FEBS in Haiti
Fondation Esther Boucicault Stanislas (FEBS)
Located in St.-Marc, a coastal port town north of Port-au-Prince, the Fondation Esther Boucicault Stanislas (FEBS) aims to improve the quality of life for people living with AIDS in Haiti by providing quality health care and support services and reducing stigma and discrimination. FEBS is one of the few groups in Haiti and the developing world that specifically integrates dignity and hope into its mission to help people living with AIDS.
Every year, FEBS provides services to 500 Haitians living with HIV/AIDS and Haitian children orphaned by AIDS. FEBS’ services include up-to-date clinical and counseling practices; flexible clinic hours and locations to meet community needs; a referral system for HIV/AIDS clinical care and support services; and strong linkages to other organizations providing general HIV support and education to the people in and around Saint-Marc.
FEBS was founded by Esther Boucicault-Stanislas, the first person in Haiti to publicly discuss living with HIV. In 2008, Housing Works presented Boucicault with a Keith D. Cylar International Activist Award for her brave and pioneering work as a person living with HIV/AIDS and the founder of FEBS.
Reaching Gay and Transgender Individuals
AIDS outreach to gay men and transgender Haitians is nearly nonexistent—the discrimnation suffered by both groups makes them extremely hard to reach. FEBS clients include gay and transgender individuals affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Haiti. Most are living in poverty and have severely limited resources and/or access to health care and, because of strong discrimination, remain secretive about their sexual orientation.
Housing Works Support in Earthquake Aftermath
In the wake of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Housing Works is collaborating with PHAP+, a Haitian coalition of PWA-led organizations, to provide desperately needed medical services and supplies to Haitians living with HIVAIDS. FEBS founder Esther Boucicault is also the president of PHAP+.
Please consider donating to Housing Works’ relief efforts in Haiti. Every dollar makes a difference.
Relationship With Housing Works
Housing Works and FEBS share a common mission of providing care and treatment to disenfranchised people with HIV/AIDS and reducing stigma among these populations. Since 2008, FEBS has received technical and fiscal assistance from Housing Works, Inc. the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States.
With Housing Works’ support, 2008 was a momentous year in the history of FEBS. In June, coinciding with Gay Pride Day, FEBS formed the first gay rights group outside of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Eighteen gay men gathered in solidarity and shared their experiences of gay Haitian life. At this gathering, members shared stories of discrimination and outright violence.
On November 30, 2008, in anticipation of World AIDS Day, 500 people organized by FEBS, including health ministry officials and United Nations aid workers, marched to call for better HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Haiti. Though AIDS marches have taken place in Haiti before, this was the first one to include an openly gay group, and was considered to be the first gay pride march in the Caribbean.
For more information on FEBS, visit their website http://www.febshaiti.org.