We just received an inspiring story from our ministry partners at the Haitian Education & Leadership Program (H.E.L.P.) Cross Catholic sponsors H.E.L.P. students as they work toward their degrees at the University of Notre Dame, Haiti’s only Catholic university. One of those students is 27-year-old Lourdwige Felizor, who will be graduating next year with a degree in medicine.
Like all H.E.L.P. scholars, Lourdwige comes from an economically-disadvantaged household. She grew up in Cap Haitien and her parents always struggled to support her and her three younger siblings. Her mother was unemployed and her father was a carpenter, but had difficulty finding a steady job.
Ever since she was a little girl, Lourdwige wanted to become a doctor. And though her life was not always easy, she was never discouraged from achieving her dream. She worked hard, devoted herself to her studies and excelled through secondary school. As a result, she is not in the eighth and final year of her medical program.
With the support of H.E.L.P., she has been able to focus on her studies and pursue additional opportunities that have enhanced her medical training, such as interning at a hospital in Cap Haitien and spending two summers in a competitive internship program in European hospitals. Lourdwige is so devoted to medicine that, while others took personal effects like jewelry before fleeing their houses when the 2010 earthquake struck, she rescued two medical books from the rubble.
She is currently in the midst of her year;-long social service at the La Colline Hospital in Laschahobas, where she is working with an underserved and disadvantaged population in Haiti’s Central Plateau. Of her experience, she says:
Some days I see more than 100 patients. I have to be fast, accurate and personable at the same time. But the most important lessons I’ve learned is to listen to people. When I am tired, I often smile and remind myself that H.E.L.P and Cross Catholic Outreach helped me pursue my medical studies, and I feel happiness and gratitude to be able to assist people that are desperately counting on me.