Some of Tim’s Personal MFH Highlights
As I reflect on the past 20 years or so, the memories… and the accomplishments of all involved… are almost overwhelming.
Here are some of my favorites:
While visiting Kenya, Father D’Agostino, then director of the Lea Toto project for HIV positive orphans outside of Nairobi asked me to help him bury a 6-year-old boy named Juma who had died that day. As we did, Father Dag cried and asked me to help him care for other kids like Juma… with HIV-AIDS and no place to turn. Father Dag has since passed away, but MFH continues to provide medicines and nutritional supplements to the Lea Toto project.
I recall visiting a clinic at an MFH project site in Cameroon just after a mother had delivered a new baby. She cried as she held the baby out to me to hold… and told me that he would be named Timothy. Today Timothy is a thriving, growing boy with a smile that can light up a room, and MFH continues to expand our maternal and child health footprint in Cameroon.
There was the day our project partners in Cité Soleil, Haiti… the Daughters of Charity… taught me what ‘bravery’ really means. Despite being evacuated by UN tank when their convent and clinic were attacked… the sisters accepted the risk and returned to Cité Soleil to serve their people. The Daughters are still providing primary care for Cite Soleil, and MFH is still helping them do this.
I remember the moment I told Sister Martha, our project partner in Rivière Froide, Haiti… that she and her order (Little Sisters of St. Therese) could be the catalyst to improve maternal and child health in Haiti. She replied with a smile and said had the same dream herself! MFH, working with Sister Martha and her order, has trained over 100 sisters who are healthcare leaders on the key components of effective maternal and child systems. Haiti is feeling the ripple effects of this project.
Recently, Dr. Tom Catena from Mother of Mercy Hospital in southern Sudan, came to Boston to thank MFH for helping him to save lives… and confided that he has lived in fear for his life each day of his twelve years in Sudan. The six clinics developed through MFH’s ‘Outreach Project’ with Dr. Tom… continue to save lives in this god-forsaken corner of the world.
Most telling, perhaps, was the day, Sister Concepcion Rivera (our partner in Quisqueya, Dominican Republic) called me over just before a meeting. There was either a twinkle of pride or a tear of joy in her eye (or perhaps both) … as she whispered to me, “Timothy… not one child has died this quarter in the batey communities”. It was then I knew that my dream was becoming a reality.
~ Tim Bilodeau, January 2020