Volunteer in Haiti

Why volunteer in Haiti? The earthquake that shook Haiti left behind immeasurable destruction and devastation in its wake and there have been world wide appeals for help from the Red Cross and other NGOs involved in the rehabilitation of Haiti. While there is a great deal many of us can do from home by making donations to charitable organizations that ship food, clothes and other needed supplies to Haiti, you may wish to have a more direct hand in the healing of the island nation. If this is the case you should consider entering a volunteer program for Haiti.

The Earthquake and its Aftermath

Haiti is suffering after the 7.0 earthquake dealt a serious blow to their people. Men, women and children across the entire nation were left homeless and without food and water in addition to trying to cope with the loss of one or several members of their family. In this environment there are often more needs than the citizens of their country are able to fulfill and this is where your help can offer the largest impact. Through programs that offer assistance in the form of counseling, teaching, building and construction, health and other medical assistance and working with children, you can help the people of this devastated island nation to help rebuild what they’ve lost.

What is Involved in Volunteering in Haiti

Working with a group of more than 3,000 women, youths and children, you will be able to work in either the Kay Wolf or Pinchinat camps educating children, helping research information for families in Haiti and overseas looking for information on their families, helping to construct homes so that families can return to their homes and if you have medical training helping to aid those who need medical care, rehab and counseling in the field. There are many opportunities for nurses, anyone with medical training, and those who can help in the orphanages.

What will you Need to be Able to Help?

In order to help, you will need be 18 years of age, have no major health issues (a clearance letter will be necessary from your doctor to verify), have an eligible status for traveling to Haiti as well as a police check, speak fluent English and if at all possible have a good understanding of either Creole or French as well. In order to participate in medical or counseling programs, you will need to have some sort of certification of your ability to perform such tasks and certification in the medical field. Once all of these certifications and legal verifications are completed and you’re ready to travel you can begin the process.

The first step will be applying for a position in the volunteer locations followed by a communication and information period where you will be educated about the nation and get to talk with members of the volunteer group. Next you may be required to pay a fee, which covers costs such as transportation, meals, supervision, and administrative charges. One way you can volunteer without paying this fee is to have a fundraiser through your school, church or other community organization, or on the Internet, find a sponsor, etc.

After all of these formalities are done, your volunteer process will begin. It’s not as complex as it may sound. Begin today and see how you can make a real difference in the lives of many Haitians who are in desperate need.