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Throughout Haiti, Catholic medical mission groups provide crucial healthcare to Haiti's citizens. These US religious groups generally establish a "twinning" relationship, providing continuous support to an adopted sister church in Haiti. Through the lens of everyday life in Haiti, I plan to investigate the delivery of health services by medical mission groups in order to understand the relationship between the care these groups provide and their efforts of proselytizing to community members. Focusing on how these health services affect the poor with an established twinning relationship, a key question in my research is the degree to which local people living in poverty are able to shape how this religious aid is used. I will also consider the views of mission group members, examining how individuals reconcile community needs and the parameters of Christian, particularly Catholic, social teachings, and how they view such assistance as linked to the practice of Christianity. I intend to focus on Catholic twinning groups, but I will also research other Christian mission groups, looking at both their commonalities and distinctions in terms of the care they provide and the structures that constrain their assistance. By employing a local level and multi-sited analysis, my work will explore the execution and realization of "twinning" in Haitian communities and elucidate the effects of conditionality on the construction of health-related beliefs and behaviors.
Medical anthropology, structural inequality, development, applied/activist anthropology, faith-based Aid; Caribbean, Haiti.