Peter Leuthold 1
The never ending poverty in Haiti
Dr. Rodrigue Mortel and Dr. Paul Farmer both share many of the same desires to help the “economically, socially, and deprived children and adults of Haiti”. Dr. Rodrigue Mortel has overcome the poverty in Haiti and has become one of the most prominent gynecologists at Penn State University. Dr. Paul Farmer from the novel, Mountains Beyond Mountains, and Dr. Mortel both demonstrate a strong quest to help out the poverty occurring in Haiti while also incorporating Jesuit values that every Christian acquires.
By watching the movies which Dr. Mortel displayed at his formal presentation tonight, the blindness of poverty that still occurs today in Haiti was overcome. Mortel shows how no matter how much is read or heard about the poorest country in the western hemisphere; it must be experienced to really believe what occurs. Like Dr. Paul Farmer, Mortel wishes to help out these deprived children in every manner possible. These movies revealed how happy the children and adults living in Haiti are when they barely can eat one meal per day. “Real success is marked by what we give in return for what we have been given”. Mortel stresses how important an education is and also how the many tourists who visit the island are given more from the locals than what they give in return. Prayer is so important to Haitians and so Christianity plays a major role in their lives and is practiced daily. Along with building a house for his mother, Dr. Mortel, funded enough money to have a school built located in one of the most deprived areas in the city. The Jesuit values which Mortel incorporates in his school have brought many Christians here in Baltimore to help out in many different ways. The “Baltimore-Haiti project” is another way in which Christians living in Baltimore can volunteer and work with other Christians in Haiti.
“Nothing is more rewarding to me than helping others to reach their goals and fulfilling their dreams”. This is another important quote from Dr. Mortel which shows how Dr. Paul Farmer and he had the same goals in Haiti. Dr. Paul Farmer who went to Duke University and then to Harvard University for medical school could have simply ignored the poverty of Haiti, but grew close to his patients and tried to seek out the best way to cure the poor. Dr. Mortel, who was one of very few to gain an education and succeed, left Haiti and came to the United States for a better life. On the other hand, he did not forget about his childhood and where he came from and therefore knew he had to help the country prosper in some way.
“Les Bons Samaritans” is the name of the school which Dr. Mortel started which still to this day consists of “hand-picked children” from the poorest parts of the country. This school is run by a Jesuit community where prayer is a regular part of the children’s and adults lives. Dr. Mortel shows his profound love for his country by giving back more than he would have ever imagined. When Dr. Paul Farmer says, “the only real nation is humanity”, he shows how his dedication to his work in Haiti could be compared with that of Dr. Mortel. I am from Haiti, which is Dr. Mortel’s account of his life is very similar to Mountains Beyond Mountains in the sense that both show the horrors of poverty in Haiti and describe how Jesuit values can help the poor be grateful for the little possessions which they own.
“I know what it is like to be poor and hungry, to be lonely, and to have little hope”. Dr. Mortel has given me the insight to be so grateful for what I have, to take every opportunity out of my education, and truly use the Jesuit values incorporated in my life to help out others. The fact that one out of every five Haitian children die before they reach the age of five has given me motivation to participate as a volunteer to help out in any way. Since the living conditions in Haiti are very bad, my relationship with God could be improved if I could helped to build some houses. Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. Mortel both demonstrate Jesuit values in their quest to help out the economically and socially deprived
children and adults of Haiti. Also they feel a need to build a civilized life style and influence all Haitians into becoming educated people. By attending Dr. Mortel’s formal presentation speech today, much knowledge about the culture of poorest country in the world was demonstrated to me. Ways to help out the poor in Haiti include reciting an extra prayer daily for all Haitians, spreading the word about the poverty existing in Haiti, sponsoring a child for less than a dollar per day, and volunteering as a carpenter.