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Poverty Alleviation Projects

April 7, 2010

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your March 2010 report for The $10 Club.

You are in some extremely robust company this month: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary-General Ki-moon, World Bank president Robert Zoellick, and UN Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton. Like you, these world leaders have committed to rescue Haiti from the devastating impacts of the recent earthquake (in their case, specifically through a $5.3 billion "Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti"; in yours, through The $10 Club!).

We helped Haiti last month and now we are privileged to be able to do so again. Haiti faces both immediate and long-term challenges: infrastructural reparations, medical care, and long-term educational development and provision of safe drinking water.

Haiti has already faded quite a bit from the global spotlight. The stories that have arisen recently, however, are dire. One article, “Children struggle in make-shift orphanage,” paints a tragic picture of unclaimed, toyless, hungry, stressed children waiting for their next meal in make-shift orphanages, mattresses drying on the roof as the children have returned to bed-wetting. Another, “Don’t forget the elderly,” refers to the literally hundreds of thousands of displaced elderly Haitians languishing disoriented, ill, hungry, and lonely.

As you know, Haiti was a challenged, impoverished nation before the earthquake hit. Roughly 1/5th of the population will not see their 40th birthday and, among children, the same percentage is underweight for their age. Fewer than half of Haitians are literate or have access to a safe water source.

Childbirth is the second leading cause of death for women in Haiti. The maternal mortality rate in Haiti is approximately 525 per 100,000 births. In the US, that number is 13 per 100,000 births.

Located in the country's southern coast, Jacmel, Haiti suffered extensive causalities during the earthquake and was left littered with crumbled buildings. In response, the Bumi Sehat Foundation International opened its third village-based birth clinic there – housed in a 1,500 square foot dome. The skilled midwifery team there provides prenatal care, gentle births and healing postnatal care.

Katherine Bramahall is a Certified, Licensed Midwife who has worked disaster response in Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Indonesia, Louisiana and Haiti, and is one of the founding four directors of the Bumi Sehat Haiti “La Femme” Birth clinic in Jacmel. She has asked for our support in equipping the clinic with an ultrasound machine and sutures.

This month, 340 of us joined together to donate $3,400 to fund a portable ultrasound machine for diagnostic purposes on-site. Because of security concerns, the machine will be transported back and forth from the clinic to their secure compound. The machine will be used to diagnose baby position and size, placental position, pregnancy viability and pregnancy dates. In addition, Bumi Sehat Haiti is in desperate need of sutures to repair the tears that women naturally incur during childbirth. These are expensive, difficult to procure and need to be purchased and taken to Haiti with volunteers. Aid organizations do not have these in stock to disperse. We will be supplying about $400 worth of 3-0 Chromic Gut sutures. Thank you.

The community of Jacmel has been overwhelmingly thankful to Bumi Sehat for coming to Haiti to help their women and children. The local people have dug and moved dirt, set up the dome structure, and provided spirited camaraderie each day as the clinic took form. Government officials assisted in the formalities of the establishment of the clinic. Bumi Sehat has been granted permission from the Minister of Health to practice midwifery care in the birth center as well as permission from the Minister of International Affairs to act as a Haitian NGO.

Now you, from afar, have made a lasting and important contribution as well. The health and welfare of women and children in Haiti improve because of your small sacrifice this month. So as the memory of the earthquake fades in the American press, we keep the affected people of Haiti and their plight alive through your generosity.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org