Honors Student Brie Constantino Volunteers in HaitiPosted Nov. 17, 2011
Honors student Brie Constantino spent a week in Haiti this past June volunteering at the EBAC Christian Academy and Orphanage in Cap-Haitien. Brie travelled with a group of fourteen young adults from the United State to assist the orphanage with the nearly two hundred children there.
The orphanage the group visited was home to local homeless children and orphans. Brie observed as the orphans went about their daily lives and they tried to incorporate life outside the gates by taking them to a nearby grassy field and having games, crafts and singing for them. The orphanage was home to twelve young kids in early 2010, all of whom miraculously survived the earthquake. EBAC consequently grew in size by approximately one hundred as a result of the ruin and family displacements.
Each one of the volunteers soon had a group of children that gravitated to them and what Brie found was that after so much loss and destruction, the children were still enthusiastic and eager to love despite what had happened to them. The language barrier was not a problem either, with one child she shared a drawing journal and they would pass it between them, him filling it with artistic sketches. He spoke English well and she learned that his mother had died in childbirth and his father from Cholera, a common story to be found amongst these children.
What Brie took away from this experience was a new appreciation for everything that she has and is working for—a college education and her family. The hardworking spirit of an 18-year-old boy who wants to come to the United States and become a dentist so he can return to Haiti and share his skills showed her that. It also showed her the tragedy of the government being unorganized and in some cases corrupt, so he has yet to obtain a passport to come to the United States to go to school.
Despite the earthquake or having lost parents, the children are motivated and happy and it was an unforgettable experience for Brie to have volunteered and made new friends in Haiti.
The EBAC Christian Academy and Orphanage in Cap-Haitien has been run by two American women for over thirty years. For more information, please visit http://www.heartsforthehungry.org/.