by Andre Lucrat
In a collaboration with Artists for Peace and Justice (artistsforpeaceandjustice.com), the foundation founded by Academy Award director and screenwriter Paul Haggis, Demi Moore, Susan Sarandon, Ben Stiller, Olivia Wilde and Gerard Butler arrived from Hollywood April 11th to highlight the real heroes of the earthquake; the children, hospital and outreach staff, and Father Rick Frechette, National Director of NPH/NPFS Haiti.
Paul Haggis became associated with Fr. Rick and his work, through the Fondazione Francesca Rava – NPH Italy, and has enlisted many Hollywood stars including Madeleine Stowe, Diane Lane, Jimmy Jean Louis and Sean Penn, to join in helping the children of Haiti.
This is the second time Paul Haggis visited Haiti after the earthquake. In January he came with Sean Penn and Maria Bello to assess the damage to the street schools that Artists for Peace and Justice support and to visit the Saint Damien Hospital. His team also brought hundreds of crutches for amputee children.
Hollywood celebrities had a meeting with Father Rick and are stayed at the St. Damien Hospital facilities for some days to witness the work and ongoing needs of Fr. Rick and his teams.
Three months after the earthquake NPH/NPFS is still deeply committed in providing emergency relief and healthcare for adults and children. The St. Damien Pediatric Hospital served 10,000 people in the first three weeks of the earthquake. New programs have been developed to respond to the growing need of medical care such as the creation of a maternity ward and a neo-natal ward.
The NPH/NPFS Fr. Wasson Angels of Light program supports 1200 children daily from numerous tent cities by supplying water, two meals and a safe place to play and participate in activities.
A prosthetic lab has been opened at the St. Germaine Rehabilitation Center for disabled children, which is adjacent to the St. Damien Hospital. Already 70 prosthetics were fit to help children with amputations walk again. At St. Germaine they can also receive physical therapy to learn how to walk and use their new prosthetic.
The Francisville bakery, bakes 10,000 rolls daily for the hospital’s patients and the Angels of Light program that services the children in the tent cities. Other new projects include an adult hospital, a school for deaf and blind children and a high school with traditional and vocational training.