Posts Tagged ‘build schools’

Elevate Haiti

OK–this one has gotten hold of my imagination and won’t let go. My friends at Elevate Destinations are facilitating volunteer vacation trips to help the rebuilding efforts in Haiti. This is a 15-day trip in August or late November/early December, to do construction work at Jacmel, a port town where 70% of the buildings were damaged in the January quake. You’ll be doing construction work at a free community school, building a computer lab and classrooms. Conditions are tough, work is in the heat of the sun, accommodations are on the floor or in tents (or for an additional cost, at local hotels/guest houses), and meals are basic (peanut butter, bread, fruit, beans and rice. Grocery stores and restaurants are nearby), and the difference you will make is HUGE.

For a while there was no way for lay volunteers to be effective in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, if anything we would have been in the way during emergency rescue and recovery work, but the time has come for rebuilding and working alongside Haitians to recover and heal communities—an effort that will take years. This project, a blister-your-hands, exhaust-your-body, enrich-your-world, fill-your-heart work trip committed to the children of Haiti, is a chance to truly immerse yourself in service. Anyone who has ever done construction work knows, at the end of the day, you can look back and see what you created that was not there in the morning. At the end of these two weeks, there will be facilities that will be used by, and enrich the lives of, generations to come—because of you.

I’m already looking at trying to make my schedule work…shall we meet there?


Getting teenagers passionate about having a significant impact on the world can be a task, but it is an easier undertaking than we might think at first glance. Young people are no different than adults–we want to have purpose and we want to live in a world that is constantly improving. And we aren’t resistant to getting involved to make that happen.

buildOn is a non-profit organization working with urban high schoolers through empowering in-class and after-school programs, creating avenues for community service work within the students’ cities and neighborhoods. The WOW factor is when buildOn does it’s programs where these same high school students build schools and bring literacy to children and adults in developing countries around the world. Since 1992, buildOn volunteer students have helped build 332 schools in rural regions in Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Senegal. There is an incredible side effect of empowering these city kids…97% of participating student volunteers have gone on to college.


That is not predictable or even rational to expect in any school district, and even less so, statistically, from urban schools.

Can you imagine the incredible world being generated by kids who would spend a spring break, summer vacation, or senior trip opportunity opening the galaxy of learning to others? I want to be part of that world.

Think about encouraging your family to dive in, supporting with a donation, or setting up your own “Ambassador Trek” that allows any age volunteers to participate. The link is here to get involved.