Our volunteers serve in many capacities around the world. Five days after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, for example, a Conscience International medical delegation landed via military transport, carrying enough medicines and supplies to help the thousands of people suffering in Port-au-Prince. The goal: Set up a medical clinic in conjunction with existing facilities and provide new facilities for opening a clinic in cooperation with other agencies.
With a basic understanding of French and an EMT background, David Viggiano responded to the call for volunteers. "As we were approaching by air, the first thing that struck me was the extent of the devastation below. Finding an undamaged building was difficult; I am not sure there were many," David said. "Once on the ground the scene was even more dire. The smell of death was strong. People wandering, searching for food, water, loved ones."
David accompanied a convoy of doctors and nurses each day to provide production line medical care. "What struck me was the look of shock on the faces of Haitians… Misery was everywhere. I don't think anyone we attended had not lost at least one member of their family.
"I've done volunteer work overseas before, but this experience certainly put a new light on the significance and selflessness of the emergency work that is being done by Conscience International in critical, dangerous locations - and the need to support their efforts."
The team had secured a modular building for a clinic. "But first we needed a place to put it, then the money to ship it, so that was a longer term project," said Dr. James Jennings, president of the organization.
During that first trip to Haiti, they found a site for the clinic, then worked with other organizations to raise money for the building's relocation and to organize full-time medical help at the clinic. Several teams worked at the clinic for months caring for hundreds of Haitians each day with medical emergencies.
So many details go into making these aid operations run smoothly. And there are so many creative thinkers on our staff who improvise with brilliant ideas once they are on the ground in a place like Afghanistan, Darfur or Haiti.
Average people, organizations and corporations are the ones really making a difference in the lives of people around the world. Your time, money and dedication make it possible.
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