Justice Health Initiative (JHI)

Hi Heath community,

This is Alex, the legal guardian of Leo from the 6th grade class at Heath. Leo turned 12 years old a week ago. First, I would like to say thank you for the love the Heath community has demonstrated towards us since we moved to Brookline. It has made an impact on our lives and we will always be grateful for it.

As some of you know, I met Leo when he was 3 years old, just a year after he was burned. The fire had ravaged his face and head and singed his right arm. His lips, nose, and right eyelid were gone or badly damaged. Leo had no hope for better treatment in his village and his family had no money. His family sold what they could to pay for treatment. Unfortunately, the local clinic could only clean his open wounds and provide Tylenol (see the picture). Leo remained at great risk. Then, a friend of mine reached out to me to help Leo, because he heard that I helped another young man named Freddy. This latest was also a burn survivor. I decided to help Leo as well. I traveled with him to different African countries, but they could not treat him. In 2014, I volunteered to travel with Leo to Shriners Hospital in Boston for his plastic surgeries. My commitment was only 6 months, but it turned out to be 8 years now. While living in the States, people started to reach out to me to help more children.

I would like to share a new direction in my journey that I believe I’ve been called to. As some of you may know, in addition to Leo, I have helped other people with severe and rare health conditions receive care. As the number of families and patients reaching out to me has increased, I wondered if there was a more effective way to help them get the care they so desperately need.

After much thought, prayer and consideration, I decided to form the Justice Health Initiative (JHI). JHI is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to change lives by providing access to holistic and quality healthcare for the most vulnerable patients with critical health conditions. Those who otherwise would have little to no hope of receiving care. JHI seeks to speak up and defend the right to healthcare for those who cannot speak for themselves.

A mentor of mine reminds me “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” I can’t do this by myself. I need you. Would you join me in supporting the Justice Health Initiative by signing up for our newsletter? You’ll receive updates on the progress of the organization, the individuals that are receiving care and learn of ways to help.

I am so grateful for the support the community provided to Leo and me in the past and am hopeful that you will consider supporting me again as I start this new venture to help others.

To sign up for JHI’s newsletter, visit I want to receive the JHI newsletter!

For more information about the Justice Health Initiative, please visit www.jhiinc.org

Our story from The Boston Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2015/04/25/severely-burned-boy-finds-hope-boston/IdKoEJJHwqRmOV65s2LI9I/story.html

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at: alexg@jhiinc.org

Thank you!

Alex Gitungano
Founder and Executive Director of JHI

← Community Bulletin Board

The 2021-2022 Heath Hawk Fund is open. Please consider making a donation today!

Donate Now

Why support your PTO?

The Heath Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is a parent-run group that organizes and funds dozens of initiatives and enrichment programs for our children at Heath. Join other parents in helping make your child's school an excellent one!