A BLOG POST BY STEPHENIE FOSTER As Haiti continues to battle cholera and struggle with reconstruction, many of us continue to be concerned about the impact of continued natural and medical crises on Haitian women. Here is a short update on one group that is working in Haiti to bring much needed coordination and relief to Haitians:
WE ADVANCE (www.weadvance.org) was founded in the aftermath of the earthquake by Aleda Frishman, Alison Thompson, Maria Bello and Barbara Guillaume , each of whom brings substantial experience and passion to addressing international women's rights. In February 2009, Frishman, Thompson and Bello spearheaded the opening of the Women's Clinic in the Petionville Camp in Port-au-Prince. Working with a Haitian women's group from the camp, they began the clinic with no funds and $50,000 worth of donated medical supplies, obtained through their contacts. Soon after, a training program for the hired nurses and midwives from the camp opened, serving more than 100 women a day.
Today, the clinic serves more than two hundred women per day from the camp and surrounding areas, and offers services ranging from gynecological care to the reporting of gender based violence and referrals for the women most at risk. The clinic received high praise from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who attended the opening and commended it as a model clinic that should be replicated worldwide.
In collaboration with over forty organizations dealing with women's health and gender based violence issues, the founders received daily calls for supplies, information, referrals and intake to ensure that the women patients received care. Based on this dire need, WE ADVANCE began with a simple mandate - to serve as a centralized operation organizing groups for the health, safety and well-being of women throughout Haiti.