Haiti is a country with many talented and devoted doctors and dentists, but opportunity for them to strive is not found in their home country, causing them to seek jobs out of the country. As a result, temporary volunteers take trips down to Haiti to help but visits are temporary, inconsistent , and do little to help overall healthcare in Haiti.
Rather than the typical week long solution provided by volunteers, we hired native Haitian dentists who know Creole and French and now serve as leaders to the community. They work every week, treat the poorest of the poor at a modicum of expense (to take advantage of the known truth that people value a service and stay “invested” in the process if they pay even a token amount for their care), fill cavities, and only extract teeth only when absolutely necessary.
Service has been transformative in our lives and we realized that the high school students of Haiti should have an opportunity for community service as well. Be Happy Haiti has appointed high school students just like us to prevent tooth decay in the children they know and love. They take their job very seriously, work hard, and are proud to make a difference in the lives of others (in fact, many of them aspire to be dentists themselves someday).