Health through Walls is involved in many additional activities that are unfortunately outside of our budget. Thanks to the kind support of various organizations and individuals we are able to hold events, attend conferences, and provide other services for prisoners.
HtW participates in health-related conferences, or corrections-related conferences with a focus on prison health care, in the United States and internationally. These activities are educational for our staff, as well as corrections staff that we may also invite to participate. HtW uses the opportunity to learn from others, and to share our experiences, knowledge, and concerns regarding prison health care through lectures, presentations and papers. At these conferences, we mobilize for quality healthcare and prisoners' human rights, meet others passionate about addressing infectious disease, particularly in prison settings, and meet potential partners and donors.
Please visit XIX International AIDS Conference, Washington DC, July 2012 to learn about our creation of the first Prisoner Networking Zone, focused on prisoner healthcare, at the International AIDS Conference in July 2012 and again in 2016.
HtW regularly attends these conferences as well as several others.
- World Health Organization, International Conference on Prison Health Protection
- International Corrections and Prison Association (ICPA)
- American Correctional Association Conference
- International AIDS Conference
- Union World Conference on Lung Health
- United Nations International Corrections Conference
- HIV in Caribbean Conference, Peer Education
- University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Academic Correctional Health
Conducted HIV/AIDS screening of recent Haitian migrants in Mexico
In May 2018, a team of twelve HtW staff traveled to Tijuana, Mexico to give support to the AIDS Health Foundation (AHF) who was holding a 2-day blitz focused on HIV/AIDS testing for the Haitian population that recently migrated there. The group was accompanied by a journalist of a popular radio show in Haiti. HtW was pleased to assist AHF in cooperation with the Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mexico. Upon returning to Haiti, HtW's Chief of Party for Haiti was interviewed on radio and explained the reason for the trip, its outcome and the importance of HIV testing and treatment. The HtW interview was widely listened to by thousands of adults and teens who regularly tune in to the show.
Commemoration of International Women's Day
Annually, HtW participates in commemorating International Women's Day at the women's prison in Haiti. Celebrations often include a discussions on women's rights and gender equality, a fashion show, a handcraft art show, and music. Women prisoners often give speeches and HtW distributed hygiene kits to all the women. HtW also holds an event on this occasion as well at its community clinic - Klinik Solidarite -- focused on HIV screening and distribution of hygiene kits and T-shirts.
Commemoration of International Condom Day
Together with AHF support, we participated in health promotional activities that took place during carnival festivities in Les Cayes. All HtW staff in Les Cayes worked at the HIV tents and other screening stands. Condoms and health promotion kits were distributed to everyone who visited the stand.
Commemoration of World Aids Day
HtW participated in celebrating World AIDS Day both in the prisons and in the community by making a quilt to share messages about HIV and its history developed by the HtW Peer Educators group and the prisoners. Their messages promoted HIV testing, prevention, and treatment in prisons. The idea of the quilt was to copy the first AIDS quilt which was displayed in Washington DC in 1987. On one such year, the prisoner's quilt was displayed during a mini concert in the community that included various activities including theater, dance, games, musical animation, dissemination of information on VIH/SIDA and condom distribution. Peer Educators held panels of the quilt bearing messages.
On another occasion, HtW commemorated World AIDS Day by participating in a march in Haiti's central park, Champ Mars, with music, decorations, and condoms distribution, PSAs, a press conference, an HIV screening stand, and personal testimonies.
In 2017 our activities included a media press conference, a school outreach program on HIV/AIDS and other STDs and voluntary testing in different HIV hot spot neighborhoods such as Cabaret, Delmas and Cite Soleil. There was also a 5-mile AIDS Day march from Juvenat, through Canape-vert and Bois Verna, ending in the Champs de Mars. 738 people (174 Women and 564 Men) opted to test for HIV and Syphilis. 8 women and 9 men were diagnosed HIV+ and 8 women and 21 men were RPR reactive. Dozens of condoms and t-shirts with HIV awareness messages were distributed. HIV awareness messages were also broadcasted from trucks as they drove through the communities.
The major highlight of the day though was a music concert which took place in Champs de Mars park, near the National Palace. Some of Haiti's major music artists volunteered their time and musical talents to help promote safe sex and HIV awareness.
HtW at Haiti's Annual Carnival
Gender-based violence (GBV), transmission of HIV or other STIs, and substance abuse during the week of Haiti's annual carnival is always cause for concern. HtW participated for two days of the carnival festivities by promoting prevention activities relating to HIV transmission and distributed condoms and t-shirts bearing key messages of prevention and treatment. HtW distributed 600 t-shirts and 10,368 condoms.
Sensitizing the public, preventing AIDS transmission and promoting testing via media
Since 2015 HtW has received good radio, television and print media coverage in Haiti, during which HtW sensitized the community, by providing the public with information about HIV prevention, pre and post- test counseling, testing, and treatment and the added message that it is all free.
Vocational training program in prisons
HtW and the prisons in Les Cayes and Anse-a-Veau held a three-month vocational project. The project had 90 participants from 2 prisons. Classes held twice a week were carried out by, and co-funded and executed, by KOSOFADS (Koodinasyon Fanm Djanm SID) and the UN mission in Haiti -- MINUSTAH.
The project was initiated in six prisons with the objective to help prisoners develop skills so they could better reintegrate into society once they are released from prison. The training included: Sewing, music, sewing bags and arts & crafts. Materials were provided to the six prisons: Sewing machines, tables, chairs, benches, fans, cabinets, tambourines, piano, guitars, scissors, rulers and paper.
HtW's team provided vocation training to 120 prisoners, that included 40 women, in four prisons. The one-year project held classes three days a week, was funded by INL and the prison administration provided space and time for the training.
HtW regularly participates in the annual memorial events on the anniversary of the 2010 catastrophic earthquake
HtW participates each year in memorial activities on January 12 2017, the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. In memory of those who lost their lives, Activities are organized by Haiti's government and includes church prayer services and national activities including days of noncompetitive cycling, cultural excursions, and track & field sports.
Inauguration of cells for minors in the prison Civile les Cayes (PCLC)
On March 30, 2016, HtW attended the inauguration of new cells for minors at the prison in La Caye in the South of Haiti. The section for minors includes a courtyard, common room and a bedroom with 18 mattresses. This project was financed by MINUSTAH and ICRC. This new section is an addition to the male/female facility.