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imagine having helicopters and this level of care, but it’s happened. We think big, dream big, dare, and go. Ayiti Air Anbilans is going to be a model for health care in Haiti.”


Pilot Phil Newson points out a village landing zone off in the distance. Photo: Lyn Burks

soon as two years on the medical side. For example, Dr. Chandler was told on his fi rst day of work that he was expected to eventually take over as executive director. “He’s taken that seriously and very much to heart. He’s trying to learn every aspect of this operation so that when the day comes that the blan (white) leaves, he’ll be able to run it completely,” says McDaniel.

Dr. Chandler enthusiastically agrees. “On behalf of the Haitian staff , I say that we believe and know it’s going to happen,” he says. “A couple of years ago we could not

Ayiti Air Anbilans’ has a $4 million annual budget. While some of those funds are used for initial infrastructure needs, the organization also has great recurring expenses. For example, maintaining two helicopters while keeping two pilots at base headquarters on call at all times does not come cheaply. With most of its patients unable to pay in something more transactional than coconuts, the nonprofi t’s life blood is donated by those with more legal-tender means.

“What we most need is funding,” McDaniel says, not in a pleading tone, but as a sober statement of fact. “A consistent, steady revenue stream to make this thing

A Personal Note: Why Haiti?

Most often, as a consequence of chasing a story, I end up in this— or that—location. In Haiti, I’m thankful it was the other way around.

My wife, myself, and our 14-year-old daughter were already in Haiti as part of a missionary team doing development work. My wife, a career teacher, participated in teacher training conferences. My daughter worked in children’s ministry, while I taught business classes to entrepreneurs as part of a microfi nance program. While in Haiti, I decided to seek out a helicopter story at Ayiti Air Anbilans.

Although my wife had served in Haiti before, it was my fi rst trip. Even though I’d traveled to many third-world locations, the particular place we were, Cite Soleil, had some of the most staggering poverty I had ever seen. Despite their circumstances, I found a great amount of inspiration and beauty in the Haitian people and their culture. In my desire to do a good work in their nation, I know they did more of a good work in me. I am better for it.

While Haitian people may lack material wealth and resources, they have an over-abundance of resilience, hope, determination, and faith—all combined in a true sense of community. I believe there is a direct connection between the strength I witnessed in the people of Ayiti, and the future of Ayiti Air Anbilans.

I will be in Haiti again in 2016 on a similar mission, and pray that I will see continued success in both the country’s proud people and their EMS program. Until next year, na we pita zanmi wen!

- Lyn Burks, editor-in-chief Lexi Burks makes friends in the streets of Cite Soleil, Haiti. Lynnette Burks participates in a conference of Haitian teachers.

sustainable is an absolute must. I know that major donors at some point in time will have to stop. If I could get 5 million people to send us a dollar a year, then we could take care of this thing forever. It’s just hard to fi nd those 5 million people willing to send that dollar.”

McDaniel is hopeful this article will help. “I believe it will get to a lot of people whose eyes and ears we have not been able to get to,” he says. “Somebody somewhere will read it, and also want to help us.”

That is the hope in Haiti.

If you would like to learn more about Ayiti Air Anbilans and how you might help, please visit their website:

Lyn Burks teaches a business class to Haitian entrepreneurs.

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