Combatting Fear with Action
Updated: Feb 22
Overture International and its partners are dedicated to bringing awareness to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Haiti. This past week, Overture responded to a desperate call for help and took the opportunity to educate and train the public about Coronavirus facts and the best prevention measures.
School in rural Maniche community makes a desperate call
Last week, the principal at the school in Dory, a small community in southern Haiti, reached out to our social workers with a desperate call for help for his students.
Dory is a poor rural community outside of the reach of the government’s limited social services and whose main economic activities – agriculture and livestock – have been plagued by recent drought and closure of the markets.
The school in Dory has been coordinated by the Dory Baptist Church for over 40 years, but due to the lack of economic means, a school building has never been constructed. Instead, classes take place in a community space that previously served as a marketplace for local vendors. Seeing the great need for their children, the community offered the space to the church to use as classrooms.
The school serves 124 local children. But classes are crowded and undersupplied, with one teacher responsible for the instruction of several classes. The church cannot afford to pay for one instructor per class.
Overture has been providing hot lunches for the 124 students on a regular basis, but with the closure of schools by the government, these regular meals have stopped.
Seeing his students go through the day without a meal, and experiencing the panic caused by the Coronavirus state of emergency in Haiti, the principal made a call asking for help.
With the help of our partner ESPWA, we have distributed 36 meals to each of the 124 students. Overture Social Workers attended the distribution to provide health training for the community, providing information on the Coronavirus, the best actions to be taken for prevention, and how to seek help if you become sick.
Additionally, principals at ESPWA schools will collaborate with the teachers at Dory, inviting them to their annual teacher training program beginning in late summer.
Mobile health training in rural, vulnerable communities
Overture Project Manager Mr. Jocelyn Nelson, requested help from young adults in ESPWA’s Youth Empowerment Program to conduct mobile trainings in communities who may not have frequent access to news and updates on the Coronavirus.
Equipped with a sound system and a truck, the team shared information on the Coronavirus (symptoms, spread, etc.), what you can do to prevent the spread, and who you can call if you become sick and need help.
This is an effective way of disseminating information for families and communities who may not have regular access to electricity, radio broadcasts, television, or cellular connection.
Jocelyn frequently invites young adults in ESPWA’s Youth Empowerment Program to assist with projects that involve plumbing, electrical, and construction, so they can gain hands-on experience in their fields.
Thanks to Jocelyn and his team’s efforts, we can provide more accurate information to families so they can protect their children and communities.
Help children in communities like Dory during the Coronavirus crisis
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