haiti through music
Attendees at a "Haiti Through Music" event with BIC Tizon Dife hold a SHALI banner in November 2016, at Uniondale Public Library. Courtesy: SHALI

An earlier version of this story stated that Rose-Bienvil met Dorsica at North Shore University Hospital, when in fact the front desk staff at the hospital referred Dorsica to SHALI founder Rose-Bienvil. The story was also updated to reflect Rose-Bienvil's occupation of mental and public health professional. The previous version stated that she was a mental health nurse.

UNIONDALE, NY — When Slovenia Dorisca’s two-year-old got sick with the flu, she rushed to North Shore University Hospital for help. With no job and no financial support after arriving from the U.S. border a few months prior, she broke down in tears when a hospital worker told her she would have to pay out of pocket since her daughter did not have health insurance. 

The front desk staff at the hospital referred her to Marie Sonia Saint Rose-Bienvil, a mental and public health professional. Rose-Bienvil would eventually help the former migrant through her organization, called Solidarité Haitiano-Américaine de Long Island, or SHALI for short. As it turned out, the sick child was eligible for health coverage, but Dorisca, like many other migrants in the same situation, was unaware.

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Paul Jr. Prudent

Paul Junior Prudent started his journalism career in 2011 at Radio Ibo in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In 2018, he received accreditation from the NBA to cover the Knicks and the Nets for Radio Ibo. He's collaborated with multiple media outlets in Haiti including Le Nouvelliste, Le Matin, Ayibopost, and Port-au-Prince Post.