Social Work Student Advocates and Promotes Positive Change in Haiti

Monday, May 02, 2016

The School of Social Work has amazing and outstanding students who are dedicated to academic excellence and creating a just society for all individuals nationally and abroad. Advocates like Nausheen Habib, MSW student, make the School of Social Work proud to train, educate, and prepare students to help vulnerable individuals and their families enhance and restore their ability to function in society, as well as support communities in need.

Habib traveled to Haiti in March 2016 and visited Port-au-Prince, Fonds-Parisien, Balan, and Jacmel for 10 days to learn about human development and behavior in social, economic, and cultural institutions through community based, participatory research methods.

“The media doesn’t show us what is going on around the world in undeveloped countries like Haiti. I wanted a cultural experience to learn from and live among. I saw firsthand the country’s beauty and witnessed the resilience of the Haitian people,” said Habib.

Through this cultural learning experience, Habib gained insight on how social, cultural, political, and historical factors impacted Haiti and the economic conditions of the country.

The time in which Habib spent in the communities of Fond- Parisien and Balan enabled her to better understand the strength of the Haitian people, the country’s resources, and methodology for bridging health-care gaps of communities that collaborate with Empower Haiti Together.

Empower Haiti Together is a for-profit organization that promotes sustainable and empowering partnerships in Haiti, provide resources that help improve the quality of life for Haitians, and reduce the dependency cycle. Through careful examination of community needs assessments and observations while in Haiti, Nausheen is currently working on developing community health assessments from a strengths-based perspective.

These assessments will shed light into the most prevalent diseases among the Haitian people and how communities are addressing their health needs.

Habib’s long-term goal is to develop a training module for community healthcare workers that will address healthcare needs in Fond-Parisien and Fond Cheval in a sustainable manner. She also hopes to provide training opportunities for Haiti’s health care workers. Employment opportunities will be created through a tailored intervention program as a result of providing training opportunities to healthcare workers in Haiti, which will hopefully be replicated in rural communities across the country.