A Cappawhite man is undertaking the challenge of a lifetime as he embarks on a mission of mercy to Haiti.
Haven, a prominent Irish NGO working on the ground in Haiti, is undertaking its eveventh annual volunteer trip to Haiti from 21-29 April 2017.
Johnny Ryan from Cappawhite in west Tipperary, 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.