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The Friends of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti nurtures and supports projects that improve the lives of the residents of Haiti’s Artibonite Valley. Founded in 1999, the Pittsburgh-based organization now supports: a hospital, integrated community services, rehabilitation programs, agroforestry, and the promotion of Haitian art and culture.
The Friends’ largest project is raising money for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS). The hospital opened in 1956, fulfilling the dreams of its founders, Dr. Larimer and Mrs. Gwen Grant Mellon, to serve others with medical needs. It is a 130-bed referral hospital that serves more than 345,000 people living within 610 square miles. HAS’s 14 physicians and 50 nurses provide surgical services, internal medicine, pediatrics, high-risk maternity care, diagnostic services, and rehabilitation.
After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the hospital added a Cholera Treatment Center and a prosthetics clinic for amputees. The Cholera Treatment Center sees 240 patients a day at the peak of each rainy season. The prosthetic clinic has provided artificial limbs to more than 1,000 earthquake victims since opening.
The Friends of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti also developed and raises money for the Haiti Timber Re-Introduction Project (HTRIP). Ninety-eight percent of Haiti has been deforested due to timber logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, and tree-cutting to make charcoal.
HTRIP provides economic independence to the poorest Haitians. Its agroforestry methods grow trees with normal agricultural crops such as corn or coffee, giving farmers more production from their land. New tree plots act as laboratories to track the growth of shade-tolerant crops. The Haitian farmers use what they learn from the plots to grow crops which provide both food and income for their families and communities. HTRIP has planted more than 592,000 trees in partnership with 52 mountain farming communities. More than 3,600 Haitians have graduated from the HTRIP education program since 2006.
The Roy A. Hunt Foundation and our Next Generation Fund are proud to have sponsored the life-changing work of The Friends of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti with $194,000 in grants since 1995.
Images courtesy of The Friends of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer