PORTLAND – The public is invited to a briefing Thursday evening on conditions in Portland’s Haitian sister city, Cap Haitien, hosted by Mayor Nicholas Mavodones Jr.

Portland became a sister city with Cap Haitien in 2003, in a formal agreement to support the work of Konbit Sante, a Portland-based nonprofit. Konbit Sante has been working in Cap Haitien for about a decade, helping the city improve its public health system.

Mavodones will hear from Konbit Sante Executive Director Nate Nickerson, who was in Cap Haitien for about four weeks after the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

Cap Haitien is about 90 miles north of Port-au-Prince, which was devastated by the earthquake. Cap Haitien wasn’t damaged, but its already stressed health system has been further taxed by an influx of injured refugees from the south.

Donations to Konbit Sante reached $363,694 after the earthquake. The money has been used to buy medical supplies, feed and care for more than 500 earthquake survivors, feed 110 medical residents and interns working at the public hospital in Cap Haitien, and pay for surgery and radiology costs for survivors who have needed orthopedic surgery.

Drs. Ann Lemire and Matt Camuso, who recently returned from Cap Haitien, will also give reports on conditions in the city. And two Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram staffers who reported from Cap Haitien after the earthquake, reporter Matt Wickenheiser and photographer Gregory Rec, will give a slideshow presentation.

The briefing is scheduled for 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the State of Maine Room, on the second floor of City Hall.

On Sunday, a fundraiser to benefit Konbit Sante will be held at Casco Bay Movers. The company at 517 Forest Ave. will donate its space from 2 to 4 p.m. for a barefoot fitness fusion dance jam known as Nia.

Nia teachers from Maine and New Hampshire will participate, with all donations going directly to Konbit Sante. The event is for everyone regardless of age, fitness level or experience.

For more information, contact Maggie Bokor at 899-5939.


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