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Marleine Bastien was born in the small village of Pont-Benoit in Haiti. Her parents were both farmers and her father Philippe Bastien, a trained nurse, was the villages only health practitioner, and he built the first school there.
Marleine started her volunteerism at the school when she was 8 years old, ultimately teaching adults and children in the school hqw to read and write. As a teenager, she volunteered at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, feeding hundreds of malnourished babies left there by their parents. Two days after her arrival in Florida, Marleine volunteered at the Haitian Refugee Center. She was subsequently trained and worked as a paralegal for five years. She provided assistance to thousands of refugees at the Krome Detention Center. She fought side by side with father Gerard Jean-Juste on the streets, in the courts, and in Washington, D.C. to get work permits and freedom for thousands.
After obtaining her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida International University, Marleine worked at Jackson Memorial Hospital as a medical social worker with children and families with HIV/AIDs and sickle cell anemia. She became the premier advocate for patients’ right at Jackson, bringing visibility and understanding to the plight of women and their families from all ethnic backgrounds taking care of babies diagnosed with HIV.
• She started the first HIV support group to support women and families.
• She advocated for HIV protocols for women at a time when men were the only focus.
• She brought the same dedication and strong advocacy to working with families and children with sickle
• She received the Miami Dade County Volunteer of the Year Award (1994) and Miami Dade County Social
Worker of the Year Award. (2000).
Marleine Bastien left JMH in 2000 to manage Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc. (FANM)/Haitian Women of Miami. Since its inception in 1991, FANM has become one of the largest and most influential agencies assisting our immigrant communities. Marleine takes personal pride in the services that FANM provides.
1996 Special Recognition by President Bill Clinton for receiving the Value Award
1999 Special Proclamation by Mayor Alex Penelas and The Board of County Commission
2002 Special Commendation by Mayor Alex Penelas and the Board of County Commission
2006 Special Recognition from the City of Miami “Women Pioneering The Future”
2008 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by Congresswoman Corinne Brown
5 Ones to Watch