Volunteer Doctor in Haiti Speaks to Students in LLC

Volunteer Doctor in Haiti Speaks to Students in LLC

A stethoscope and partial hand.
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During periods 5 and 6 on Dec. 3, Belly Eleck, who will graduate medical school in June, spoke to a group of students in the Library Learning Commons about her work in Haiti and Guatemala.

Eleck focused on her time in Haiti because of the recent earthquake, hurricane, and outbreak of cholera. However, her first trip there was before any of these disasters occurred.

Inspired by her middle school math teacher, who had joined the Peace Corps and worked in Kenya, Eleck decided to take her first trip to Haiti during college. Eleck observed the many health, economic, and education problems that plagued Haiti while living with a Haitian woman.

“It was my first experience living a regular life in a developing country,” Eleck said.

Now, Eleck serves as a doctor for many Haitians, delivering babies, treating children, and performing minor surgeries. She believes that directly helping and supporting people, not just giving money, is the best way to make an impact.

“You have to build relationships,” she said.

Rachel Landau ’11, who attended the presentation, agrees with Eleck’s philosophy.

“It’s important for us to know how to give in a way that’s truly beneficial and won’t stifle future development.” She said.

Eleck’s own advice for Staples students is simple.

“It’s important for young people to realize that there’s a whole world out there,” she said, “and you have to have the courage to hear the whole story, because it’s not a pretty one.”