Ballymacarbry man helping poor in Haiti rebuild their lives following earthquake

Ballymacarbry man helping poor in Haiti rebuild their lives following earthquake

Paudie Whelan got great support from people in The Nire in his fundraising efforts.

Haven, a prominent Irish NGO working on the ground in Haiti, is undertaking its twelfth volunteer trip to Haiti from 13-22 April 2018. 

Long-term volunteer Paudie Halpin from Ballymacarbry, along with another 35 volunteers, is setting off on this life-changing experience with Haven’s 2018 Volunteer Programme.

This year’s Volunteer Programme sees the group travel to the small commune of Gressier, located two hours south-west of Haiti’s capital, Port au Prince.

  The Volunteer Programme will play an important role in assisting and helping the people of Gressier, who are still working to rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquake in 2010. The volunteers will lead the refurbishment and upgrade of the main building of the local Jean Jean School, which has six classrooms and serves 160 children. The enhancement of the school facilities will ensure local children have access to education that will lead to bright, self-sufficient futures.

Over the course of their time in Haiti, Haven’s volunteers will work together to replace the school roof, repair and plaster the walls of the buildings that were destroyed by the 2010 earthquake.  The team of volunteers will also repair the kitchen on the school grounds and build a covered area for children to eat in and also provide shelter from the searing afternoon heat.  The construction of a new toilet block will greatly improve the school’s facilities, ensuring clean sanitation and good health for its students.

In addition to the construction element of the programme, the team will provide equipment and furniture to enable learning and education. These include new shelves for books, blackboards and desks. These new resources will enrich the school experience and make it more engaging for students. The volunteers will also create a safe area for children to play with the development of a colourful and interactive playground.

Paudie Halpin says –  ‘’This is my seventh trip to Haiti as a volunteer. I feel like I'm making a small difference in the lives of the young people who live in Haiti and that's a great feeling!

“Yes, it’s hard work, but the satisfaction you get from knowing you are helping to make a difference in these people’s lives makes it all worthwhile.

“I’d like to thank all the people of Ballymacarbry and the Nire Valley area for their extremely generous help and support and generosity towards my fundraising to take part in this year’s programme.’’