Inside Rise Haiti
Dear Rise Haiti supporters,
We – nine international Master students from University of St. Gallen constituting the fourth generation of Rise Haiti – have been working together on this project since September 2015. Our vision is to improve the mental, physical, and emotional health and development of Haitian children in Haiti so that they can pursue their dreams. For that cause, we decided after hours and days of research and discussions to build a playground at a school in Ouanaminthe in the Eastern part of Haiti. Times were not always easy for us but we mastered all big challenges and are happy to announce the first success stories of our project.
After intense work from Switzerland and many fundraising initiatives in autumn and winter 2015, we finally executed our field trip to Haiti in February 2016. Due to the ongoing critical safety situation in Haiti we were not allowed to spend as much time in Haiti as planned but we still managed to achieve our goals in a shorter time frame and used the remaining time to broaden our project scope and set up some relations in the Dominican Republic.
First of all, we would like to thank our partner “Foi et Joie” for their great support before, during, and after our stay. With their help, we managed to build a playground at the “Centre Educatif Congréganiste National Saint Ignace de Loyola”. We actually build two sets of playgrounds, each consisting of a seesaw, four swings, and a spinning top. Teachers and students at the school are very thankful for the playground and our visit to the school, where we also had the opportunity to give some workshops to both pre-school and high-school students. We even heard from our partner that the children used to be late for school but now arrive even earlier at school so that they can play before going to class.
In addition to that, we also worked on improving the bi-national relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We therefore got into contact with “Foi et Joie’s” partner organization in the Dominican Republic called “Fe y Alegría”. We met some of their representatives in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, and Dajabón, a border town very close to Ouanaminthe and the rest of Haiti. In cooperation with them we conducted two days of workshop for the local students, educating them about our project and presenting our different national backgrounds to them.
We also got the opportunity to visit and support a shelter for Haitian homeless boys in Dajabón right across the border from Haiti. This shelter was set up because there is an increasing influx of Haitian children to the Dominican Republic. The “Hogar del Cristo en Dajabón” gives these children a place to sleep for the night, some education, food, and a place to meet children with whom they share the same fate. We played with the children, sang songs together, helped serving meals, and brought them ice cream. Everybody was very happy about our visit and we hope that we can further support the shelter in the future.
In the following weeks we would like to further inform you about the achievements and future plans of our projects. You will get informed about our activities in Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, and of course Haiti. We are looking forward to telling you what we worked on in the past months and the challenges we encountered. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions and comments.