A new member of Horyou platform, the Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation (HCRFF) invests in education and awareness to prevent health issues in developing countries
Despite being born in Haiti, Pierrette Cazeau grew up in New York and Florida, in the US, and thus was never aware of the country’s challenges until she first visited it as a grown up-woman. She was struck by the challenges faced by its population on a daily basis – lack of health infrastructure, corruption, abuse, poverty and hunger. That changed her life as she decided to devote her time and efforts to build a Foundation and use education to prevent such disasters as the 2010 cholera outbreak.
«You can’t predict natural disasters or climate change effects, but you can educate people to prevent and reduce poverty. Without education, you just open the door to the negative effects of the unpredictable», says Pierrette, founder of HCRFF. The NGO was created in 2013 and has since developed many projects to support and empower communities facing health and social problems. «We’ve seen so many victimized people sitting quietly, and that escalates anger and hate». Economic and social problems, she believes, are part of a cycle that comprises disruption, refugee crisis and racism.
Focusing on education, the foundation organizes workshops for students coming from challenging backgrounds. In addition to preparing them for work via professional education, and providing them with food, HCRFF also raises awareness of topics like HIV prevention (PrEP and PEP), sexual abuse and other sensitive topics that are critical for the new generations. The NGO also helps Haitians to get access to health care in the US by providing them with transportation, shelter, advocacy and even translation services whenever needed. It also supports pregnant Haitian women left behind by UN peacekeeping soldiers.
The next step is to expand the Foundation services to other countries including Ghana, in Africa, where it intends to start an education campaign on HIV and other STDs. «We need more sponsors as we never charge anything for the services we provide to the communities», says Pierrette. For the last three years, the NGO has been funded by partners, but new sources of financial support are needed. One of the plans is to organize a Marathon for People Living with HIV and raise funds for the cause of education for prevention. «One thing I’ve learned from my father is that education can’t be taken from you. It stays with you forever. I’m grateful for all the educational opportunities I’ve had and I wish more people keep benefitting from it as well».