Sophie’s Story | “I wanted to go somewhere that doesn’t get as much aid or attention”

We were excited to recently welcome Sophie O’Sullivan to the Haven team in Haiti.  Sophie is a student in University College Cork (UCC) who is joining us for her three-month student internship.  She’ll be keeping a regular blog during her time with us, sharing her perspectives on all she experiences.  Here you’ll find her first entry, with many more to come over the next few months!

Sophie meets a new addition to a local family in HaitiWell, here it goes.  My name is Sophie O’Sullivan; I’m 21 years old; and I’m from Cork, Ireland.  I am currently in my third year of study in International Development and Food Policy in UCC.

In our third of college, we go on work placement; some go to Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Sierra Leone, or Kenya, to name a few. When it came to choosing a placement, I wanted to go somewhere that doesn’t get as much aid or attention as a lot of other developing countries, and I also wanted to go somewhere I believe I can excel myself.  This is how I have come to Haiti with Haven.

I’ve always been aware of the work that Haven has been doing.  They have been working in Haiti since 2008, but I became a lot more aware of the work they were carrying out following the earthquake in 2010.


The best way to learn, in my opinion, is physically doing the work, putting what I’ve learned from my lectures and workshops into action.  I will be working a lot on Christine Farm, helping to build links between the farm and some of the local schools.  I have studied quite a bit on community development, so I feel this could be a really good project for me.


The work I will be doing involves going around to a number of different families in the Cavaillon area, close to where the farm is based.  I will be working with Reginald, Haven’s Community Development and Livelihoods Manager, and we will carry out questionnaires in order to see if the programme can work and how the families can work together in order for it to succeed.


I arrived on 4 April and received a very warm welcome.  Considering it also happened to be my 21st birthday that day, I have to say it’s a day I won’t forget!


This morning, I went with John and Damien, Haven’s Country Directors, to the Christine Farm and met some of the potential chicken farmers, who I will be visiting next week.  Damien and John were speaking about the project, and how the families need to have access to water and their own land in order for it to work.


It’s going to be an exciting few months ahead!

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