Over the last few years, the Board of Directors at the What If Foundation has been exploring the possibility of forming additional partnerships in Haiti with local community organizations aligned with our mission. During this time, we were approached by the Kay Lasante medical clinic which was searching for a partner to support its fundraising efforts. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Kay Lasante has joined the What If Foundation as a new program partner serving the Ti Plas Kazo community of Port-au-Prince.
A Kay Lasante nurse during a home visit. A line of families waiting to be seen at the clinic.
Kay Lasante, which means “House of Health” in Haitian Creole, is a free health clinic that has been serving the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood since 2006. The clinic is Haitian-led and Haitian-run with a mission to provide quality health care with dignity and respect for those who are marginalized and lack access to care. Their services include primary care, OB/GYN care, health education, disease prevention, acupuncture, and community outreach. The clinic is open four days a week and sees as many as 800 patients every month (you can read more about Kay Lasante’s essential work here).
Beyond the importance of supporting this critical work, the What If Foundation also has a shared history with Kay Lasante in that both were inspired by the vision of the late Father Gerard Jean-Juste and his commitment to the Ti Plas Kazo community. And like Na Rive, both were realized by the ingenuity and determination of community leaders and the generosity of donors like you.
Our founder Margaret Trost shares her excitement for this new partnership: “ I’ve visited the Kay Lasante clinic several times and the importance of its work cannot be overstated. Each time I was there and saw the long line of mothers with their children and elders all waiting to receive care, the feeling of relief and hope was palpable. During the early years of the What If Foundation, I witnessed Father Jean-Juste share his vision of a free health clinic for the Ti Plas Kazo community. At the time, the What If Foundation did not have the capacity to be the clinic’s U.S. nonprofit program partner, but now, it’s able to serve in this crucial role. I’m so happy and am sure Father Jeri is smiling in spirit. I remember seeing his picture on the wall near the clinic’s entrance with these familiar words next to it: “Piti piti na rive”. Small steps indeed, taken with love, have been and continue to guide the What If Foundation.”
Kay Lasante complements the food and education programs run by Na Rive. Already, the Kay Lasante staff is brainstorming different ways in which they can collaborate with Na Rive and the members of Na Rive are equally excited at the prospect of working together to better serve the community.
We are so grateful to welcome Kay Lasante and its donors to the What If Foundation. Without this partnership, it is likely the clinic would have not had the capacity to continue fundraising and would have needed to close. Instead, its doors are wide open and children and families in Ti Plas Kazo have access to the desperately needed health care services it provides.
“Despite all the challenges we face in Haiti and the current difficulties in getting to the clinic safely, all of us at Kay Lasante feel a deep calling to show up every day to provide care and attention for those who need it most. We are their only choice.” -Jean Junior Daguerre, Director of Kay Lasante
The What If Foundation believes in the importance of supporting community-led initiatives to create sustainable change in Haiti. Through our partnership with Na Rive, and now Kay Lasante, we have witnessed the power of local leadership in responding to rapidly changing conditions and in working with the community to transform people’s lives. We have been equally humbled to see the power of compassion from donors like you, and how every act of kindness, every act of love, makes a difference.
We thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to sharing more about Kay Lasante’s work in future emails.
With hope and gratitude,
The What If Foundation Board of Directors