From there, we headed to Jacmel to stay at a host house, and to get ready for the next day filled with meetings with the schools that are educating the community. The goal of our trip to Haiti was to learn about the different community-based organizations that are shaping their communities, in hope of guiding the next generation for the future of the country.
We met with the different organizations that are providing resources and services to the Haitian people. School directors shared their stories about how they started, and the resources that they need in order to educate the children of their community. It was great to meet and play with the children that were attending the school. We donated book bags to the children, and painted their newly built school with them. In return, they serenaded us with an educational song they learned in school.
We also met with strong-minded and courageous rural women in Haiti that are helping other women by giving them voices to combat their struggles. They created a group called Fanm Lakou (Women Of the Backyard) that was established to prevent violence against women. Another group of women creates goods such as earrings, home pieces made out of wood, and purses made from cloth and recycled materials to sell as a source of income. They stated that before they decided to put their heads together to create other means for income, they were relying on farming. Meeting with these different groups of women that are achieving changes in their community, showed us the resilience that they have in working together to manage and overcome their struggles.
As future international social workers, going to Haiti helped us implement the role of social work in addressing international social development issues. Doing this type of work provided us with a better understanding of working with diverse communities that are tackling issues they face through community organizing on an international level. Taking the course and heading to Haiti with Dr. Marciana Popescu really helped. We were able to listen to stories and travel along roads that made a huge difference in our understanding of what is being taught in a classroom.