Author: Web Team
Posted: 8th November, 2012
Category: Child Survival Programme No Comments
Clenie Baptiste, a mother of four, lives in Fort Mercredi, Haiti, a large slum of about 150,000 people, with her husband and children in a two-room home made of tin roofing.
Life is hard in Fort Mercredi. There are no job opportunities. Most of the adults earn a living as street sellers and motorcycle drivers. Most children don’t have access to healthcare and education because of their parents’ financial insecurity. As a result, promiscuity, prostitution, delinquency and violence are rampant in the neighborhood.
But something good happened.
One day, a Compassion field worker visited Clenie and found her qualified to be registered with the Child Survival Programme (CSP), the only lifesaving programme that exists in that neighborhood for the mothers and their babies.
Since then, Clenie’s life and her children’s lives have been much improved. When the time came for Clenie to give birth again, the process happened safely, thankfully, because of the CSP’s timely interventions that provided prenatal care and helped Clenie afford to visit a doctor regularly.
“I owe my life to the CSP for its involvement in my childbirth and the intensive medical care they made sure I received” says Clenie.
Through the CSP, 15 month old Monica, Clenie’s youngest child, has received nutritional support, medical assistance and regular checkups.
One morning, Monica suddenly became very sick with a high fever. Clenie did not know what to do because she had no money. She could only send a text message to Esther, the CSP coordinator. Esther, who had been on her way to the CSP office, rushed instead to Clenie’s home to diagnose the child. As a result, they took Monica immediately to the hospital for intensive care, for which Clenie did not spend even a coin.
“Every activity is important for me at the CSP,” explains Clenie, “but my favorite one is the healthcare the staff has generously provided to the children.”
Children are specially immunized with all types of vaccines, including the ones that the government does not provide. The programme has also distributed mosquito nets, oral serum, soaps, purifying tablets and chlorine production machines among other resources.
Clenie became a Christian two weeks after she was registered in the CSP. She was attending a retreat when the pastor told the mothers and caregivers about Jesus, the Savior of the world.
“This is the best thing that has ever happened in my life,” she says, “and I am so thankful to God for using the Child Survival Programme to convince my heart”.
In less than a year, Clenie learnt how to sew at the CSP. She is now able to sew the uniforms for her older children and save that money for other family obligations. “Such skills are an effective way to generate income or to save money,” Clenie adds with confidence. “I don’t have to spend money to buy uniforms for my children because I can make them myself”.
Esther, Clenie’s CSP coordinator, says of her, “Clenie is a disciplined woman, flexible, smart and a hard worker. She is a genuine example of the impact the CSP is making in the neighborhood”. In fact, Clenie is now an important leader is her neighborhood.
Every month, she holds a meeting for many parents regarding hygiene lessons and good manners. They also interact about issues in the community and bring about solutions. Clenie feels so privileged to share and utilize the knowledge she has acquired during the training sessions at the CSP. “Sometimes, we gather together as one body to clean the neighborhood because I always insist that a safe environment is a favorable to our children’s health progress” she says.
“The Child Survival Programme has shaped my character. It has helped me to become a leader in my community today. As such, I will keep sharing with other parents the new skills I have acquired in order to apply hygiene techniques and other good practices that will be beneficial to defeating child mortality in Fort Mercredi”.
By Ricot St Paulin, HA Field Communications Specialist