May 27 to June 10, 2018
Haiti also has the highest rate of poverty in the western hemisphere due to a variety of interwoven issues that make it particularly susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Amidst these difficult circumstances, the government only supports one hospital in northern Haiti with 250 beds serving over one million people. Because of the lack of medical facilities, many Haitians, particularly those with disabilities, do not have access to essential medical and support services. In response to the significant unmet health care needs that exist in this region, SStS’s non-profit partner, Hope Health Action (HHA), is dedicated to providing life-saving health and disability care to Haiti’s most vulnerable citizens.
Upon their arrival in Haiti, the SStS group will settle into HHA’s Volunteer Village. After learning about their inspiring history, mission, and goals, the students will begin their project at the nearby Hopital de la Convention Baptiste d’Haiti (HCBH) and Maison de Benediction Respite Center. HCBH is an extensive public clinic with a maternity unit, an emergency room, and a sports rehab center for Haitians who have suffered from spinal injuries and strokes. The Maison provides support services for children with developmental disabilities and their families. In order to support HHA, the SStS group will work with the kids at the Maison and on a construction project that will improve the facilities used by families whose relatives are seeking care at HCBC. In addition to the service work, students will visit other organizations that are implementing creative and sustainable solutions to the economic challenges faced by rural families. The group will also explore fascinating cultural sites such as the Citadelle Laferriere, a historic mountaintop fortress. Finally, the group will spend their last day at a beach on Haiti’s northern coast reflecting on what they have learned about ethical leadership.
Students will spend much of their time doing construction work at HCBH. They will also work with the staff at the Maison who provide support services to children with developmental disabilities.
Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (30 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and create presentations in small groups.
While in Haiti, the group will spend time exploring various cultural sites on foot. However, these activities only require relatively short walks of a couple hours or less.
The group stays at HHA’s Volunteer Village, which is a compound of small houses near the hospital and Maison with shared kitchens and living space as well as bunkrooms for students.
After arriving in Cap-Haitien, the group will drive 30 minutes to the Volunteer Village. For the remainder of the course, most of the service work and cultural experiences will only require short drives of an hour or less.
Although the group will stay in a rural area near the hospital and Maison, they do not stay in the homes of individual families.
Although the group will visit the city, they will spend a majority of their time in a rural area about 15 minutes outside of Cap-Haitien. They will also spend a day at the beach on Haiti’s north coast.