- Who We Are
- Why CHI
We hope you will consider volunteering with us in Haiti. We believe it will be one of the great experiences of your life and we will do our best to make it so. CHI is very blessed to have such awesome volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, skills sets and geographics. Volunteering in Haiti is quite an adventure! Going to Haiti is difficult and not for everyone which is totally ok! The trip will be complex and full of contrasts - it will be fantastic but will also be really tough and challenging; it will be both uplifting and profoundly depressing; it will be filled with hope about things as well as despair. All of this feelings are pretty normal and often happen at the same time. Volunteers need to have an open mind, open heart, be flexible, don't mind getting dirty, don't mind heat, don't mind bugs and are able to adapt to being in a Third World Country which is different from the US on most levels. If volunteers are up for the challenge, they will find that they will experience a life-changing and amazing week. When all is said and done, our volunteers often come away feeling that the Haitians have done more for them than they have done for the Haitians. Haiti and its people are really special!
Please explore the information available on our website if you are interested in volunteering with a Community Health Initiative medical or surgical team. It explains fundraising requirements and other aspects of our mobile clinics so you - our treasured volunteers - will know what to expect. We know you will still have questions so please ask!
Each team is made up of around 20 volunteers from a wide variety of skill sets including MDs, DOs, NPs, PAs, nurses, EMTs and non-medical; ages; backgrounds; and states. Non-medical volunteers are a vital part of the team helping with triage; crowd control; TEBOW (electronic patient records system); pharmacy; treatment area; as needed and holding lots of babies. On each team, we strive for a certain balance of talents as well as a balance of new volunteers and veteran volunteers.
While completing the Volunteer Application, you can indicate interest in any or all of the upcoming medical and surgical teams. Each year we go four times each to Arcahaie and Les Anglais.
Arcahaie is a small village located 50 miles north of Port-au-Prince along the coast. It takes about 2 hours to drive there. The Arcahaie Medical Team stays at La Ballade Resort located within Arachaie. Clinics are held 4 days in the village of La Digue and 1 day in the mountain village of Fondòl. The Arcahaie Surgical Team operates out of a hospital run by Mission Haiti Medical (MHM) in St. Ard. The Surgical Team stays at Kaliko Beach Club which is another 10-minute drive from St. Ard.
Les Anglais is a beautiful coastal town at the western tip of the southern peninsula with huge mountains often running right up to the beaches. The town has a population of 8,000 within a 45 minute walk and the region has a population of 25,000 within a 3 hour walk. Even though it's only 100 miles from Port-au-Prince, it takes about 9 hours to drive there. The drive is a wonderful way to see and experience Haiti, its landscapes and its people. One of Les Anglais' biggest challenges is that it is on the other side of a river which has no bridge. Most of the year, the water is shallow enough to cross. But when the waters rise, it is impossible to cross the river, cutting Les Anglais off form the bigger cities and from essential food and supply deliveries.
The Les Anglais Medical Team stays at the local hotel in town. The Les Anglais Mobile Clinics are a joint partnership between CHI and Harvest Field Ministries. CHI is focused on medical and community development in the rural regions of Haiti. Harvest Field Ministries (HFM) is a separate Christian organization from Knoxville, Tennessee that has been serving in Haiti for several years. HFM bolsters education and child development through the support of local Haitian schools and orphanages, empowers families through vocational training, and strengthens communities by developing local leaders through pastoral training and healthcare. Our two groups began working together in 2010, the week before the earthquake, and have continued our collaboration since that time. Haiti is a dynamic and challenging work environment; the daily problems faced by Haitians are complex and multifaceted. Attempting to address those problems without partnership is nearly impossible. Our two organizations were brought together by this ideal and are fortunate to have founded such a strong relationship. Your trip will be a realization and extension of this collaboration, benefiting tremendously from the mix of volunteers and staff from these two organizations. www.harvestfieldhaiti.org
Each Medical Team is comprised of providers (MD, DO, NP, PA), nurses, EMTs, other medical professionals and non-medical volunteers. The Surgical Team is comprised of general surgeons/urologists, other surgeons, nurses, scrub techs and non-medical volunteers. Each team is around 20-25 people of all backgrounds, ages, skill sets and geographics. We try to balance the number of veteran volunteers and 1st time volunteers. Our trips are Saturday-Saturday with volunteers needing to fly to Miami the night before as we fly out early to Port-au-Prince the next morning. Most volunteers will fly home the same afternoon or evening we fly back to the US.
The first step is to fill out the Volunteer Application and indicate which teams you are interested in. Once your completed application is received, our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to find out which team is best for you and CHI. Note: January and summer trips typically fill up very quickly.
Follow us on Facebook to receive the most up-to-date news. Also, click on the “Join our Newsletter” link to the left to keep informed about our teams and projects.
Interested in general volunteering not on a medical or surgical team? General Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Either fill out the form below or contact:
Jana Zimmerman, CHI Volunteer Coordinator & Board Member, Jzimmerman@chihaiti.org.
If you are interested in donating to CHI, click here - Donate. Your support is appreciated!
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