There is a light in Wilda’s eyes that makes you want to know her. There is a kind and gentle touch in the way she relates to her family, her neighbors, and with all of us who visit. The Colorado Haiti Project is grateful to count her as a friend, colleague, leader and teacher as we continue our long-term partnership with the community of Petit Trou de Nippes.
Wilda began her work with Petit Trou’s community health aides (CHA) in 2006. She wanted to attend the initial meeting but was unable due to family responsibilities and young children. About a month later, one of her neighbors who had become a CHA came to her and told her they needed another representative from their small village, Carrefou Bourjin. She asked Wilda if she would like to join. She immediately said yes and has been a leader in the group ever since.
Wilda now has three children, Eliezer Delima, a junior in high school, Othniel Gedeon, a 7th grader at St. Paul’s and Anne Wilda, a 1st grader also at St. Paul’s. She is especially dedicated to supporting her kids and furthering their education. Wilda’s husband, Jacob, runs his ironwork business from home. He takes old pieces of rebar and other iron and creates beautiful and useful furniture. You can always find him in the yard, talking with friends and clients and shaping chairs and tables.
As a CHA, Wilda participates in immunization clinics, helps gather data, and provides important education. She helps explain why the immunization is important and speaks to children’s health and nutrition. She has attended every training offered for the community health aides and aspires to become a nurse one day. She once shared that even if it takes her until she is 80, she will be a nurse. Of the many aspects of CHA work, her favorite is the work of triage. Being a rural farming community where machetes are one of the main tools and motorcycles are the main forms of transportation, there are many injuries. Although she does not provide clinical care, she is the first one called when someone in her community is injured. She helps manage and monitor the patient while getting medical help.
Recently the community health aides began a survey of their community. Wilda has visited 80 homes so far. Putting together a detailed assessment of the community will allow the health agents to provide better support and will allow CHP to understand the real needs of the community. During the survey, the community was introduced to moringa, a tree of extremely high nutritional value that grows well in Haiti. Some families are already familiar with it, for some it is a new plant. To encourage the introduction, the CHA’s gave out a card to each participant offering two free moringa starter trees.
After Hurricane Matthew, Wilda went right back to work on her own little farm. She enthusiastically supported the work of the community seed bank started in partnership with the local community, CHP and the Episcopal church. She not only replanted her entire farm but was also able to dig a family well to allow her to enlarge her garden and save time from daily water collection.
Wilda is now a founding member of a new community association formed to support the families and farmers of the Petit Trou commune. Her shares that her role is to listen to the people, her friends and neighbors and those whom she sees as a community health aide. She hears and knows the true needs of her community and shares with the association.
As Wilda begins the year with her family, she will continue her survey work, manage her garden and especially support her children. Stay tuned for her next update.