Meet Wilmar Belizaire: Volunteer turned Staff in Haiti
Wilmar was born in Newark, New Jersey but raised in Haiti – the place she calls home. She returned to the States to study and graduated from Stony Brook University with a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences focusing on Public Health. She then took up the position as youth advocate at Suffolk Perinatal Coalition, which is a community-based organization that focuses on maternal and child health.
After interning at United Nations Population Fund, she joined Peace Corps in Ethiopia as a community health volunteer. After a state of emergency was declared, she returned to the States. Then an opportunity emerged that gave her the chance to return to her home in Haiti to volunteer with CMMB and work with vulnerable women, children, and their communities. She jumped at the chance and has been making a difference with CMMB ever since.
Education: I studied health sciences and I want to pursue a master’s degree in food security.
CMMB volunteer post: I volunteered with the program department at the CMMB Haiti office. My role was project officer for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), malaria, and the Angel Investor program. They keep me busy! Starting in July 2017, I became an official employee with CMMB and look forward to continuing the good work.
If you were asked to sum yourself up in two words, which two would you choose? Helpful and curious
Why CMMB? CMMB is one of the organizations in Haiti that is giving the best results. In the field of public health, it takes time for change to happen. But being in the field with CMMB, I can already visualize and anticipate the positive impact my activities will have in the future.
What are you most proud of? I am mostly proud of the commitment of working in Haiti. I always wanted to move back to Haiti after my studies and people around me use to say it will be hard or it was too soon. I understand them because working in Haiti as a young female is not easy. But despite the challenges, I will always choose Haiti.
Imagine you are stuck in an elevator. Who would you most like to be stuck with? And why? I would like to be stuck with Paul Farmer. I would love to have a conversation with him about Haiti. Why Haiti? How did he become so committed to helping us? He is a true inspiration to me.
You are featured in the NY Times or your national newspaper. What’s the headline? Wilmar Belizaire: Shooting For the Stars in Haiti!
What would be your theme song? E No Easy by P-Square featuring J. Martins
Imagine if you were an animal – which would you be and why? I think I would be a wolf. They are brave, strong, and lovable. They protect their own by all means.
What is your hope for your experience volunteering with CMMB? I hope that after my volunteering experience someone else can continue the work I am doing. I hope to promote volunteerism in Haiti because that is not part of our culture and it is something that can be helpful to future generations and the country.
Favorite quote: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” – Langston Hugues
What book should everyone read? Why? Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi. The story gives you an insight into race politics in America. Everyone should know about it because this story is a reality for many people in the United States.
Who would you like to play you in the movie of your life? Lisa Bonet
What is your hope for the future? I hope that everyone can just genuinely love one another because without love in this world we are only making things worse.
Favorite speech or Ted Talk: “The danger of a single story” by Chimamanda Ngozi.
If you could solve one world problem, what would it be? I would love to help solve world hunger. My dream is that people will have the chance to live healthy lives, go to school, and work for a better future.
What are the three things you are most grateful for? Family, friends, and opportunities.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? Karen Washington because she is promoting urban farming in a city where there are many challenges and because she followed her dream.