Hope for Haiti 5K
Buy ABH Missouri tickets
Sponsor ABH Atlanta
Sponsor the 5k
Buy ABH Atlanta tickets
Join the Sustainers Society
Donate Now
Get Email Updates

2022 Year-End Update

The end of the year gives us a chance to look back on the challenges and unexpected joys of working in Haiti. 2022 was a hard year, from gas shortages to violence and a new cholera outbreak. Even so, have reason to hope and celebrate. All our clinic employees have made it through the year safely and they continue to serve patients every week. We are working to install a solar system at the temporary clinic location so that we can continue to work regardless of gas shortages, and this project should be done in early January.

We are deeply grateful to all our partners who make this work possible. Your generosity is a powerful expression of the call to love our neighbor, and we are humbled to count you as friends.

Below is a story that embodies the mix of emotions that so often surfaced in 2022 – sadness and grief, certainly, but also joy, new life, and hope for the future.

Juliette’s story

Juliette Mangat, a 40-year-old mother of seven, lives in the mountain village of Bouzi, north of Croix-des-Bouquets. She was eight months pregnant with her eighth child when her husband was tragically killed by gang members while on his way to work. She was left alone as the sole caregiver and provider for her children.

As the final month of her pregnancy went on, she developed severe pain in her abdomen. She called her local midwife, one of many trained and supported by the partnership of Lespwa Timoun and Light from Light.

Juliette’s midwife referred her to the Lespwa Timoun clinic. When she made it down the mountain, she was seen by two of our physicians. She was suffering from severe bleeding and her hemoglobin (a measure of anemia) had dropped precipitously to seven. Doctors were worried that the placenta was separating from the uterine wall, which is potentially fatal to both mother and child.

The clinic had one of their drivers transport the mother to a local hospital for an emergency C-section. One of the nurses accompanied the pair in the vehicle to continue to provide care. The first hospital did not have blood available, so our drivers took her to a second hospital. Because of the Lespwa Timoun team’s dedication, Juliette was able to have a safe and sterile surgery and give birth to a healthy, happy baby.

Our clinic saw her three weeks after delivery to remove the sutures, and both mother and baby were doing well. If the Lespwa Timoun chain of care—from midwives to doctors to drivers—had not been in place, this small family would not have survived.

Thank you for continuing to partner with our staff amid the turmoil of Haiti. Despite the many challenges and dangers, the clinic continues to work to serve their neighbors in the Port-au-Prince area. We hope you have a blessed New Year.

Stories, Uncategorized

February 2019 Protests



As many of you have heard, the chaos of everyday life in Haiti escalated recently when thousands took to the streets to protest growing inflation and the alleged misuse of funds by the Haitian government. From February 7 through 15, streets were barricaded, homes and businesses were vandalized and looted, and some protests even turned violent. As a result, Haiti was on lockdown for over a week. Schools, public transportation, and businesses were all closed, including our partner, the Lespwa Timoun Clinic, which was unable to see patients for over a week. In a country where most people struggle on a daily basis to meet basic needs, being unable to leave their homes meant many suffered from food and water shortages.

Our partners in Haiti described the protests as stressful, but clinic staff and families remained safe. Carmel Valdema, clinic founder and coordinator, shared a reflection during this time: “Can you imagine staying for 9 days at home? Nine? I was thinking about the kids Lespwa Timoun had in the hospital, children who are in the Nutrition Program who needed to replenish their supply of Plumpy’Nut or akamil (ak1000). In many places, people don’t have water, food, gas, or charcoal to cook. It is so hard.”

Currently, protests are paused while the Haitian government begins to address citizen concerns and reform issues. Lespwa Timoun reopened on Monday, February 18, and staff remains focused on providing quality care. Light from Light remains dedicated to Lespwa Timoun and the people of Haiti, and we ask you to join us in keeping them in your prayers.

In Haiti, we know there are no quick fixes, but we are blessed and encouraged by the resilience, hope and faith of our Haitian friends. Light from Light continues to focus on empowering proven local leaders, like Carmel Valdema, to build and sustain long-lasting change. By joining with them, we are feeding the flame of hope and healing in Haitian communities. It is our prayer that this flame will shine brighter than the chaos surrounding it in the days ahead.



Miranda DuBose

Executive Director

Light from Light


Carmel’s Dream

We can’t celebrate 15 years of the Lespwa Timoun Nutrition Program without talking about the incredible woman who started it all – Marie Carmel Valdema. This program and the thousands of malnourished children it saves are the fulfillment of a dream Carmel had long before she began the program in 2003.

When Carmel was eight years old, living in the Haitian mountains, she would walk every day to a nearby fountain to collect water for her and her mother. “I remember there was a clinic very close to that fountain,” Carmel recalls, “and I could see all the children waiting to be seen by the doctors and health workers.” Since then, Carmel dreamed of a place where all children in Haiti would be well taken care of. This dream led Carmel to become a nurse, so that she would be able to serve as many children and families as possible.

Carmel spent more than a decade serving others alongside her husband, Father Pierre Fritz “Pere Val” Valdema on the island of La Gonave before being transferred to Croix des Bouquets. It was 2003 when Carmel first visited Crochu, a remote mountain region in Haiti that was part of her husband, Pere Val’s, new parish. “We found many children in bed sick,” Carmel remembers. “Their parents did not know the cause of their sickness, but I knew it was malnutrition.” Carmel saw this critical need and knew she had to help, so she reached out to friends in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and with their help, the Nutrition Program began.

During that first year, working alone and with very limited resources, Carmel provided life saving nutrition and medical care to 760 children. In the beginning, the Nutrition Program lacked basic needs like transportation, a building and even medicine, but Carmel never faltered in her mission or forgot her dream. That’s something that Carmel believes makes her people unique. “Haitians are very hopeful. We rely on God for everything and we rely on each other’s strength to grow.”

In 2005, God provided in the form of the clinic’s first vehicle. This generous gift from Rotary Club friends in Florida made it possible for the first time for Carmel and her now growing staff to have mobile clinics, and thus reach and care for even more children in remote villages where the need was greatest. However, not having a building meant their capabilities were limited, and Carmel struggled with their inability to serve severely malnourished children. “In the past, when we sent children needing to be hospitalized to other clinics, they turned them away and referred them back to us.”

With her vision of a place that could care for all children in mind, Carmel and the Nutrition Program staff worked and prayed, and in 2009 their faithfulness was rewarded when they were able to rent a building in Croix-des-Bouquets. This first clinic provided a place where doctors could see children and other patients in the community, and made it easier for medical mission teams to come and serve.

Five years ago, the Nutrition Program began being held in the Lespwa Timoun (“Hope for Children”) Clinic’s permanent location in Croix-des-Bouquets. Between the two meetings a week at the clinic and the eight remote locations where mobile clinic are held, the Nutrition Program is now serving 400 children on average a month. In 2018, as we celebrate fifteen years of the Nutrition Program, Carmel feels her greatest success is working and living to see her dream and vision come true. “My dream since I was eight years old was to become a nurse and to take care of my community. I am living my dream now. I have not been disappointed yet. It has been a long and slow journey, but it is unfolding so beautifully that we are fine with the pace.”

Get a Quote