In Septemeber 2008, I traveled 6000 miles to Haiti's Kenscoff mountains. My mission: to care for some of the orphaned and abandoned, the sick, malnourished and premature infants of this beautiful but beleagured Caribbean nation.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

God's Littlest Angels

Where I am going

I leave for Haiti on August the 26th to join God's Littlest Angels (GLA). GLA is a child survival centre, high in the Kenscoff Mountains above Port-au-Prince. It is located in a wealthy community, but there is no piped water or mains electricity in the area. Instead, residents have water, cooking gas and fuel trucked up the mountain. Since this is an expensive exercise, all volunteers and visitors are charged for room and board for the duration of their stay. GLA have pre-warned me that both water and electricity are conserved on their properties. I can expect "military style showers" and have been asked to bring a torch, because the generators at the volunteers quarters are turned off at night.

What I Will be doing

Here is a preview:

The emphasis, as you can see, is on giving quality care to meet the particular needs of each baby and child. This fits well with my philosophy of delivering individualised, child-centred nursing care.

The director of God's Littlest angels, Dixie Bickel is a registered nurse with many years experience in Paediatric Intensive Care Units. I will be working alongside Dixie's Haitian staff at GLA's high care nursery, looking after premature and malnourished children, as well as children with other special medical needs: cleft lip and palate, cardiac conditions, burns, orthopaedic conditions, neurological problems HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease, for example.

I will assess and treat children who become sick or injured, and will also play a part in routine child surveillance (monitoring growth and development).

I hope I will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with some of these children. After all, that would truly fulfil my motivation for going to Haiti, which is to make a difference in the lives of a few children, in the time I have, in the place I will be.


Anonymous said...

I will be keeping you in my prayers. My husband Dave and I have just applied for pre-approval to adopt through GLA, and are waiting response.

It puts a whole new twist to your mission that you may be caring for our future child.

May God bless your journey and protect you physically, emotionally, and spiritually!

Dave and Stacy Goralski

Anonymous said...

I have volunteered at GLA as well. Mainly what you will be doing on a daily basis is working one on for one hour each of the 8 children that while be assigned to you. As far as hands on with the really sick children, that is not left up to the volunteers. I am a NICU RN with 5yrs of experience and the was not given the opportunity to use any of my medical experience in caring for these children. It is still a very rewarding experience and you can really make a difference in the lives of these children, just dont expect it to be very medically related. Its mostly playing and interacting with the children on the 3rd floor volunteer deck.

Sophie said...

Hello Susan,
Nice to read your blog. I like your movie about GLA.
I was in GLA 3 years ago to meet my daughter Flore... It was so great!
Now, we began another adoption with Dixie... Since a few days, we are parents for the second time of a little girl aged from 15 months: ALEXANDRA!
How happy we are! Flore is waiting for her little sister.
Continue to give us news from Haïti with your blog!
Sophie (who dont speak very well english... sorry ;-)