2013 Haiti: Post-Disaster Reconstruction, Sustainability and Development Conference, 15 & 16 November 2013, Fordham University

The International Health Awareness Network has a strong commitment to development, health, and sustainability in developing countries, and this was confirmed by IHAN’s participation in a conference sponsored by the Institute for Women at Girls, Fordham University.

The conference was kicked off by the Gannon Lecture speaker, Hugh Locke, of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance at the United Nations Headquarters. Locke, an engaging speaker,  presented “The Haiti Experiment: Development Breakthroughs That Could Change the World.” The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) works with small-scale farmers in Haiti to help restore tree cover and increase food production. They create agroforestry cooperatives that are designed to be self-financing and farmer-managed. Thus far, the SFA has seen results: the planting of significant numbers of trees, higher food crop yields, and improved livelihoods in rural communities.

Day 2 was filled with many engaging discussions and panels, including Housing Solutions Post-disaster and Women and their role in Shaping Sustainable Development. In the afternoon, there were two working group sessions that brought participants together  in active dialogue about health, education, food security, and the environment.

Brenda Davis, filmmaker and producer of the film “Sisters,” presented an excerpt that moved the audience. The film tells the story of health workers from Ethiopia, Cambodia and Haiti, and explores how they find meaning while working under difficult circumstances and reveals maternal and newborn death as a human rights issue.  http://www.sisterdocumentary.com/

Many thanks to Dr. Marciana Popescu, Kara Lightburn, and Jennifer Latham for organizing this successful event!