that are too numerous to list!
We acknowledge there’s still much to do in terms of addressing basic needs in Cap-Haitien and sourcing funds and resources, all while caring for and supporting one another. For now, we are grateful for the many contributions of staff, partners, donors, volunteers, board members, honorary advisors, and the global community.
As always, we appreciate your encouragement as we celebrate this past year and move with hope into the new fiscal year. Thank you for your continued support.