Sunday, 23rd April 2017
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Haven Heroes travelling to Haiti for annual volunteer programme

Haven, a prominent Irish NGO working on the ground in Haiti, is undertaking its eleventh annual volunteer trip to Haiti from 21-29 April 2017. Paudie Halpin, from Ballymacarbry, Waterford, joins 39 other volunteers from Ireland and abroad in setting off on this life-changing trip with Haven.

This year’s Volunteer Programme sees the group travel to the small town of Carrefour Dufont, located two hours south-west of Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince. There, they will focus on the refurbishment and upgrade of the local school, which serves 220 children and nine teachers, and which suffered significant damage in last October’s Hurricane Matthew.

Over the course of eight days, Haven’s volunteers will repair the roofs and replaster the walls of the school’s buildings, which were badly impacted by the most powerful storm to hit Haiti in over half a century. As well as this, volunteers will build a new kitchen on the school grounds, and a covered area for children to eat in and shelter from the searing afternoon heat. The construction of a new toilet block will greatly improve the school’s facilities, and ensure clean sanitation and good health for its students.

Meanwhile, the volunteers will enable additional learning and skills for students through the development of an unused space into a school library. They will also create a safe area for children to play with a colourful and interactive playground.

Every year, a key aim of the Volunteer Programme is to immerse volunteers in local communities in Haiti. Lying close to Léogâne, the epicentre of the 2010 earthquake, people in the town of Carrefour Dufont are still working to rebuild their lives.

During their time there, Haven volunteers will not only work closely in partnership with the local community, but ensure that its children can make the most of their right to education for many years to come.

Leslie Buckley, Founder and Chairman of Haven, said: “Every year, Haven’s volunteers find this programme to be an incredibly fulfilling, reflective experience. Not only do they accept the challenge, but they embrace the local people they meet along the way, building new links and fostering strong relationships which last for many years. By further developing the capacity and resources of this school in Carrefour Dufont, many future generations of children in the community will enjoy a stronger educational experience and look forward to bright futures. We are tremendously grateful for the great work carried out by Haven’s volunteers in Haiti; their generosity of time and commitment makes an enormous impact.‘’

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