Two Haitian Nurses Share the Five Things They’ve Learned About Health & Hygiene on Global Handwashing Day

In celebration of Global Handwashing Day, we asked two Hope for Haiti Public Health Nurses to share the things they’ve learned while administering public health programs in southern Haiti. Unnamed (4)

Dear Friends of Hope for Haiti:

We write to you today as two core members of Hope for Haiti’s Public Health team. For the past 30 years, Hope for Haiti has been working to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children. Each year, we work in collaboration with Hope for Haiti’s healthcare team to help provide public health education to more than 10,000 children, parents, and grandparents in southern Haiti. Our work is rooted in the belief that the health of our nation and the future of our country depends on providing a public curriculum that addresses key health issues such as diabetes, hygiene and sanitation, hypertension, asthma, HIV/AIDS, proper nutrition, malaria, wound care, and many more important topics.

We know that there are challenges to our healthcare system, because we experience them on a daily basis. However, we are both inspired by what can be accomplished when we practice resilience, invite collaboration, and never give up hope. Here are five things we have both learned as two Haitian nurses focusing on Public Health Education in Southern Haiti:

  1. We’ve learned that children learn best through songs, visuals, and interactive activities. That’s why we’ve created a curriculum that makes learning fun and is child-centered! The pictures in this email are from one of our school demonstrations.
  2. We’ve learned that people lose their lives because they neglect the principles of hygiene because of the taboos that those principles carry. We raise awareness about the danger of not putting taboos aside because health is the greatest wealth a person can own.
  3. We’ve learned that the diet of the Haitian people can make them vulnerable, because they sometimes prefer to consume what can cause them serious illness. We encourage them to instead use natural products that are good for their health.
  4. Behavior change requires a lot of effort and patience, it does not happen in one stroke. For this reason, we have Community Health Workers who “help, educate and accompany” children and their community about their health problems.
  5. We’ve learned that many diseases become major illnesses due to lack of care in some areas, so we have first aid kits available in our various communities to help people avoid complications.

We invite all of you to join us today, October 15th as we celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Our personal goal for the day is to to help everyone truly understand the importance of hand washing for having a healthy life.

Thank you all for your support, your words of encouragement, and for sharing our belief that there is always hope for improving the quality of life in Haiti.

Claudine Francois (Public Health Nurse, Hope for Haiti) and Evanie St. Paul (Infirmary St. Etienne and Public Health Nurse, Hope for Haiti)

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Follow along with Hope for Haiti as we celebrate Global Handwashing Day in our communities on our Facebook and Instagram, and share your own stories with #GlobalHandwashingDay. 

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Sak Pase: Hope for Haiti Happenings

Hope for Haiti’s inaugural Leadership 360 class officially kicked off their program on October 10th! To learn more about the program and meet the members of the class, please click here.

Save the Date! Upcoming Events

World Diabetes Day 5k (Les Cayes, Haiti)
Join Hope for Haiti for the 1st Annual World Diabetes Day 5k in Les Cayes, Haiti on November 14, 2018! Organized by Hope for Haiti’s medical staff, this event is family-friendly and includes free diabetes screenings. To attend or sponsor, please email

#GivingTuesday Book Launch (Global)

“Oh, for the Love of Haiti!,”  a memoir by JoAnne M.  Keuhner, will officially launch on #GivingTuesday. Join us by pre-purchasing the book on AmazonSmile, or wait to buy it at a special #GivingTuesday price on November 28th. All proceeds benefit Hope for Haiti.

Food Packing Party (Naples, FL)
Volunteer to help pack 75,000 meals for Haiti in Naples, Florida on December 1, 2018. Any additional meals packed will benefit local Florida food banks. This is an event for all ages and is not to be missed. To register or view sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

Celebration Event (Naples, FL)
Join us in Naples, Florida for our Annual Gala on February 23rd, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Click here for more information.

Partner Events

J. McLaughlin (Naples, FL)
Shop at the Venetian Villiage or Third Street South locations of J. McLaughlin on October 22 from 11am-3pm, and 15% of your purchase will support Hope for Haiti’s programs! For more information, please click here.

The University of Scranton (Scranton, PA)
Meet JoAnne Kuehner, founder of Hope for Haiti and author of “Oh, For the Love of Haiti!” on October 24 from 5-7pm at the University of Scranton. JoAnne will present a chapter reading and will be available for a book signing. This event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact (570) 941-7401