nurse attends patient without funds through Facebook
Nurse Bergela Bertrand, of Health in the Mountain, measures a patient’s blood pressure in Charette, near Les Cayes, in August 2021, the Haiti-based group collected money from friends and colleagues to run two mobile clinics after the 2021 earthquake.

SEGUIN, Haiti — A community healthcare organization, Health in the Mountain, was just getting off the ground in Haiti when a devastating earthquake struck in the summer of 2021. The group raised $1,000 from friends and colleagues in the United States for medicines and materials used in two mobile medical clinics. When it tried to raise more funds through Facebook — well known for its effective fundraising pages — it couldn’t. 

Jacky Joseph, the group’s executive director and a nurse, scoured the Facebook corporate site until he found: “Is fundraising on Facebook available in my country?” 

For Haiti, the answer was: “Facebook.com on mobile browsers is in the process of being updated.” Lower on the page, he read, “If you cannot create a fundraiser, it’s because the tools are not available in your area.”

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J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.