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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bridging The Gap In Haiti - H.E.R.O./Union School Field Day

Angela Having a Great Time
This past Saturday a truly unique event took place in Haiti. From 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM H.E.R.O. and Union School hosted a field day for 70 of our students from the H.E.R.O. Education Program for Street Children and their elementary school student sponsors from Union School. This event was unique in that it brought individuals from the highest socioeconomic level in Haiti together with the lowest. As if to bring His blessing to this day, at 1:00 PM a circular rainbow formed directly above the Union School campus, a halo, a sign, that when we come together as a community, we can truly make an impact on the children and people of Haiti.

Dan and the Dunk tank
A bit of background information and lot of thanks are in order here. I originally came to Haiti as a Union School teacher in August of 2009. One can only describe Union School as prestigious: the best school in all of Haiti. It was during this same time that I began volunteering at SOPUDEP, our partner in the Education Program for Street Children. As a result of the earthquake in January of 2010, I was rendered unemployed due to lack of enrollment, with a choice to return for the 2010-2011 school year. Instead I worked with our Board of Directors to found H.E.R.O. Michele, our H.E.R.O. Secretary, stayed with Union School and our Country Director, Dan Kasnick joined Union this past year. As H.E.R.O. began to grow a relationship was built between H.E.R.O. and Union School, a partnership that has helped H.E.R.O. acquire student sponsors for our street children, receive donated supplies including benches, art materials, and games, and most recently it has allowed for the Field Day, an event that was truly out of this world. Thank you to Dan for coordinating this entire event, well done. Thank you to the Union School PTA for providing lunch, snacks, water, and plenty of parent volunteers. Thank you to the Handal family for providing free t-shirts for our students. Thank you to Director Marie Baptiste who allowed the field day to take place on the Union School campus with her full support. Thank you to all the import teachers (Michele, Michelle, Bruno, David, Kathleen, Fareed, Meaghan) for your support as well. Truly amazing things can happen when we all work together!

Robenson Showing Off His Skills
You can see for yourself the amazing time the children from both our Education Program and Union School enjoyed. The day started early with 70 street children arriving at SOPUDEP at 9:30 for a morning snack and t-shirt distribution. At 10:00 we began shuttling the children to Union School in a rented van; this took three trips to get everyone there. Field day started on time at 11:00 AM. Events included the obstacle course, basketball shoot, football throw, dance station, ping pong, and best of all, the dunk tank with Meaghan and Dan inside! Snacks, water, and juice were available continuously throughout the day with lunch at 1:00. The day continued with the art station, ring toss, playground, and more! Finally, as we prepared to wrap up the day each child was provided with a cupcake, juice, and a party bag filled with fun toys and school supplies. It was a blast for everyone!

Meaghan and Kervens
It is important to understand the significance of the convergence of these two worlds, both that exist in the same Haiti. The reality is that to succeed in this country as an individual, an NGO, or as a missionary, you must be able to connect with every part of Haiti, from the wealthy to the poor and everything in-between. If, instead, a decision is made to only mingle with the elite, or only inhabit the NGO world, or reside in the confines of the church, then opportunity is being limited. If relationships can be built across these communities so that they can work together, rather than against each other, harmony and synergy will be created: necessary elements to help Haiti become a country that no longer needs the presence of thousands of NGOs, that no longer needs imported rice, that makes the work of H.E.R.O. obsolete. By working together, we can make this happen. I never hesitate to end a blog by asking, “What role will you play?” Visit to become part of the movement for a better Haiti.

H.E.R.O. Girls: Christina, Dayana, and Valencia

1 comment:

  1. Full of life and natural happiness on face.I licked very much.