VOLUNTEER NOW - Midwives For Haiti

VOLUNTEER NOW

VOLUNTEER NOW

BECOME A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN HAITI

International medical volunteers are vital to our work in Haiti and nearly half of our volunteers return for subsequent trips. In 2015 alone, 126 volunteers spent time with us in Haiti, contributing over 4,500 volunteer hours to the education of our students and to the care of Haitian mothers and children.

Photo: Every Mother Counts

Midwives for Haiti operates a 12-month education program to train Haitian nurses to become Skilled Birth Attendants. The setting for instruction is in central Haiti at rural clinics and St. Therese Hospital. The education program is rigorous and supported by classroom lectures and simulation, clinical hours, weekly case studies, and upon graduation, monthly continuing education at our headquarters in Hinche. Our students are taught by a government-trained nurse-midwife instructor and supported in clinical settings by 5 graduates. Student learning is further supported by international medical volunteers. Curriculum development is ongoing through the collaborative work of a committee of dedicated staff and international nurse midwives.

Thanks to our partnership with Every Mother Counts, the training program, including supplies and materials, is free to our students. Learn more about our Teaching Program and other volunteer activities with Midwives For Haiti.

Volunteers support our Teaching Program and other maternal and infant health programs. Volunteers must have active medical licenses and credentials and may only perform procedures in Haiti that fall within the scope of that license.

THE BASICS

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  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), Licensed Midwives (LMs), OB/GYN physicians and nurses, Labor/Delivery Nurses, along with Lactation Consultants (LCs) are needed as volunteers.
  • We also welcome other medical professionals who have skills and experience they would like to volunteer. Students- nursing, midwifery, doula, and medical- are discouraged unless they already have a medical license to practice or bring a licensed preceptor to supervise them and can come the months that our own students are not in clinical practice.
  • We can use non-medical volunteers, but in non-medical settings only.  People with management, human resources, monitoring and evaluation, teaching or curriculum design, supply management, and international NGO experience are welcome to apply.
  • Motivated, self-directed volunteers must also be flexible and sensitive to their role in a foreign country and prepared to work alongside Haitian staff and their protocols. Medical experience in low resource settings is certainly an asset to the program but not required.
  • Other requirements include compassion and respect for how the Haitian people work and live: “In the U.S. we do this, how do you do it here?” We have worked hard over the years to develop a genuine partnership with the staff at Ste. Therese Hospital, the Haiti Ministry of Health, our staff (drivers, translators, etc), and the people we serve. Our value of ‘genuine partnership’ requires that we meet Haitians “where they are”- always being respectful and understanding that we do not and cannot possibly know what it is like to be in their shoes.
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    Our headquarters in Hinche.

    Another requirement is to teach what you know in a clear and simple manner. This means using a multitude of teaching methods, visuals, demonstrations, and methods of testing knowledge that may require some creativity.

  • Our living accomodations, though luxurious by Haitian standards, are simple and rustic. There is no AC, a toilet that may not flush, short and cold showers, and beans and rice for meals are a given. You must also be open to the spiritual element of being in Haiti and the joy that will surprise you everyday. You will learn as much as you teach and your life will certainly be changed.

ELIGIBILITY + PROCESS

Please read about our Volunteer Teaching Program and review all Volunteer Resources prior to applying.

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We are looking for the following skills in a Midwives for Haiti volunteer:

  • Licensed Midwife, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, or Nurse with at least one year of experience managing births and/or making clinical decisions in a maternity environment
  • Desire to support skill-building of students rather than provide direct medical care
  • Flexibility and willingness to help wherever needed to support our programs and maternal health work in Haiti
  • Ability to work in a medical system that may be different from your own experience
  • Previous experience in a developing country or low-resource setting is highly desirable but not necessary
  • French or Haitian Creole language skills are useful though not required

 

AVAILABILITY

We work hard to accommodate your schedule. Please keep in mind that the more flexibility volunteers have in their travel dates, the better their experience can be because we try to pair volunteer skills with what the students are learning at any given time and to fill the greatest needs. 
  • Please note that volunteer placement- at the Carrie Wortham Birth Center or at our headquarters in Hinche- is entirely at the discretion of the Volunteer Coordinator and based upon program needs.  Should you have preferences or concerns, please speak with us about them upon applying. The more flexible you can be, however, the better and more effective your time will be spent.
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VOLUNTEER FEES

Volunteer program fees go directly to support Midwives For Haiti’s volunteer program as well as our projects which aim to deliver high impact health interventions in Haiti. Midwives For Haiti is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and your fees are tax-deductible.

The individual program fee is $750 for one week, and $450 for each additional week. Volunteers are required to pay their own roundtrip flight expenses to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Midwives For Haiti no longer provides discounted rates and customized invoices for individuals or small groups. Groups of five or more do qualify for a discount, contact us for details. We cannot accept children; minimum volunteer age is 18. 

We highly encourage you to plan two weeks to volunteer with us, as it takes about a week to acclimate to Haiti and to become well-oriented with our programs. This is especially recommended for first-time volunteers, since there is so much to learn about Haitian culture and working with our staff despite being experienced clinical professionals.

We strongly recommend that you book your trip two months in advance, as we have limited slots available at our guesthouse.

Your program package includes:

Pre-Trip:

  • Personal support from MFH staff throughout scheduling and preparation process
  • Program materials, including orientation documents
  • Fundraising strategies and resources

 

In-Country:

  • Accommodations at MFH’s house in Hinche, Haiti
  • Meals: 3 meals daily (lunch and dinner prepared for you by staff)
  • Airport transportation: pick-up and drop-off in Port-Au-Prince on Saturdays only
  • Program orientation by MFH staff members upon your arrival
  • Support: 24/7 support from our In-Country staff
  • Access to a Haitian translator Monday-Friday
  • Local transportation around Hinche for volunteer activities
  • Midwives For Haiti t-shirt

 

Post-Trip:

  • Advocacy Packet
  • Subscription to our monthly newsletter
  • Access to our private Facebook Group

HEALTH & SAFETY

Please be advised that we take the health and safety of our volunteers very seriously. The following mosquito borne viruses have been reported in Haiti:

      • The Zika virus is present in Haiti. The CDC advises pregnant women (or anyone who might become pregnant) to avoid travel to regions with Zika.
      • The most recent confirmed case of dengue fever among staff or volunteers in Hinche was November 2015.
      • Chikungunya swept through Haiti in 2014. We have not seen a new case since July 2014.
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APPLY TO VOLUNTEER

STEPS TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER

  • REVIEW ALL MATERIALS

    Please read all materials on website and Volunteer Resources prior to applying

  • APPLY ONLINE

    All volunteers- new or returning- are required to fill out an application form prior to planning their trip. New volunteer submit this online application. Returning volunteers must apply here.

        • We have limited space each week. If you are traveling in a group, please email us prior to applying to determine if there is space.
        • The application will ask for your top three choices of travel dates. We appreciate any flexibility you have in the week(s) you’d like to volunteer.
        • *Each person travelling in a group must apply separately and must note the team you are volunteering with to ensure space together at our guesthouse.
  • SUBMIT CV + COVER LETTER

    Submit CV (no longer than 2 pages) and a one-page cover letter answering the following questions:

        • What knowledge, experience, skills, and special characteristics do you have that would contribute to the value of our programs?
        • What specific goals do you have for your volunteer experience with MFH?
  • PHONE INTERVIEW

    Upon receiving your completed electronic application, resume , and cover letter, we will contact you to set up a phone interview to discuss your goals and the needs of Midwives For Haiti.

  • SCHEDULE YOUR TRIP

    Midwives For Haiti will help you schedule your trip and send you orientation materials. You must submit all of your required documents before arriving in Haiti.

QUESTIONS?

Read everything and still have questions? Want to check availability? Email our Volunteer Coordinator below (response time may vary due to Internet availability in Haiti):

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

I’m a many-times volunteer. Two things led me to choose Midwives For Haiti: Haitians are trained to care for their own communities, and volunteers kept going back. I wanted to be a part of something that midwives wanted to return to continue the work and that would be self-sustaining in the end. Midwives for Haiti accomplishes both!

Bobbi Kimsey, CNM

I believe in the mission to teach and train local midwives to increase internal capacity within the country. That causes more ripples than just spending a week in the country as a midwife.

Kristin Johnson, CNM

I started volunteering with Midwives For Haiti five years ago because I had heard great things about the organization and saw great need right after the earthquake. I keep volunteering each year because the organization is indeed wonderful and the change they have made is phenomenal!

Ellen Solis, CNM

EMAIL US: VOLUNTEER@MIDWIVESFORHAITI.ORG

QUESTIONS? CHECK OUT OUR FAQs.