6 Years from Start to Opening
The dispensary was started in January 2014, at the request of the people of Gros-Mangles.
At the time, it would take two and a half hours to travel from Gros-Mangles to the nearest medical facility. Very few families own a vehicle, and taxis are expensive. When people can afford transportation, the roads are difficult to travel -- flat tires are a common occurence -- and they make travel extremely unpleasant or even hazardous for those who are sick, injured or pregnant. As a result, the people of Gros-Mangles were not able to access the care they needed.
A village committee spent 2014 securing land and a deed for what we thought would be a dispensary.
From the United States, Project Gros-Mangles started raising funds to purchase construction materials and hire skilled laborers. All purchases were made in Haiti to help the local economy, and we also hired the services of a local architects and a local construction crew from the island of La Gonâve. Volunteers from the village and from Shippensburg University lent additional hands to assist the professional construction workers for a true team effort.
Building a medical facility is a complex project in the best of conditions, but building it in Gros-Mangles presented additional challenges. With no infrastructure for accessing supplies, no running water and no electricity or modern construction equipment, the construction took time and immense physical labor. It also took a lot of effort to raise the needed funds to purchase construction materials, and hire an architect and construction experts to lead our team of volunteers.
After 6 years of hard work, thanks to the generosity of donors, the volunteer work of SU students and faculty, the expertise of the Gros-Mangles construction team, the leadership of Haitian physician Dr. Jean Rony, and the commitment of our Haitian medical team, the medical center became operational on June 1, 2020. Since the opening, patients have been rushing to the facility, deeply grateful for this major improvement in their daily lives.
Despite these major successes, still more needs to be done, as the medical center cannot yet operate autonomously. Our current and future needs are:
3 solar panels and 8 batteries
1 generator (>5,200 W)
Medical supplies and equipment for sustained operation
A fence and gate around the facility
An ambulance service to transport patients
We can't do it without your support. Anything that you can contribute will go a long way toward helping the people of Gros-Mangles and those living nearby.
Check out the slide shows below to see the facility in its various stages of construction and now in operation!
January 2014- June 2020
Leveling the ground, building the foundation
Raising the walls
Raising the roof
Floors and electrical wiring.
Painting and Plumbing
June 1, 2020
WHAT THE PEOPLE OF GROS-MANGLES SAY
Thank you for helping my son
“My son had a stick stuck in his ear. I felt so lucky that I could take my son to the Centre Belval to get help. I could not afford to take him to the hospital in Anse-à-Galets. It is two hours away and we don't have a vehicle. Thank you, Project Gros Mangles!”