Humanitarian efforts and fundraisers will continue

Health for Haiti students, professors and staff with Haitian children during the 2019 trip's beach day.
Health for Haiti students, professors and staff with Haitian children during the 2019 trip’s beach day.

SUNY Broome is postponing its Health for Haiti global service learning course due to a gas shortage and other logistical issues associated with travel to the remote communities we serve.

“We deeply regret having to cancel the upcoming 2020 Health for Haiti Winter Term class, which truly transforms lives in our partner communities there. Unfortunately the logistics for travel in Haiti are too difficult right now due to a gas shortage in the country,” explained SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm. “Hopefully the gas shortage will subside in the near future so we can return stronger than ever once conditions permit our important work to continue.”

Launched in January 2014, the interdisciplinary four-credit course aims to provide humanitarian assistance to our neighbors in Haiti and prepare college students to contribute to global security and prosperity. Students explore the dynamics between poverty, education, and health care by engaging in service projects that address pressing community needs identified by our partners in Haiti.

In previous trips, participants in the popular Winter Term course provided health and dental care, worked on initiatives related to clean water, solar energy, food production and more.

The Health for Haiti class will resume when conditions permit.

However, SUNY Broome-supported initiatives in Grande Saline continue year-round. In fact, Professor Jennifer Musa returned from a trip to the rural community the weekend of Oct. 12. 

Children are attending class in the community’s seven classrooms, including the new kindergarten, and rice in the community garden is growing well. The water filtration system installed several years ago continues to provide clean water, and will eventually be powered by solar energy – rather than the expensive gas that is in such short supply. To that end, the community is currently building the structure that will support the future solar panels.

Traveling to Grande Saline, however, underscored the logistics issue. “It was a challenge to travel efficiently in a truck, so transporting a large group in a school bus is just not practical under the current conditions,” Dr. Musa acknowledged.

Children in Haiti, taken during SUNY Broome's Health for Haiti course.

Health for Haiti still needs your help! Fundraisers for the program support the ongoing work in Grande Saline, including education, clean water, solar energy and more.

Health for Haiti will be holding a pancake fundraiser from 8 to 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Applebee’s on Front Street; tickets are $7. While the annual bowling tournament has been canceled for this year, the 50/50 raffle will go on as scheduled; tickets are $5 and the drawing is Dec. 7.

Contact Professor Musa at or Professor Maureen Hankin at for breakfast or raffle tickets.

“More than ever, our Health for Haiti programs need your support,” Dr. Musa said.

Health for Haiti students walk with a Haitian child