The Cloud Foundation, Inc., a Maryland 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was founded by William Cloud in March 2016. (Website: sendbox.cloudfoundationhaiti.com) Mr. Cloud is a retired attorney and professor of International Relations. After publishing “Deconstructing the News – Don’t Believe the Hype” in 2014, he traveled to Haiti to complete research on a second book entitled: Haiti’s Misery is America’s Shame.
Mr. Cloud was so profoundly impressed by the Haitian peoples’ extraordinarily strong spirit, resilience, and a determination to overcome the country’s political instability, poverty and perpetually reoccurring natural disasters that have plagued the island nation, he put the book project on hold so he could devote his energies to helping the Haitian people.
On a trip to a village in southwest Haiti to inspect a medical center that was damaged by the devastating earthquake in 2010, Mr. Cloud met Wancelo Jules, a 13-year-old orphan born with HIV. The virus had progressed unchecked for years because he lived in a remote area where there was no access to appropriate treatment or medication. Even if either had been available, he could not afford it. To save his life, Mr. Cloud and his wife, Carole, took him to the capital Port au Prince for treatment. Tragically, the virus had progressed to AIDS. His immune system was so ravaged by the diseased, he died a few weeks later.
Coupled with the fact that half the population of more than 11 million has no access to healthcare, Cloud’s unfortunate loss of Wancelo brought home the need for medical assistance to underserved communities in Haiti. The solution was to provide mobile medical missions to the countryside. The foundation began purchasing and shipping medicine, medical supplies and equipment to Haiti. An ambulance equipped with a portable EKG monitor, defibrillator, portable oxygen machine was sent to serve as a mobile medical clinic. Accompanied by a dedicated group of volunteer doctors, nurses, drivers and security, the foundation conducted quarterly medical missions that treated an average of 350-400 patients each mission. In addition, the foundation donated solar panels that were installed on a medical office and school.
Despite the political turmoil, an increase in gang related crime, kidnappings, and the outbreak of Covid-19 prevented Mr. Cloud from personally travelling to Haiti, donations continued to support the medical missions.
The outbreak of Covid 9 in Haiti was not initially widespread. But after cases started to surge in May, health officials in Port-au-Prince decided to move forward to launch a mass immunization program with the half a million doses of the Moderna vaccine sent by the U.S. in mid-July 2021.
On August, 14, 2021, a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the southwest of the Caribbean nation that never fully recovered from an even more disastrous earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people in 2010. About 53,000 homes were destroyed and another 77,000 were damaged. The already overwhelmed hospital system was swamped by thousands of injured residents.