In 2018, 36 volunteers from Ireland and America taking part in our Volunteer Programme arrived in Haiti on Saturday, 14 April, spending a week in the community of Gressier, a mountaineous area which lies close to the epicentre of the 2010 earthquake.
There, they completely refurbished Jean Jean School, a school for almost 160 students. Set in a remote location and having suffered damage from both the 2010 earthquake and 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, the school found itself in bad need of repair.
Over the course of just seven days in Haiti, our volunteers transformed the school by replacing its buildings’ damaged roofs; painting each building entirely, inside and out; repairing and painting doors and windows; making partitions to divide the three main classrooms; building and fitting shelving, desks and new blackboards; cleaning and varnishing furniture; erecting gates and creating new concrete pathways around the school; and upgrading the school’s storage container.
Meanwhile, a renovated kitchen and the new shaded dining area which volunteers built, painted and decorated will ensure that students enjoy a secure, comfortable place to eat freshly-prepared meals and rest safely out of the searing sun. Equally, by upgrading the sanitation block, and equipping it with new toilets and a water storage system, students and teachers can now avail of safe, hygienic facilities which promote and protect their good health and well-being.
A new sports field – boasting new basketball hoops and football goals – also offers students a fun, sheltered area to exercise in, play sports and develop teamwork skills, and make their school experience even more special.
Volunteering with Haven is the best, most enjoyable, eye-opening and rewarding experience
If you’re interested in finding out more about what it’s like to volunteer with us in Haiti, take a look at our video diaries and photos from the 2018 trip, or email our Volunteer Manager, Magda, firstname.lastname@example.org, or find out more information on volunteering overseas from the Comhlámh website and Volunteer Charter.