When we set out to hire a Clinical Director in Haiti, our description of the ideal candidate was extensively long. Many advised us to lower our standards— to hope for the best but to set more realistic expectations. We tend to struggle in setting realistic expectations, mostly because we believe strongly in a God who promises to do the impossible. As always, He delivered and more than exceeded our expectations.
Meet Dr. Jeff Matherson Cadichon. He was born and raised in Port-de-Paix, Haiti and received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Burgundy in France. A few months prior to posting this position, we sat down with the President of the Haitian Psychological Association to connect and inform her about the vision of Nadege as well as to discuss our ongoing staffing needs. She highly recommended Jeff for the Clinical Director position due to working with him on a research project to determine the post-traumatic effects of the 2010 earthquake on Haitian women and adolescent girls.
Let me pause for a moment and say that we fully expected to hire a woman to fill this position. Our highest priority as an organization is to protect the women we will serve. We understand the possibility of re-triggering individuals who have experienced traumatic events at the hands of men, and how the very presence of a man can result in flashbacks and other post-traumatic symptoms.
However, the reality is these symptoms will occur at some point in the healing process, whether it’s during the treatment process or once they begin a new life outside of the house. We would rather those symptoms occur while women live in the house so their care team can work to address them together and teach them healthy coping strategies to practice in a clinical setting.
That being said, Jeff’s role will involve overseeing the clinical staff— all of which will be female. The clinical staff will have one-on-one interactions with the women and their children. If Jeff needs to meet with a woman, her assigned counselor will be in the room in order to provide the highest quality of care possible.
We also love the idea of a strong male presence at Nadege because we strongly believe that the work done at our safe house only treats a symptom of a bigger problem in Haiti. In order for lasting change to occur, we must be a part of infiltrating a culture, which will involve educating men on how to treat women. The best candidate to address this deep seeded issue is other men. We are convinced that the eradication of sexual violence in our world must include the advocacy efforts of both women AND men.
We are excited to welcome Jeff to the team. He loves God and people well and has a passion for restoring HOPE to women in his home country. His list of credentials is impressive, but it was his passion, collaborative spirit and desire to see real change take place in Haiti that made hiring him an easy decision, while also serving as a reminder that nothing is impossible with God!