Hope in Haiti


Claudia Ripka

38 students traveled to Haiti the week of Thanksgiving

Jordan Revenaugh, Staff Writer

The people of Haiti are still experiencing the aftermath of the detrimental earthquake which struck five years ago, destroying thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals. The earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, left a trail of poverty, instability, and hunger in its wake. These three factors continue to plague the nation today, half of a decade later. This year, Adams students were afforded the unique opportunity to travel to Haiti and take part in the process of rebuilding the fragile nation.

Thirty-eight Adams students, which included 23 juniors, 13 seniors, and 2 sophomores left on November 23 for a week-long trip to Haiti.  The program is sponsored through a partnership between Kensington Community Church and Mission of Hope. Mission of Hope is a Christian organization which has been sending missions to the small nation of Haiti for nearly 12 years in an attempt to offer aid to the country and allow it to prosper. The organization has 180 Haitian staff members employed throughout the country, all working for the common cause of rebuilding Haiti, both physically and emotionally.

Mission of Hope impacts Haitians each day through Church of Hope, School of Hope, Hope House Orphanage, Hospital and Clinic of Hope, Disaster Early Warning and Disaster Relief.

This particular mission began on Monday, November 23, with arrival, orientation, and settling in. The majority of the trip was filled with Church Advancement Projects (CA Projects) and Strategic Village Time (SVT). The main focus of CA Projects is to supply the village with its highest priority physical needs. SVT assesses and attempts to better basic living conditions by supplying the local church with what the people need. In both types of activities, the volunteers played with the Haitian children, doing everything from singing and dancing to arts and crafts. Additionally, they planted fruit trees, painted houses, and packaged food.

Time was spent in the village of Source Matelas simply speaking to the local people. Through the experience, students were offered not only the opportunity to offer aid to a country less fortunate than the United States, but also to expand their knowledge of cultures outside of their own.

“You learn how grateful people are there,” said junior Grace Lee, who has been to Haiti three times and whose mother, Becky Lee, was in charge of the trip. “They have almost nothing, but yet they’re really grateful for what they do have. They’re very faithful people and there’s so much joy. They have a lot of community in their culture too; everything is shared between everyone.”

The joy witnessed in Haiti rose above the sentiment of the holiday season; the bliss and gratitude observed there by the Adams’ students existed in its purest form. Even with so little, the Haitian people found joy in a life that perhaps many in a more developed nation take for granted.

In a holiday season based upon counting all there is to be thankful for, the Adams students gave the people of Haiti something to put on their lists.