Kingston-Sponsored Community Centre Under Development in Haiti


By Merideth Smith, Kingston Herald June 14, 2013

The Help Tammy Help Haiti charity – founded by longtime Kingston resident, Tammy Babcock – is making great strides towards building the ‘Pivot Point Community Centre’ in Haiti’s Cite Solei. (3D render pictured)

Babcock reports that property for the community centre has been purchased and cleared, and she is now fundraising to support the first step of its construction: preparing the foundation for the entire facility.

The Cite Soleil community centre will include two large training rooms, a covered basketball court, and two multi-purpose open air meeting spaces for citizens to utilize.

Babcock envisions the two story structure as a neutral space for the people of Cite Soleil – a place she describes as “a desperately needed building block for peace.” The centre will offer classes that focus on conflict resolution, special needs, adult education and job skills training.

Help Tammy Help Haiti has had great success with this initiative in the past.

Former gang members have been taught First Aid, which has resulted in some of the students who were enemies in their previous existence to become close friends.

The medical clinic built by Help Tammy Help Haiti was finished in June 2012. While awaiting doctors to begin treating patients, the clinic is being used as a training facility for First Aid courses; with a current class being run for young mothers, focusing on hygiene and infant & child care. (pictured right)

Tammy is hoping to reach out to organizations who are interested in assisting with the staffing of the medical clinic.

She is specifically interested in reaching out to Father Richard Frechette, who oversees Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) Haiti, and the J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), founded by Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn.

Much like Help Tammy Help Haiti, J/P HRO focuses on efficiently managed and sustainable assistance for Haiti. They have been celebrated for their effective and efficient work during the cholera epidemic.

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos Haiti is a Christian organization that focuses on childcare, health care, and education. “Father Rick”, as Frechette is known, is an inspiring figure who went back to school to become a doctor in order to better help the people of Haiti.

NPH Haiti recently finished a new hospital in Cite Soleil, St Mary’s hospital, that features an outpatient clinic, 80 inpatient beds, and an emergency surgery centre.

Babcock would also like to raise awareness for Robinson, a man from Cite Soleil who is raising money to go to dental school. Since he was 18 years old, Robinson has been helping international organizations in Haiti work within his and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Robinson has never wanted to ask for support before, as he doesn’t want to take money away from large community projects, but needs help to put his plan to become the first local dentist in Cite Soleil into action. Very few international dentists even will visit the area which makes dental health professionals a desperately needed service.