Our twelfth volunteer trip to Haiti begins next week when our 2018 Volunteer Programme sets off on Friday, 13 April.
36 volunteers from Ireland and the United States will be taking part in this year’s programme, which sees the group travel to the small commune of Gressier, located two hours south-west of Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince. The Volunteer Programme will play an important role in helping the people of Gressier, who are still working to rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
There, volunteers will lead the refurbishment and upgrade of the main building of the local Jean Jean School, which has six classrooms and serves 160 children. The enhancement of the school facilities will ensure local children have access to education that will lead to bright, self-sufficient futures.
Over the course of their time in Haiti, our volunteers will work together to replace the school roof, and repair and plaster the walls of the buildings that were destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. They will also repair the kitchen on the school grounds, and build a covered area for children to eat in and shelter from the searing afternoon heat. Meanwhile, the construction of a new toilet block will greatly improve the school’s facilities, ensuring clean sanitation and good health for its students.
In addition, volunteers will make and supply equipment and furniture to enable improved learning and education. These include new bookshelves, blackboard, desks and other resources which will enrich the school experience and make it more engaging for students. The development of a colourful and interactive playground will also create a safe area for children to play in.
Here’s what some of our volunteers had to say about the upcoming trip:
I’m delighted to be heading back to Haiti for a twelfth time with Haven. This year’s trip will be especially meaningful for me, as my daughter Agatha will be joining the Volunteer Programme for the first time. Each year, the experience in Haiti is completely different, but the impact volunteers make is always incredible. Haiti continues to face difficult challenges, but I can see the positive changes its people have felt since my first trip in 2009, and it’s fantastic to think that the Volunteer Programme has played a part in that.”
This is my ninth trip to Haiti with Haven. I truly suggest to all those who are interested in volunteering to get involved: Haiti and the volunteer experience you have there will change you in ways you never thought possible. I think this trip will be very rewarding, and I look forward to transforming a damaged school in Haiti that will have a positive impact on the local children and community for years to come.”
This is my first time volunteering with Haven in Haiti. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend time in Haiti, learning more about and helping to overcome the challenges its people continue to face. The Volunteer Programme will focus on the refurbishment of a local school in Gressier, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and making a difference in the lives of people there.”