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Staff Spotlights

Staff Spotlight: Emilio


Staff Spotlight: Emilio Alexis

For nearly nine years, Emilio Alexis has been making sure things run smoothly at the Lespwa Timoun Clinic in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. As our partner’s Administrator, Emilio has his hands full managing Lespwa Timoun’s financial, physical, and human resources. He also played a crucial role in the clinic earning NGO status in November 2016, and since has worked hard to ensure Lespwa Timoun is in full compliance with the Directorate General’s guidelines for NGOs and that related reports required by the Haitian government are accurate.

Emilio shared with us that his favorite story from his time working at Lespwa Timoun occurred during a mobile medical clinic in the remote mountain village of Crochu. A woman had brought her very sick twins to the clinic to seek help. The children were so malnourished that they needed to be hospitalized. When Emilio asked the mother to take her children to Lespwa Timoun, so that she could get a reference for the hospital, she told him that she wasn’t able to. Hospitals in Haiti are expensive and require patients and their families to bring their own food and medicine. “You will with us,” Emilio recalls telling the mother, “and Lespwa Timoun will help you take care of your children.” Emilio and the other Lespwa Timoun staff at the mobile clinic brought the mother and her children down the mountain with them and ensured the twins received the medical care they needed, first at the hospital and later through the clinic’s Nutrition Program.  “Right now she has two beautiful children,” Emilio said. Now, each time he sees these children, he is reminded of this experience and why the work that the clinic does and the help it provides is so important.

Emilio shared that he is inspired to serve as Administrator of Lespwa Timoun because he has the “opportunity to participate in excellent work to help everyone who needs the help. It’s wonderful for me to do this job.” Emilio’s wife, Lynnhelda, shares his passion for helping others and works at the clinic as a nurse. They two have two sons, Carlenz and Rolney, who was born last August.  In his free time, Emilio enjoys watching soccer, listening to music, and going to the beach with his family.

Emilio’s love for people, and his commitment to excellence in himself and our partner clinic, Lespwa Timoun, are an incredible asset to Light from Light. He’s a joy to work with, and we’re so grateful to have him!

Staff Spotlights

Staff Spotlight: Michelande


Staff Spotlight: Michelande Pierre

Michelande Pierre has been the accountant for our partner, the Lespwa Timoun (“Hope for Children”) Clinic, since August 2016. Michelande is responsible for tracking income and expenses in QuickBooks and preparing payroll for the Lespwa Timoun staff. She also prepares financial reports and works closely with our US team and our Child Sponsorship Program Coordinator in Haiti to ensure your generous donations are being handled responsibly and transparently. With 90 cents out of every $1 from Light from Light going directly to programs in Haiti last year, Michelande is a crucial team member not only to Lespwa Timoun, but to Light from Light.

Michelande shared that her favorite memory from working at Lespwa Timoun was from about a month after she’d joined the organization when she met a severely malnourished child who was entering the clinic’s Nutrition Program. She was struck by his condition and became worried about his chances of survival, but when she asked the clinic’s administrator, Emilio, if the little boy was going to make it, he responded that yes, this was a simple case. When Michelande asked Emilio for news of the child three months later, she was surprised to see all the change the boy had made during such a short period of time. “I told him that there really is hope here for the children,” she recalled. “The name really corresponds to the work.” Seeing first-hand the hope that the Nutrition Program brought to this child and his family in an otherwise seemingly hopeless situation was a great source of inspiration for Michelande in her role at the clinic going forward.

Michelande is a woman of great faith and intellect, and enjoys reading and doing research in her free time. When asked what motivates her to do her job, Michelande replied that it was the collaboration with the clinic staff and how much she enjoys the work she does.

We think it’s telling of her character that when asked to share one thing that she wants to make sure people know about her, Michelande replied simply, “my honestly.” It’s truly a blessing to have Michelande as a part of our team. We’re so grateful for all she does for Lespwa Timoun and Light from Light, and are so proud of the work Michelande is doing to help create long-lasting, positive change in her community.

Staff Spotlights

Staff Spotlight: Dr. Lolo


Staff Spotlight: Dr. Thérilien Lolo

Dr. Lolo has worked at the Lespwa Timoun Clinic since November 2011. Not only does Dr. Lol provide general consultations at the clinic and of malnourished children for the Nutrition Program, he also focuses on preventative medicine through the Hypertension & Diabetes Club and Sanitary Education in schools.

Dr. Lolo shared that he is motivated to do this great work because he knows how poor health care is in Haiti. He knows that his presence helps the most vulnerable people get access to basic health care services.

Dr. Lolo shared that the following was his favorite memory from working at the clinic: “One day a woman came to me with her husband and child to ask me about my name so that she could pray for me every night. She did so because she was happy that I saved her child’s life. She was very happy, and I was very happy for that.”

When he’s not saving lives, Dr. Lolo likes to spend his free time playing chess, reading, going to the beach, and spending time with his wife and son.

When asked to share one thing he wishes people would know about him, Dr. Lolo said, “I wish people would know that I care about what I am doing and I am always ready to help anyone.” It’s this sort of passion and work ethic that makes Dr. Lolo an integral part of the staff at Lespwa Timoun Clinic, and the lives of the thousands of patients he’s served.

We are so grateful for Dr. Lolo and all he does to make a healthier, brighter future for Haiti.

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


2018 at Lespwa Timoun: The Year in Review

Over the past 15 years, Lespwa Timoun’s Nutrition Program has grown from serving 760 children in 2003 to providing life saving nutrition and medical care to over 4,700 last year. Carmel’s dream of a place where all children could be well cared for has become a reality. Thanks to the clinic building that opened its doors 5 years ago and support from friends like you, that dream has been able to expand and grow in ways that benefit the whole community. In 2018, God used Lespwa Timoun to bless thousands as the clinic staff worked to create a healthier Haiti through both curative and preventative healthcare.

Doctors and nurses at Lespwa Timoun are currently caring for an average of 50 patients a day through the outpatient clinic in Croix-des-Bouquets, and have provided over 14,000 patients consults over the past year.  Thanks to Lespwa Timoun, these patients have access to triage services, pharmacy and laboratory, and trained medical care providers.

Lespwa Timoun also offers prenatal, postnatal, and general OBGYN care both at the clinic in Croix-des-Bouquets and two mobile locations. The remote mountain village of Crochu has been especially blessed by these services. Before beginning mobile clinics in Crochu, the women in this community had no access to prenatal or postnatal care. Now, Lespwa Timoun doctors and health workers travel to Crochu once a month to provide this care for new and expectant mothers.

Lespwa Timoun has also trained and certified 24 midwives who work in Crochu. These dedicated men and women provide prenatal, delivery and postnatal care to mothers and new babies in the area. In the past year alone, Lespwa Timoun’s midwives have helped mothers through 159 deliveries, including healthy sets of twins and triplets. The work of these midwives is so crucial to the health of mothers and their children in Crochu, especially since, barring an emergency situation,  all the children that are born in this rural community are delivered at home.

In Haiti, few have access to medical care, and because of limited resources, most resort to the care of a doctor only in an emergency. Lespwa Timoun, however, is working to change this reactive approach to healthcare by focusing on preventative care like immunizations, community education, and screening for chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes .

In the past year, about 7,500 children received much needed vaccinations, and mobile clinics allowed the Lespwa Timoun medical staff to provide primary health care to over 2,600 patients in 12 isolated communities, and carry out prevention activities to reduce the risk of chronic disease and the transmission of infectious disease. Proper medical care for these chronic conditions like HTP and diabetes is crucial in preventing much more serious issues down the road like blood clots and even blindness. This is especially critical in a country like Haiti where hospitals are so underfunded, patients are required to provide their own medications

Thank you to everyone who gave of their time, talents, finances, and prayers in 2018. Without your support and God’s faithfulness, none of this would be possible. Be sure to check out this 2017-2018 Report for an overview of Lespwa Timoun’s programs and the work they’ve accomplished in the past year, and join us in praying that God blesses Light from Light and our partner clinic, Lespwa Timoun, in 2019.

Staff Spotlights

Staff Spotlight: Nurse Paul

The success of the Nutrition Program and its incredible growth over the past 15 years wouldn’t be possible without Lespwa Timoun’s dedicated doctors, nurses and administrators. One of the first people program founder, Carmel Valdema, hired was Nurse Paul. Genevieve Paul began working with Carmel and the Nutrition Program in January 2011, not long after they set up their first clinic at the rental house in Croix-des-Bouquets. In her current position at the Lespwa Timoun Clinic as Nurse Supervisor, she oversees the medical center, cares for patients, and ensures the clinic and pharmacy are well stocked with necessary medical supplies.

Over the past nearly eight years, Nurse Paul has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of patients. In an interview in 2017, Nurse Paul shared that she’s inspired by her love for what she does, and sees her work as a nurse as a way to contribute to the development of her country. She recalled being particularly motivated by her experience of traveling to Jérémie after the area had been nearly destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. “I helped with an open heart,” she said. “I felt so satisfied inside because I could bring some help to my brothers and sisters. Their gratitude is worth a lot to me.”

It’s that dedication to her work and love for her people and her Lespwa Timoun family that make her such an asset and an invaluable part of the clinic’s team. Light from Light is proud to support Nurse Paul and all of Lespwa Timoun staff who work tirelessly to help create a brighter future for Haiti.


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.”

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