On a Mission to HealHaiti: Meet Alana Kaye
By Jodie Wolf
Sydney’s Alana Kaye is a woman with an iron will. La Gonâve is a small island off the west coast of Haiti where there are no roads, electricity, or running water and minimal medical care. Food perishes in a matter of hours as a result of the extreme heat. Teaming up with another Australian by the name of Ada and La Gonâvian President, Samuel Michel, they began working on one medical case at a time there, seeking care and surgery for those in need. Sydney Observer spoke with Alana about her not-for-profit charity For you Haiti, which aims to alleviate poverty in the region and create a healthy, prosperous and sustainable environment for children and their families.
What kind of challenges did you face when you first arrived there? What was the situation with patients?
Immediate challenges were the language barrier and difficulties in navigating a complex medical system without any prior experience. Baby Peter needed brain surgery to save his life. Despite five surgeries, he died a few months later due to the dirty drinking water in La Gonâve. I was so heartbroken that this had happened. It tore my heart into a million pieces. I launched a new program in La Gonâve, known as our Child Sponsorship program.
Tell us about your school in Anse-a-Galets, La Gonâve and how you are helping families with special needs?
We have 425 students from Kindergarten through Grade 6 that learn Maths, History, Geography, Language and Science. Students have unlimited access to Medical Care, with For You Haiti’s Doctor and Nurse on site every school day. At 10 am each morning they receive a hot, nutritious meal as a part of our feeding program through the World Food Programme. We also offer assistance and coaching to the parents of our sponsor children on how to start a small business within their community.
How have your friends and family responded to your mission? Has it always been in your blood to help people?
Overwhelmingly positive! From the moment I launched, friends and family members started sponsoring children and surgeries left, right and centre. Their love and support have made it the success it is today. My parents are both givers and I think growing up seeing their passion to always put the needs of others above their own naturally rubbed off on me.
What else is on the agenda for your charity?
To incorporate inclusion education at our school, putting in concrete ramps for children in wheelchairs and purchase a van made to transport them to and from school each day, closing the gap for kids with disabilities in La Gonâve. I hope that every family our program touches become self-sustainable and that our programs are always a hand-up and not a hand-out.
To find out more visit: www.foryouhaiti.org.
Follow their journey via Instagram @FORYOUHAITI
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