Paying it Forward in Haiti

Kervenson Dumas was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at the turn of the millennium and by age 12, he and his three siblings were orphaned. Fortunately, they had moved to Gros-Morne by the time the devastating earthquake hit in 2010 and settled in with their impoverished grandmother after their parents’ death. “My poor grandma always did what she could to find us something to eat,” reports Kervenson, now 19, “but sometimes she found nothing, and there was no other way for us to find food.”

After the earthquake, it was due to stories like Kervenson’s that inspired Taffy Bowman and Tom Kratz to team up with a small group of kind-hearted parishioners from NorthPointe Community Church in Spring City, Pennsylvania, to arrange annual pilgrimages to help a small rural Haitian community called Beaudois. They formed Restoring Hope, Child and Community (RHCC) and gained 501c3 status in 2016.

“We received training to understand the unique challenges faced by children living in extreme poverty, and learned how to organize and conduct clinics that can offer significant outcomes for children threatened by death due to malnutrition,” explains Bowman. “Our ultimate goal is to eradicate malnutrition in this remote region of Haiti by providing simple interventions such as education, de-worming, and essential Vitamin A and micronutrient distribution,” she added.

Micronutrients are a powdered form of concentrated vitamins and minerals that are consumed by being mixed in food and can play a crucial role in human nutrition by preventing and treating various diseases. A lack of proper nutrients in the diet often leads to stunted growth, rickets, scurvy, osteoporosis and a compromised immune system. These supplements are especially important to the proper development of young children who are just developing their brains and bones and do not have access to a well-balanced, nutritious diet. DataCeutics/Navitas Data Sciences has supported the RHCC’s mission by donating the funds for the micronutrients since 2016. They have also donated laptops to support education initiatives. Matt Ferdock, CEO Navitas Data Sciences said, “We are happy to contribute financially to supply micronutrients to aid in what the mission wants to accomplish — improve life for the Haitian people.”

The clinic also provides the community with zinc-enriched dental powder, skincare cream, and feminine hygiene education for the girls. They also supply moringa seeds for the planting of trees with the hopes of cultivating seeds, which are packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. This Holiday season, RHCC is encouraging donations of live goats to families. The goal is to teach families to breed their goats initially and produce offspring, instead of harvesting and eating or selling the meat, to create sustainability.

Since their first clinic in 2016, the team has helped thousands of families, now servicing up to 1,500 people each visit. Donations have enabled the construction of a building to house the pastor’s family and the Child Development Center. There is now a full-time nurse in Haiti to check-in on the families and provide year-round care when needed. The RHCC Mobile Medical Team has grown considerably and now includes a physician, nurses, volunteers, and an army of Haitian volunteers that help at the clinic’s stations and serve as translators. One of these Haitian volunteers is Kervenson Dumas.

A recipient of micronutrients from the clinic himself, Dumas exemplifies the drastic difference the kindness of others can make in the lives of children. The local pastor and his wife took note of Kervenson’s eagerness to learn English and his genuine desire to help, and concerned about his well-being, invited him and his younger siblings to live with them three years ago. Having access to the pastor’s computer and the internet, Kervenson taught himself English by watching American television shows like Friends and is now a translator for the RHCC Mobile Medical Team.

“I think helping people is something we need to do,” says Kervenson matter-of-factly. “People from RHCC have done a lot for me, so if there is something I can do for them, I should do it,” he says. Kervenson is a very special young man. He is a devout Christian and very passionate about making a difference in the world. This 12th grader already speaks five languages and is on his way to learning five more, with an eye on Med school. “My dream is to become a doctor,” Kervenson says, “I want to help people just like I am being helped by others.”

This is what ‘paying it forward’ is all about.

Please consider donating funds for food or a live goat to an impoverished family in great need by clicking here: Give Christmas to Haiti or see other donation options here: Restoring Hope, Child and Community.

DataCeutics/Navitas Data Sciences would like to wish all of our friends, colleagues, and readers a healthy, joyful, and meaningful 2020.

Kervinson is pictured here on the left, with a friend, and his older brother, Garidson.