Any thoughtful approach at improving population health must not ignore that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Dollar-for-dollar, day’s work-for-day’s work, energies and resources invested in community health education do more to save lives, improve life expectancy, and improve overall health than do the more popular curative-approach medical efforts. And, while we must, in Christian compassion, treat the sick that present to us, Starfysh’s role is to pour more energy into proactively preventing people from getting sick in the first place.

This all said, we enjoy hosting medical and dental teams that come and conduct clinics in various villages across the island. And while, as stated above, curative clinics are not our primary emphasis, we do acknowledge that some of the medical people who visit may someday become important partners in our more future-sighted community health education efforts.


Household Latrines

Vision: that every family on La Gonave would have a household latrine.

Any serious attempt at raising the health of a community must start with hygeine. The startling reality is, fewer than 10% of all families on the island of La Gonave, Haiti have a household latrine. The germs of human waste seep their way into the surface springs where the family water is often gathered. Shoeless children run and play on ground where intestinal parasites lie in wait for their next human host.

The good news is that it costs very little to construct a household latrine. A deep pit capped with a concrete base and stool can be built in just a few days.


For just $50 dollars per family we can:

  • Provide in-person education and motivation on the importance of having a latrine.
  • Provide 2 bags of cement, enough to cap the pit and mold a comfortable stool.
  • Provide the family with a Creole-language book of health and hygeine topics.
  • Provide the family with a Creole Bible.

A gift of just $5,000 would place a latrine in EVERY home in that village. (100% statistics in this category are nearly unheard of in Haiti).


Community Health Education

Vision: to see a permanent, full-time Haitian community health educator on La Gonave and resource him with the vehicle, equipment, supplies, and personnel necessary for developing and executing an excellent village education program.

Community Health Education (CHE) is, without question, the most effective way to improve the overall health in a place like La Gonave. Measuring the impact of CHE demands more time and patience. Unlike treating acute illness, like cholera or intestinal parasites, etc., CHE’s results are realized in the long run as we see the incidence of preventable illnesses going down, healthier children learning better and missing less school, and their parents being more energetic in their gardens and work.


  • Vehicle – $10,000. The most appropriate and useful vehicle for La Gonave’s rugged mountain roads is a 4-wheel all-terrain vehicle. $10,000 will cover the cost of purchase, shipping, customs, and replacement tires.
  • CHE Educator wage, training, and transportation costs – $1,500/month, $18,000/year.
  • Equipment and supplies – $4,000.