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Feature on HIS Vision’s FIRST long term Health Promotions Intern in Haiti, Sadie Plasterer

When first seeing the socioeconomic state in a country like Haiti, striving for a goal of sustainable change could be looked at a impossible or even as a  worthless endeavor. Just standing in the streets of Cap Hai166089_348610225208346_678884276_ntien, watching amidst the chaos of bikes, motos, tap taps (taxis) and pediatricians, is overwhelming. Seeing the poverty-stricken people living on the small hope of having something to provide for their families, not even able to plan for tomorrow, but focused on surviving for the day, or the next hour, or second.

In that moment, it’s very hard to think realistically that this chaos could change.

Driving over the bridge filled with sewage and trash, the smell burning into your nose and mouth, it’s unimaginable to even picture water underneath you.

In that moment, you wonder, is sustainable change even possible?

How could something so devastated, so chaotic, so big- even have a chance at change?

There is a quote, “A journey of a thousands miles begins with one step.”

And when does someone have the confidence to take that first step?

When they can see.

The HIS Vision Project Founder and CEO licensed optician and business owner, Melinda WilsonIMG_3970, had a vision for Haiti from the first moment she stepped into the chaos. With a background in eye health and seeing the lack of eye care throughout the country, she had a vision to make a huge impact in Haiti, starting out with something we usually would view as very small- eyes.

Did you know: Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries. Also, about 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings. According to WHO, “Eye care is the most cost effective way to fight against poverty.”

Not only dreaming to make eye care more available to Haitians, Wilson’s goal was to contribute to the socioeconomic growth in Haiti, through a sustainable eye care business model and eye care education program. After working two and a half years, with various team members, interns and volunteers, the HIS Vision and Medical center was officially opened in May 2014.

HIS Vision is also pleased to announce their current and FIRST long term Health Promotions Intern, Sadie Plasterer. Plasterer is a senior studying Health Promotions at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA.

HIS Vision was thrilled and thankful to establish a partnership with Liberty University Health Promotions Department. Plasterer has selected an internship where she is living the University’s mission of “Training Champions for Christ,” through her gift and passion of health promotions.

Plasterer’s main objective is to contribute to HIS Vision’s goal for sustainable change and fight poverty throughout the country through eye health education. This will be done through a few different projects.

First, Plasterer is working to implement the HIS Vision Eye Health Workers Program (EHWP).  The EHWP has been designed to ensure proper eye health education is completed among volunteers throughout the Cap Haitien area.

Second, Plasterer will also be working with the clinic medical doctor, Dr. Jeff, MD and eye doctor, Dr. WeslyIMG_0857, OD to coordinate classes to educate Haitians on prominent eye diseases and issues (glaucoma, cataracts, etc) along with common health problems (hypertension, diabetes, etc) within the community.

Third, Plasterer, along with the Haiti clinic staff, will provide eye screenings in local schools. “80% of learning is visual,” Wilson shared. “To truly have an opportunity to break free of poverty, begins with education and that starts with eye care. The screenings will ensure the children in Cap Haiten are given a chance to begin the school year with good eyesight.”

Being in Haiti for almost three weeks, Plasterer has seen the major need for eye heath promotions among the Haitians. Eye health education and health promotions are essential to create sustainable change.  “It goes father than a socioeconomic state, these people simply do not understand their need for eye health,” Health Promotions Intern Plasterer said.

Plasterer will return back to Lynchburg at the end of October and will be sharing her ideas, Sadoethoughts and blogs throughout her time there.

As the project grows, others are joining and can see that first step is making an impact on many people. HIS Vision is always looking for more people to continue the journey with and work towards sustainable change through eye care in Haiti.

The HIS Vision Project is excited to offer one individual the chance to serve in Cap Haitien, Haiti with a scholarship covering expenses. To apply for this internship, send in your resume and cover letter to info@hisvisionproject.com expressing why you would like to work with the HIS Vision Project and what makes you the best applicant for this opportunity. This must be received via e-mail by Monday, November 10. (For more info, click HERE) International 2015 Spring/Summer internships with a cost are also available, along with domestic internships.

To apply please send your resume and cover letter to info@hisvisionproject.com.

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HIS Vision Project Long Term Scholarship Information

HIS Vision Project Long Term Scholarship Information

Applicants will be selected no later than November 17, 2014

The HIS Vision Project is excited to offer a new scholarship opportunity! Due to a generous donation, one individual will be given the chance to serve in Cap Haitien, Haiti with a scholarship covering expenses*.

This individual will participate in the following:

  • Assist HIS clinic staff in identifying key community partners in and around Cap Haitien for the purpose of developing a strong health network.
  • Partner with HIS Vision staff to continue development of an outreach program providing education and resources necessary to effectively and systematically follow up with clinic patients to ensure they receive the medical/vision care needed.
  • Help facilitate/plan health promotion classes within the HIS Vision and Medical Center.
  • Participate in marketing events or meetings for the HIS Vision and Medical Center.
  • Complete blog posts and additional marketing items, as needed.IMG_8260
  • Lead a daily devotional with the HIS Vision and Medical Center Staff.
  • Further the clinic Doctor’s training as well as the clinic Optician. (If applicable)
  • Assist and perform eye screenings throughout Haiti to refer patients to the clinic.

Please Note: Other duties may be assigned, based off applicant’s specific skills and background.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Ability to serve in Haiti for 4 – 6 weeks beginning in either November 2014, December 2014, January 2015 or February 2015
  • Flexible and positive attitudeIMG_1178
  • Previous abroad travel experience, preferably to a third world country
  • Leadership or management experience is preferred, although not required
  • Ability to receive training in basic eye care, if not previously trained
  • Availability to Skype the CEO/Director for training
  • Availability to conduct phone meetings in preparation for travel

Educational Requirements: (All levels listed may apply)

  • Senior Year in Undergrad, with a focus on: Health Promotions, Business or Pre-med
  • Pursuing a Masters of Health, MBA, Medical School, Optometry School, or Optician license
  • Practicing Medical Professional (OD, MD, DO, PA)
  • Ophthalmic Technician
  • Licensed Optician
  • Office Manager with 10+ years experience in an eye care practice

Application Process:

Send in your resume and cover letter to info@hisvisionproject.com expressing why you would like to work with the HIS Vision Project and what makes you the best applicant for this opportunity. This must be received via e-mail by Monday, November 10.

If invited to interview, the applicant must provide the following information:  

1.  A personal statement of Faith (A least two paragraphs)

2. Three Letters of Reference including:
– An example of the applicant’s leadership and management ability
– An example of how the applicant is not afraid to take initiative
– How the applicant demonstrates their faith daily
– How the applicant has overcome a hardship or challenge
– Any travel experience (if applicable)

3. HIS Vision Long Term Application

If selected for an interview:

Interview via phone or Skype with our Director and/or CEO
– Possible interview with Board or Directors
– HIS Vision S.H.A.P.E Profile must be completed
– Passport and Photo IDIMG_3150

Applicants will be selected no later than November 17, 2014

*Scholarship Includes:

– Out of country flight airfare
– In country lodging and food
– Travel Insurance
– In country transportation

Financial Responsibilities of the Applicant:

– Meals when traveling to Haiti
– Personal Items (souvenir, going out to dinner in country, etc.)
– Extra Activities in Haiti (tourist attractions, sight-seeing, etc.)

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Shy little laugh

A shy little laugh filled our hearts with joy, as Maritsa, only a year into life gazed hard at our white faces. We had made a pit stop at Dr. Wesley’s sister, Josiani’s quaint little apartment in the busy and crowded town of Cap-Haitien. This happened over the weekend, and the thought of precious little Maritsa growing up with a future filled with possibilities has been a pleasant and warm thought.cropped-img_0297_zps2a690a1c.jpg

Currently, Haitian worship music is filling the clinic; the heat of the island is setting in, and the day is finding its rhythm as people come and go. There is distant chatter in the room beside me of the staff with patients. Josiani has come in to make copies of charts on the copier sitting beside me. The day started early for everyone at the HIS Vision Clinic, and a handful of patients have already been able to be seen. The staff here have seen their fifth patient of the day, and it is not even ten o’clock yet.

The staff at the IMG_8911HIS Vision clinic are local Haitians; people who have a heart for the country of Haiti and its people, not because they heard the latest news through the TV, or the Internet, or even on the radio, but because they have lived among the poverty for themselves. They have seen the need firsthand. They know everything from the corruption, to the simple joys of life for the Haitian people. They want to see their country grow and develop for the sake of their future, their children’s future, and their children’s children’s future.

Having adequate eye care in the country of Haiti opens doors for all kinds of opportunities. For people to see, they are able to not only read and write, but also have a job, drive, create, and know deeper about The Creator. The practical steps that the HIS Vision Project is taking in Haiti are leading to a greater purpose than what can readily be seen, a purpose that gives little Maritsa, and so many others a hopeful future.

– Hannah

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God will give me Strength

Monday, October 20, 2014.

Today began early; the alarm went off at 6:52 AM, to be exact. Hannah and I both grumbled at the thought that we had to get up and that the city power had disappeared in our sleep. No city power meant there was no source of electricity. We decided to get up shortly after and the day finally began. We loaded up our white SUV and traveled the short 2-mile distance to the clinic to get ready for the day.

Hannah and I had spent much time on what scripture verse we felt that the Lord had laid on both of our hearts for this morning and we both agreed on Philippians 4:11-13.

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

So often, we overlook verses 11-12, it’s so common to me and I realized last night that I tend to forget the true meaning. In this passage, Paul is explaining his trial while in jail. For the first time I realized that Paul is using the description of his Jail cell as a glimpse of Hell. Hannah delivered the verse with such passion and intentionality, that not only were we able to truly become vulnerable with the staff, but Ruth, our technician, was able to share her own personal experience.

Since being here, I noticed that the staff  within the clinic really yearned for  community. And now, because of this  morning’s devotions, I was able to see a  glimpse of that community built on a  Biblical foundation.

Sadie 3The story that Ruth  shared moved me to tears and reminded  me why God placed me here  specifically, while also encouraged me to  continue to seek Him in all that I do,  whether I am in the states or I am in a  different country.

My first scheduled meeting was this morning at 9:00 a.m. I met with Dr. Martine, at her clinic and gosh, she was radiant! Speaking with her was a breath of fresh air; it was so nice being able to understand English! I never recognized the privilege and blessing it is to live in a country where English is the first language!

After our meeting, Dr. Wesly and I ventured out to paint our name all over town (Verbally, not literally). The next place that we visited was a medical center. We met with one of the head nurses. She had heard about Humbly I Serve, through word of mouth, and mentioned personally wanting to visit our clinic. We continued to converse and by the end, she was referring us to a church that was associated with the clinic. Then we waited for what seemed like an eternity, however when you’re on Haitian time, one must go with the flow. We finally sat down with the priest of the Catholic church and he explained the affiliations the church had with two schools. One was a public school and one private. The public school consists of about 700 total students. The private school through the church has about 400 students. Through God’s strength and patience, I will be screening all 1100 of them, teaching them the importance of eye care and hopefully starting a relationship with these people for a future partnership with the HIS Vision and MedicSadie2al Center.

 

The Lord, these past few weeks, has not only showed himself to me through His beautiful creations, but time and time again he has echoed in the valley of the mountains,  “I am where He called me for this moment.” Learning to be content in every and all situations has been harder than it sounds. Knowing and trusting are two completely different concepts. Knowing there is a purpose and  also trusting God, even when you are unsure of his ultimate plan, has been the most challenging trial in all that I have encountered. God has shown such grace and mercy over me in my questioning and has taught me what the true meaning of humility really is.

 

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Light In The Skies

A Post from one of the volunteer serving in Haiti
Hannah Wyble 

The light lit up the sky. A loud thunderclap echoed through the night. Thunder and lightning had made its way to the Haitian horizon, and I found myself right in the middle of it. The steady pour of rain soothed my nerves, as I continued listening and watching the display strewn throughout the night sky above me. Streaks of lightning shot down to the ground; every curve and edge of the bright streaks that hit the ground were well defined to my American blue eyes.Bows

These eyes had seen a lot these past few days being in the small country of Haiti. Only the day before had I spent hours at a local orphanage. Doctor Wesley had scheduled eye screenings for the students at the school within the orphanage, and Sadie, the health promotions intern, and myself found ourselves amongst nearly a hundred kids, ages ranging from three to twenty-three. We arrived as strangers, but left as familiar faces.

The students in need of vision correction through glasses are staggeringly high. Within two days, the staff at HIS Vision was able to screen all of the students within the orphanage. Nearly half of the students needed to have a formal eye examination.Boys

These kids, along with many other kids throughout the neighboring villages have lived their lives only knowing what they have been given. Many of them do not know the detail of the lightning that stretches itself across their beautiful night sky.

They do not know, because they have never been given the chance. The staff at HIS vision is unique, in the sense that they are striving to educate the people of Haiti about their need for good eye care. Furthermore, they are also meeting those needs through providing affordable eye care for the people of Haiti.

Having that allows for more than what meets the eye. To be given the gift of sight, these people can see more than the beauty of their homeland—they can see for a better tomorrow, and ultimately a better future.

To learn more visit: www.hisvisionproject.com or visit our Facebook Page HERE.

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Give by shopping at Kroger

Hello everyone! We are super excited to share a really simple and easy way you can support Humbly I Serve and the HIS Vision Project by buying your weekly grocery items at Kroger! All you have to do is chose Humbly I Serve as your nonprofit of choice and link it with your Kroger card! It’s SO easy! The steps are below:

How to Sign up for Kroger Rewards: 

1. Simply register online at krogercommunityrewards.com

2. Sign In or Create an Account to Enroll (if you already have your Kroger account, you just use
that information)

3. Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number

4. Enter NPO number (92067) or last three letters of the organization (rve) select organization from list and click on confirm

5. To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right side of your information page.

Members must swipe their registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger Plus card when shopping for each purchase to count. Do you use your phone number at the register?  Call 800-576-4377, select option 4 to get your Kroger Plus card number. 

This is a super easy way to support sending children to camp, providing eye care for a Haitian in need, supporting our staff in Haiti or help our Sponsor Sight Program provide for those in need in our local community!