Optimistic In the Face of Challenges


Our three Haitian students who are studying in the Dominican Republic are Bestfriend (Eder) and Junior, in their final year of medical school and Vitiello who is in his final year studying civil engineering.  Bestfriend hopes to specialize in OB/GYN and Junior will specialize in Orthopedic Surgery.  Their intention has been that once they have completed medical school, they will return to Haiti for their residency, specialization and to seek employment there to help rebuild their country from within. 

Unfortunately, there are complications now that are creating a heartbreaking dilemma for these hardworking young men.  Due to the extent of unrest and violence in Haiti, it is impossible for them to return there safely.  On a zoom call this week, they described the news and calls that they have been receiving from their Haitian friends and family.  Shootings and kidnappings are rampant in the streets. The danger of being held for ransom is worse than ever.  Kidnappers ask for as much as two million dollars in a country where the average monthly pay for those lucky enough to find work is around 825 USD.  The hospitals are closed due to protests and more than 8 police were killed in the past month.

Junior and Bestfriend were supposed to complete twelve months of hospital based internship this year and this has been interrupted due to the pandemic.  They have done a few months but the completion of their program is now delayed by twelve to eighteen months because there are less openings for student interns due to Covid. That means that we need to continue supporting them as we wait for spots for the students to open up.  Additionally, the hospitals are now requiring that all students are vaccinated and there are shortages of the vaccination in the D.R.  They are on the list and hope that more vaccinations will be available soon.

What is so striking in our Zoom meetings is their incredible positive spirit and undying commitment to their dreams.

After medical school, the students will take a three part exam known as the USMLE.  This exam allows them to pursue medical licensing in a number of countries but the third part must be taken in the U.S.  We will pursue visas for this once they complete the requirements of their current medical program.

In addition to the above, GAPCreate continues to support APAAC, the only alcoholism and drug treatment center in Haiti.   They are doing an amazing job of running a hotline and distributing text messages and other public information encouraging people to seek help.

GAPCreate is also continuing to provide pro bono therapy for frontline and essential workers in the U.S. alongside the CORE response testing and vaccinations sites.  WE have a team of about 80 licensed therapists across the country and have provided over 2,000 hours of mental health support.

And one more bit of great news! Sinalove was able to finish her degree in marketing and has been hired at a bank in Haiti.  Her intelligent and loving attitude are an inspiration to us all and we hope that she stays safe as she begins her new career!

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We so appreciate your ongoing support for our work and hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

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