The South Park School Bus from Pennsylvania in Rural Haiti

I recently returned from my third trip to the mountain village of Lebrun in western Haiti with the non-profit, HavServe. In 2013 and 2014, I assisted in efforts to help establish organic vegetable gardens in this beleaguered agricultural village that had suffered significant damage from Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.  Lebrun has seen a lot of progress over the last half-decade, but then last fall Lebrun’s orchards and gardens were devastated once again—this time by Hurricane Matthew.  My recent visit was focused on helping upgrade the community garden and collaborating with local …Read More

Arts and Crafts in rural Haiti: Cultural Connection with Students and their Teachers

For the past three summers, I have had the honor of volunteering with HavServe for the Haiti Summer Camp and Educational Enrichment Program. Previously, I had been to Haiti four times before, volunteering at an orphanage and helping with several construction projects. Though I loved working with the children at the orphanage, I didn’t feel like I was using my talents to make the most impact.  I decided to research for new programs in Haiti online, and that’s how I discovered HavServe. As a French teacher, I longed to use …Read More

HavServe Summer Camp 2017 – A Day of Difference Through Community Gardening

First Day of Summer Camp: Noisy, lively, opening with songs, dancing, musical instruments, prayer with several hundred kids, local teachers, international volunteers, youth leaders.  Endless enthusiasm. The kids are very well-behaved. The camp is well-organized but plans are, of necessity, flexible.  Volunteers come and go, some staying for a week, some for two or more. What’s the best way to start the day with several hundred kids with high expectation under one tin roof?  How about a prayer, a hymn and the Haitian national anthem followed by an hour of …Read More

HavServe Summer Camp 2017 – Literacy & Numeracy Training

Literacy Education in Haiti

A direct correlation exists between human growth and development and educational opportunities. As part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, governments, businesses and civil society actors are attempting to transform the world through initiatives aimed to maximize the prevalence and quality of education in the developing world. In terms of increasing the quality of education in underdeveloped regions, there are several moving pieces that have to come together to introduce progressive measures with lasting effects. Inspirational educators must provide appropriate instruction and care to students for which …Read More

Leadership Training in the Context of Haiti’s Rural Environment

No matter who you are, or where you come from, whether you’re a student or a seasoned professional or somewhere in between, you’ve witnessed leaders in action. Locally, you may have interacted with city council members, pastors, principals, valedictorians, soccer coaches, the vice president of your local bank—and you can’t turn on the news without hearing reports about how the actions of global leaders—politicians, economists, policy makers—impact the daily lives of those over whom they have influence. Naturally, history has seen its fair share of commendable commanders-in-chief and despicable despots, …Read More