AUGUST 2023 | Stories From The Field

August 22, 2023


Bennissoit Sainval, known as Ben by everyone, serves as the Education Program Coordinator at For You Haiti. He is a devoted and dedicated professional, and the staff at For You Haiti feel fortunate to have him on the team. Ben was born in Port-au-Prince, but when he was three years old, his parents relocated to La Gonave Island. He attended primary and high school in Anse à Galets, the main city on the island. Ben had a passion for technology from a young age. After completing high school, he attended a Polytechnic school on the island, where he learned about informatics, iconography, and digital marketing. His thirst for knowledge didn’t stop there; he also pursued studies in mobile phone repair. In 2012, he secured his first job as an informatics technician at Access Haiti, a telecommunications company. He also taught informatics at ASEP, an informatics school on the island. Ben joined For You Haiti in February 2022. His deep passion for education drives him to help the most vulnerable children on La Gonave. Ben states, “I’m doing the best job ever with For You Haiti because education is the greatest gift anyone can give to a child.”



Our eyes are arguably the most crucial sensory organ. According to experts, our self-education heavily relies on our vision, as information gathered through our eyes is stored as mental images in the brain. This interaction with the world around us is vital for learning. Now, imagine a baby born with a congenital eye anomaly preventing exploration of their surroundings. This is the story of John Ermilus.

John, a two-year-old born in Anse-à-Galets, the main city of La Gonave Island, had a significant mass on his right upper eyelid at birth. This mass hindered his ability to open that eye. As he grew, the mass continued to enlarge, affecting his development compared to his peers. Despite seeking treatment in various island clinics, including numerous medications, there was no improvement. His parents turned to the For You Haiti clinic for assistance. After evaluation, John was referred to the mainland for ophthalmological follow-up. A CT scan revealed a substantial cyst in his right upper eyelid. An ophthalmologist planned a surgical intervention to remove the cyst.

In January 2023, John underwent the surgery; however, despite the procedure, the mass persisted. The ophthalmologist administered steroid injections through the mass, but the results were still unsatisfactory. Consequently, a second surgical intervention was necessary in March 2023.

By July 2023, four months after the second surgery, John returned to the ophthalmologist for follow-up. Following evaluation, a third surgical intervention was performed. Fortunately, his eye’s condition is now improving, raising hopes that this time he will gain his sight!


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