Providing healthcare and hope to the people of Haiti.

The History of FOTCOH

Barb and Dick Hammond with Dr. Nelson and Andre Boyer
FOTCOH Founders Dick and Barb Hammond (center) with Medical Director Dr. Frantzso Nelson (left) and Clinic Director André Boyer (right).

FOTCOH’s Founders, Dick and Barb Hammond, first traveled to Haiti in the 1970s on a medical mission trip. Their aim was to help provide life-changing medical care to people in need. Nearly fifty years later, this work continues through FOTCOH, a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving more than 15,000 Haitian people each year.

Friends of the Children of Haiti was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1992 with a simple but profound mission: provide essential and sustained medical care and health education to the people of Haiti. Dick and Barb chose to work in a country where it sometimes seems as though change would never come.

Over the years, the work has been daunting – and in some moments, it seemed impossible. During the time they spent founding FOTCOH and beginning this important work, Dick and Barb witnessed tragic circumstances that caused heartbreak day in and day out. They noticed that in Haiti, a country plagued by instability, there is often very little to rely on.

Dick and Barb decided to create something the people of Haiti could rely on. Despite the challenges, the FOTCOH community has stayed committed to our work and our cause, rising to meet needs and seize opportunities as they arise. In 2000, the FOTCOH clinic opened in Cyvadier, Haiti and has become a critical community resource.

FOTCOH’s Current Work

Today, FOTCOH’s team of Haitian staff and medical professionals work alongside our volunteer teams and our administrative office in Peoria, Illinois to provide year-round medical care and health-related education to Haitian communities.

FOTCOH Friends of the Children in HaitiOur quarterly Vital Health Clinics serve 2,000-3,000 patients per clinic. We serve an additional 12,000 Haitian people per year through our weekly Urgent Care clinics and community health education programs. We aim to distribute more than 1,000 hygiene kits and 600 water filters annually. Last year, we also expanded our surgical and dental programs to serve even more patients.

FOTCOH’s newest program, our Women’s Health Initiative, provides education and breastfeeding support to new mothers as well as vitamin supplements for prenatal clients and children. A key part of this initiative is our Medika Mamba program, which provides nutritional support for severely malnourished children with a 90% success rate.

FOTCOH HaitiAs part of our commitment to the people we serve, 93% of FOTCOH employees are Haitian, and 40 Haitian people receive a living wage from FOTCOH each year.

Learn more about FOTCOH’s life-saving work!

The House of Life

The House of Life, written by Shelley Briggs Callahan, tells the remarkable story of how Dick and Barb Hammond founded Friends of the Children of Haiti. Along with a devoted team of volunteers, team members, and local advocates, Dick and Barb have impacted the lives of thousands of Haitians over the course of three decades. Discover their story, learn more about this fascinating country, and become inspired to take action.

Contact the author directly at shelleybcallahan@gmail.com to order a copy today!