Words in Action Haiti is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008…but our story started years before with a boy who dreamed of making a difference in his community. Claude Louis was born and grew up in Qui Croit, a small village in the beautiful mountains of Haiti. There was no electricity, no running water, no transportation and no local government. Claude never met his father, who died when he was just one month old; however, Claude grew up hearing stories about his father who was known in the village as “Doctor Leon”. Interestingly, Leon was not a doctor. He had attended primary school and then had some first aid training as a community health provider. With this limited knowledge, Leon was still able to make a profound impact on his community and was revered by his neighbors. The more stories Claude heard, the more he wanted to be like his father.
Claude attended primary school in his village and then left home to pursue further education. He went to the Baptist Haiti Mission in Fermathe, where he lived and studied until he enrolled in medical school at the Université Notre Dame D’Haiti. During his years of medical school, Claude worked with a foreign medical team who ran mobile clinics. In 2005, Claude was able to establish three mobile clinics of his own to provide care for the underserved people of the very mountains in which he grew up. This was the first step in fulfilling his longtime dream of serving the people of his home community.
In 2008, Claude founded Words In Action Haiti as a means to continue his efforts of making a difference for his fellow Haitians. In 2010, three years after graduating from medical school, Dr. Claude Louis realized his goal of establishing a medical clinic in his father’s village of Qui Croit. With the help of a generous donation from a Canadian philanthropist who knew about Claude’s passion and dedication to giving back, the clinic was set up in a renovated building offering his services – the only physician for miles around.
In 2012, Dr. Louis traveled to the U.S. to pursue his residency in family medicine, but was determined to keep the clinic open and return to Haiti frequently. Today the clinic continues to successfully operate, staffed by a nurse and Dr. Louis visits several times a year with other volunteer medical professionals. What started in a renovated church building is now a newly built stand-alone medical clinic featuring three consultation rooms, a pharmacy, a room dedicated for procedures, a room for patient admissions and another for a potential lab. Many of the patients seen at the clinic walk five or more hours in order to receive care.
Presently, a dedicated team of volunteer board members with unique skill sets has been assembled to further the noble endeavor begun by Dr. Louis so many years ago. Promoting a mindset of self-sufficiency is always at the heart of every effort undertaken by our team. Words In Action Haiti is working toward assisting the community of Qui Croit by helping children achieve their full potential through its school sponsorship program. Our organization also continues to explore means to implement initiatives to empower Haitian energy and innovation through agricultural training, water sanitation, nutrition education, infrastructure and other community development efforts. And so our story continues….the story of what can happen when we put WORDS IN ACTION!