Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meet the volunteers!

We'd like to think that Sustain Haiti is an equal partnership between Haitian and foreign volunteers, but really, it's the Haitians who run the show. Rony Charles, our in-country manager, is the impetus behind just about everything that Sustain Haiti does. And he's not alone. Meet the rest of SH's full-time Haitian volunteers, who provide the brains, muscle and language skills for everything Sustain Haiti accomplishes. 
Junior Senécharles is our Agricultural Coordinator, which means that he directs, coordinates, and plans for the organization’s planting and gardening, poultry, and other agricultural projects. He and his wife Saskya have three children, with one on the way. Although he lost his home and his job in the earthquake, he still has an unquestionably positive outlook on life and strongly believes in the importance of Sustain Haiti’s projects.  Junior currently works as a motorcycle taxi driver, but he donates the great majority of his time to working with Sustain Haiti. He is expert at both teaching agricultural classes and working in the gardens themselves. He's got a killer jumpshot, absolutely contagious laughter, and enough popularity in and around Leogane that one wouldn't be surprised to see him elected mayor... or President one day, for that matter. Junior pou pwezidan!

Fritz Gérald Février is 24 years old.  He graduated from a private high school in Léogâne and has since taken some university-level classes in Port-au-Prince.  He is currently volunteering full-time for his second year with Sustain Haiti and plans to continue pursuing his education in the United States.  Along with Junior, Fritz Gérald is Sustain Haiti’s other Agricultural Coordinator, and has much experience with planting and gardening. He is especially excited about taking the reins on our pilot poultry program. Fritz Gérald’s knowledge of English also enables him to serve as a translator for business and health seminars, orphanage programs, and any other situation in which the American volunteers interact with local community members.  His care and concern for others and his willingness to help out whenever needed make him well-loved by all at Sustain Haiti.  Fritz Gérald would like to obtain a university education in medicine and return to Haiti to work as a doctor, helping and serving his fellow countrymen by administering to their medical needs.
Roody Février is 25 years old. Like his brother Fritz Gérald, he attended high school in Léogâne, has taken some university classes in Port-au-Prince, and is hoping to further his education in the United States. This is Roody’s first year as a volunteer with Sustain Haiti. His willingness to help out in whatever way he is needed is remarkable; like his brother, he speaks English very well and is able to serve as a translator in any and all situations.  Consequently, he often attends the business and health classes to help with interpreting, and also frequently helps out with orphanage programs.  He is very knowledgeable and willing to work hard, but he is best loved for his loyal and trusting attitude. Roody wants to study law so that he can return to Haiti to work as a lawyer, helping build his country’s judicial system and protecting the rights of the innocent. He also has more knowledge of music than anyone I've met, and can rarely be seen without his headphones dangling from his neck. 
Jean Brunel David is 19 years old. He is actively involved in the Scouts of Haiti organization and serves as a leader in his troop. As a result of his karate training, his whole body is a weapon. He is currently starting his junior year in high school at Lycée Anacaona in Léogâne.  This is his second year volunteering full-time with Sustain Haiti, and he works tirelessly and diligently on our organization’s projects.  Like Fritz Gérald and Roody, he also speaks English very well (although I probably taught him more slang than I should have) and is always willing to serve as a translator in any situation.  It doesn’t take long to feel the genuine love and dedication he has for the other volunteers, the community members we serve, and Sustain Haiti’s projects.  After finishing high school, Jean Brunel wants to obtain a university degree in medicine and work one day as a practicing physician.
(Thanks to Alex Carroll for much of the text of this post.)

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