Meet Stacy House, Volunteer Coordinator
Stacy House is Project Medishare’s Volunteer Coordinator at Hospital Bernard Mevs. She initially volunteered with us in February 2015, and quickly returned several times over the next few months. Stacy joined Project Medishare as a full-time staff member in 2016 and is responsible for managing volunteers while on-site at the hospital. Read our Q&A with Stacy to learn more about what it’s like to live and work in Haiti.
When did you first volunteer at HBM? What was your experience like?
I first volunteered February 2015. It was love at first sight when I arrived at Hospital Bernard Mevs. The shifts were long, and there was so much work to be done. We lacked a lot of equipment that the hospital now has, and we had to improvise a lot, but I loved every minute of it and knew it was where I was meant to be. By April 2016, I had volunteered four times for a total of two and a half months, and was applying for the volunteer coordinator position. When I think back at how far not only I, but also the hospital has come in just three years, it is amazing.
What do you most enjoy about working with volunteers?
I love seeing volunteers come and becoming one team, not only with each other, but with the Haitian staff. There is a lot of learning on both sides. I also get to meet people from all over the world and have some amazing friends that I would never have met otherwise.
What is your favorite thing about Haiti?
The people! Haitians are some of the most beautiful souls I have ever met. They are smart, strong and proud, amazingly generous, artistic and oh so funny! When someone tells me, “You are Haitian now”, it is the best compliment!
What type of impact do Project Medishare volunteers have at HBM?
After the earthquake, the volunteers were needed to staff the hospital. Now we are proud to say that the hospital is Haitian run. Today, it is a partnership. Volunteers are always teamed up with Haitian staff. It is a great way for both the staff and volunteers to learn and share their experiences. Because everyone works closely, lifelong bonds are made. There are volunteers that go back home, but remain resources for the hospital. Helping the medical team at HBM remain current with education and techniques is some of the most needed help from volunteers.
What is your advice to future volunteers?
I would encourage volunteers to read and think before going on any medical mission trip. Read a bit about the country you are going to — understanding some of its history and culture will give you more insight into its people. Read some of the wonderful articles about participating in short-term medical mission trips. Really think about if it is the right way for you to participate. There are ways to help without leaving home that are just as important. Remember that you are entering an established hospital, and you are a guest. Every volunteers input and insight is important, but coming with the knowledge that you will not change the world, or in this case, fix Haiti in a week or two is vital. I always tell volunteers that if you have taught someone something, learned something and made one patients life better while you were at HBM, then you have succeeded in your mission.
Interested in volunteering? Register here.