News

Rotaract, Project Medishare team up to help impoverished Haiti

In a country where 92 percent of all children are malnourished and unemployment is not just a problem but a country-wide epidemic, one student group has devised a way to help.

The members of the University of Miami Rotaract Club, a college branch of the Rotary club, teamed up with the Project Medishare in order to help the impoverished nation of Haiti.

Project Medishare was founded four years ago by two physicians, Dr. Barth Green and Dr. Arthur Fournier, both of whom are associated with the UM’s Miller School of Medicine. The program sends groups of student volunteers to Haiti during the spring and summer breaks.

In addition to raising money for medical supplies, the student volunteers learn about the country’s health problems and educate Haitian citizens while working in collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health. Project Medishare is fully supported by the Haitian community and almost completely run by Haitian citizens, said Alexandra de Filippo, a public relations representative for Rotaract.

The most recent plan for Project Medishare is the construction of an agricultural facility that hopes to provide thousands of Haitians with jobs and reduce the country’s 80 percent unemployment rate.

“These are only some of the advantages of our project, which we have estimated will benefit 200,000 Haitians in a two year period, especially vulnerable groups such as undernourished children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and HIV/AIDS and TB patients,” de Filippo said.

The new agricultural facility will produce a substance known as Akamil, which consists of rice, beans, corn and grains. The Akamil will be distributed among Haitian citizens who cannot afford food or are too weak to work.

Rotaract hopes the daily production of Akamil will reach 10 tons a day. To better understand this amount, one pound of Akamil can serve nine meals.

“We wanted to start by providing for the most basic needs because you cannot educate someone who is not nourished,” de Filippo said.

Though Rotaract has taken on the task of raising funds for Project Medishare, the group requests the help of the student community and other service organizations.

“As we are approaching our campaign goal, we would like to spread awareness on campus, not only to get the support from the community but also to inspire other organizations by demonstrating that the materialization of programs as ambitious as this campaign is possible,” de Filippo said.

If the Rotaract Club raises $125,000, a private donor will match the amount, amounting to $250,000 in aid. At the moment, Rotaract is $29,000 from reaching their goal.

The Rotaract Club at UM was founded by a group of friends who wanted to volunteer and reverse Haiti’s deterioration. Now, the members of the club are reaching out to the community and hoping that education about the state of Haiti will fuel a movement towards change.

Rotaract will next meet on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in UC Ballroom C. For more information, please contact rotaract_um@yahoo.com.

Karyn Meshbane may be contacted at k.meshbane@umiami.edu.

September 22, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Rotaract, Project Medishare team up to help impoverished Haiti”

  1. Akierra Missick says:

    Dear Miami Hurricane, I am the International Services Director of the Rotaract Club of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. We have some good and clothes that we would like to send to Haiti, but do not have a contact with a club there or any angency. Is it possible you can put me in touch with the UM Rotaract Club so that we can discuss a plan to get these tiems to Haiti.

    Thank you,

    Akierra

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.