E. Jackson Allison, Jr. MD/MPH, FACEP (Malawi 1967-69) is a Professor of Emergency Medical Care at Western Carolina University. He also served a 3-year tour with the Peace Corps in Malawi, Central Africa, where he was a public health Volunteer in the bush. He is best known as a singer/songwriter there, having recorded arguably the most popular song with a message in Malawi — Ufa wa Mtedza (Peanut Flour in Your Child’s Corn Mush). After Peace Corps, Jack went to medical school, and recently retired after a 30-year career in academic emergency medicine. He has done three public health stints in Africa — a USAID mission in Tanzania in ‘82, a Project Hope Mission in Malawi in ‘94, and US State Department mission in Malawi in ‘05 — the latter two involved helping to eradicate AIDS in that Central African country. Since 1967 Allison has raised more than $150,00.00 with his music, and he and his wife, Sue Wilson, have donated these monies to various charitable causes. This coming Wednesday, he’ll fly to Miami, then on to Haiti to be involved in a medical relief mission there.
The group with which he’ll be working is an NGO, Greater Caribbean Energy & Environment Foundation (GCEEF). Founded in 1982, it is based in Miami and headed up by his former CD in Malawi, Andrew Oerke (Vice President), and his partner, Dr. Anitra Thorhaug (President).[Andrew Oerke (PC Staff: Tanzania, Uganda, CD Malawi, CD Jamaica 1966-71) is the 2006 winner of the Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Poetry Book. He also received the United Nations Artists and Writer’s Association award for Literature for his two volumes African Stiltdancer and San Miguel de Allende. Last November, Andrew was presented with the USA Club of Rome Lifetime Achievement Awards for his latest collections of poems, Songs of Africa, published in English and Bulgarian by PSP & Fakel in Sofia, Bulgaria. The presentation will be made at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.]
Back to Haiti. Although many granting agencies shun giving money to Haiti because of widespread corruption, Andrew Oerke’s GCEEF has a proven track record in doing credible work there in micro-finance, cleaning up oil spills, and helping to protect drinking water. They have an established office in Port-au-Prince with an active staff of eight Haitians.
In Haiti, Jack Allison will be working with a well known Haitian physician, Dr. Christian Sanon, a small cadre of physicians from the University of Notre Dame, and a small group of American nurses. They will convert Dr. Sanon’s primary care clinic into an ER. A UN/FAO coordinator will be joining the team in Miami, and he has access to two trucks over there.
The team will also received a much needed shipment of medications from Senora Marta S. Fox, the wife of former Mexican President, Vicente Fox, as a gift from the Mexican people.
Jack and Andrew and the others have purposefully delayed going to Haiti in order for unrest/chaos to be calmed — that assures that we will be more effective in the long run. Their group will be provided food, water, shelter, and safety. If unable to procure a satellite phone in time, we’ll most likely try to utilize Skype for communication back to the USA.
Because there are many health care providers and they encourage RPCV those who are interested in serving with GCEEF contact Andy & Anitra. [Who knows when the Crisis Corps (a.k.a. Response Corps) will get the first RPCVs into Haiti.]
As of today, Monday, GCEEF will be able to accept donations via credit card. If you are willing to help, you will definitely be confident that your donation will get to the needy people of Haiti. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Andy and/or Anitra directly @ 305.490.0074.