Laguna Beach’s grade five class voted to donate their annual fundraising dollars to Healing Hands for Haiti medical clinic in Port au Prince. A check for $1,109 was cut and sent to the clinic, care of its director, Fiona Stephenson. To give them a clear picture of what their act of kindness did for other people, they connected via Skype with "Nurse Fiona," a delightful, energetic young English nurse and educator who has been there for 18 months, since the earthquake. They learned that she absolutely loves her work there and is part of a team that is helping/training her Haitian colleagues to eventually run the clinic themselves, especially to perform the badly needed rehabilitation that can make a physically disabled person's life much, much easier.
Education is key to staying whole and healthy in Haiti. The children were told about the kinds of injuries the clinic sees, besides injuries from the quake: head and spine injuries from traffic accidents due to no seat belt or motorcycle helmet laws, falling out of mango and avocado trees while picking fruit. It helped them to understand the ongoing need for such a clinic’s services.
A Skype session was set up on Monday June 20th so the children could ‘meet’ Nurse Fiona and she could see their smiling faces. The students listened intently and the class learned a great deal about life in Haiti and helping others.
The staff at the clinic are so grateful to the class for their thoughtfulness, and the class was delighted to learn that their donation was sufficient to purchase a brace device that will allow someone born with a clubfoot to walk again with a bit left over to cover taxi fare for people who live far from the clinic.