As I reflect on our 20-year journey of community service, I am humbly reminded that the cause that Gaskov Clergé represents is far greater than one individual or one organization. This journey exemplifies the power of true collaboration coupled with a deep faith and trust in God’s plan. It is the story of delivering exceptional results with extremely limited resources. It is your story that you have contributed to over the years to empower individuals by giving them access to healthcare, education and sports.
Looking back at where we started in 1999, the progress is real. In keeping with our mission to make healthcare accessible to the underserved, we went from having large medical missions once a year, to empowering an entire community by giving them the tools and the support they need to care for their own. That accomplishment was fueled by the vision to provide continuity of care to those we serve and a genuine desire to do what’s right.
Children and adults with chronic medical conditions, who were seeing a doctor once a year at our medical missions, now come to Klinik Fonfred every month to regulate their medication and receive the care they need. I can think of Josué Bernard, a teenage boy with Sickle Cell Anemia, who is so thankful for the care he receives free of charge and would probably be gone by now without it. I can think of Mrs. Irma Clergé, an elderly lady who walks to Klink Fonfred from a community called Citadel. She lives alone and walks for an hour to keep with monthly clinic visits to get her medication regulated. Because she has no source of income, her care is free of charge. I can think of Tolbert Joubert, a young man with a terminal tumor, who smiled to our visiting nurses on his deathbed and thanked them for being the only ones to care for him. Ms. Nadine Médard, our community Nurse, says it best, “Klinik Fonfred is a source of life”. In 2018, with a budget of $160,000, Klinik Fonfred cared for over 10,603 patients, of which 115 were emergency situations that Klinik Fonfred’s staff had skillfully attended to with their limited resources. The collaboration with our key partners and your contributions are keeping the dream alive. For that we remain humbly thankful.
For education, GCF’s past scholarship recipients are now graduating as nurses, lawyers and doctors, among other professions. We have supported more than 1,700 students and have given them a shot at an education and a future. I can think of Francesca who graduated from the national nursing school last year, she dreams of becoming an Orthopedic nurse and plans to come back to the community to serve. I can think of Katia Belony, one of our first scholarship recipients, who is now a practicing Lawyer in Port-au-Prince, and Ludini Ulysse who is now completing her higher education in Paris. That is just a few examples of the type of difference your support and contributions are making. You have every reason to be proud of yourself.
We believe that Sports is a key vehicle to keeping the youth engaged and healthy. Over the past 20 years, we’ve collaborated with multiple local organizations to support and sponsor sports tournaments. Among the many athletes we’ve supported indirectly, Kens Germain, Marvens Dominique and Amos Point-du-Jour come to mind. They are all alumni of the ANAPOK SPORTS U-17 men’s soccer project in Les Cayes, supported by GCF, and have gone on to represent Haiti with the senior national soccer team. We are also inspired to support Les Cayes Marathon for its tremendous effort in keeping with our vision to motivate the youth to get involved in sports.
All that we have done, all that we aspire to be is fueled by the tremendous support and the trust you have vested in GCF. I sincerely mean it when I say “this is your cause, this is all about you!” You empower us to make a difference on your behalf. Despite all the distractions that are going on in Haiti today, despite what seems to be disruptive, despite going against all odds, we are renewing our commitment to continue to serve a beautiful and proud people that deserve so much more. I am asking you to stay the course with us. I am asking you to make a pledge today of a recurring monthly donation at www.gaskov.org. Let’s stay the course…let’s continue to keep the dream alive…let’s continue to make a difference TOGETHER!
The Gaskov Clergé Foundation (GCF) board is composed of seventeen members. The Board sets policies, oversees the foundation’s programs and meets regularly throughout the year to discuss the foundation’s activities. The chair executes board policies and manages the foundation’s programs and operations. The chair regularly evaluates the foundation’s operations to improve board efficiency.
Cosy Clergé-Joseph, PMP
Chairperson of the Board
Gervais Charles, M.D.
Pierre Richard Jason
Serge Thys, MD
Medical Director (South)
Claude G. Ferrer, Ph.D.
Dominique Deltor, MD
Karl Joseph Sports Director,
Roby Marsan, MD
Hanscy Seide, MD
Marie France Conde, MD
The Gaskov Clergé Foundation (GCF) exists to perpetuate the legacy of Gaskov Clergé.
The foundation is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization established to promote health, sports, education and sciences in both the United States and Haiti. GCF is committed to empowering individuals and will carry out its mission by:
Establishing both domestic and international programs/scholarship funds that assist deserving individuals who are pursuing academic excellence in the sciences.
Developing resources for preventive health care in Haiti that encourage the philanthropic participation of physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals, along with the corporate community.
Fostering the mental and physical development of young, Haitian athletes by providing support and assistance in developing the necessary infrastructure to prepare these athletes for competition.
Gaskov Clergé’s death in 1999 left his friends and family in chaos, disbelief and horror. He was the life of a party on Friday; was hospitalized on Saturday; and on Sunday March 7, 1999, he succumbed to liver cancer at 38, at the dawn of a promising and fulfilling life. During the days following that excruciatingly painful reality, we, his family and friends, decided to grieve his loss by giving a part of our modest lives back to our community in his honor, hoping to someday stop the tears and heal the wounds.
That pledge yielded the Gaskov Clergé Foundation-GCF. Instead of surrendering to depression, we spent our time on countless lively discussions which shaped the organization’s character and future. We defined our mission to be one that will empower individuals by giving them access to education and health care. With modest contributions from relatives and friends, we completed the tax-exempt recognition process and embarked on carrying out our mission the following summer.
Our goals were to implement a medical mission in Haiti and to provide scholarships to as many children as we possibly could. In August 2000, with a team of approximately 30 doctors, nurses, a support staff, and many bags of donated medical supplies, we traveled to Les Cayes, Haiti on a shoe-string budget, with the goal of seeing 500 patients in 5 days. We exceeded that goal by the second day. By the 5th day, we examined 1,500 patients with hundreds more not seen by our volunteering Physicians. As for the scholarships, we started with 10 children as recipients and also had to turn away many more. On the last day of the mission, I was tired, brokenhearted and tearful. The tears were partly from the liberating feeling of being at peace with Gaskov’s death through the lives we just touched. Also, my tears were from an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy…in the face of such unfulfilled basic human needs…the right to a decent education and health care.
Since 1999, GCF’s medical missions became the main source of medical care for many who can’t afford to see a doctor. Until 2015, GCF led many medical and relief missions that offered free health care and medication to an average of 2,000 underserved patients in the region, many of whom traveled from the most remote areas. We have provided financial assistance for several life-saving surgeries in Haiti and we are now operating Klinik Fonfred, a standard medical clinic in a rural community near Les Cayes, which features four exam rooms, a triage area, a dental clinic a lab, pharmacy and radiology room. The staff at Klinik Fonfred has fulfilled over 30,000 patient encounters since its inception in 2015. For the Education component, we have sponsored close to 1,700 children. Many of our past scholarship recipients are now graduating as Lawyers, Doctors and Nurses, among other professions. We have empowered them to blossom into productive human beings with a brighter future.
Here in the US, Gaskov Clerge Foundation continues to work with the Palm Beach County School District to sponsor a county-wide essay contest that challenges students from all backgrounds to write about Haiti. Dozens of students have benefited from our sponsorship.
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