Bringing Haiti Home
Cathy Faught writes how she became a supporter of MFK and how Haiti has changed the way she sees the world.
Anyone going on a trip to a third world country should write a description of poverty before leaving and put it in a safe place. Upon returning and reading it, that definition would seem so mundane and inaccurate. Poverty is something that must be experienced first hand with all of your senses.
My journey began with something sweet, “Mr. Faught’s Brown Cookies”, the favorite treat of the children at The Wilson School in Clayton, Missouri. Charla Gray, a 6th grade teacher, had told the students about Dr. Patricia Wolff, a local pediatrician with a dedication to the children of Haiti. When Dr. Wolff came to the school to talk, the students were engaged and asking brilliant question. I was immediately impressed by the Dr. Wolff’s dedication to help the malnourished children of Haiti. The students were also impressed and decided to have a bake sale to raise funds for Meds & Food for Kids, my contribution was “Mr. Faught’s Brown Cookies”.
I later ended up joining MFK’s board on a trip to Haiti in May, 2010. I wanted to bring something to the Haitian children from us in St. Louis. Dr. Wolff and I decided that chewable vitamins packaged in quantities of 30 would be the most helpful. I with the assistance of many friends, including the children of Wilson, was able to gather and package 30,000 vitamins!
Having been in the field of education for 40 years I thought I knew how to identify a child’s age with just a glance. But in Haiti I saw small, lethargic children languishing on their parents’ laps with not the energy to smile. Being used to animate, vocal children, I found it difficult to know the age of the children. It wasn’t hard to figure out their physical condition, they were sick and in need of help. The difference adequate nutrition makes in the life of a child is shocking.
In Haiti, we visited a slum where many children and their families were going to a clinic that was open only a half day a week. There I saw some of the most caring people working under inhospitable and impossible conditions. The children had no energy, no sparkle, and without Medika Mamba no hope. Along with bringing her medical expertise and dedication Dr. Wolff was hiring and training local people to work in the factory and expand the number of children treated. She was providing a “hand up” rather than a “hand out”.
Is there anyone more important than a child? The children of the world are our future. Each child deserves a chance to grow into a healthy, happy, productive person. Please join me in giving continued support to Meds & Food for Kids.