Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Students share their stories of Haiti

Nursing students at Lambton College share pictures and
stories of their experiences in Haiti.
On Monday morning, a crowd of interested faculty and staff gathered to hear two panels of Lambton College students share their experiences of their time in Haiti.

Both groups had travelled to Haiti as part of their college experience: nursing students volunteered to run medical clinics and educational sessions in Haiti, and another group of students travelled as a component of Ruth Geurts' International Community Development course, a general education class that Ruth teaches here.
Kari Roos, an SSW student here at Lambton College, helps with the Haiti art table.
The proceeds of these sales are returned to the Haitian artists.

It was clear that the trip was meaningful and memorable for each of the presenters, and even life-changing for some. The nursing students spoke about seeing the theory they'd learned in the classroom come to life, and the challenges of communicating through the language barrier. Several of these students mentioned that the "cultural compentency" they'd discussed in the classroom had entirely new meaning for them now, as they encountered in their conversations with Haitians entirely different methods of treatment and very different belief systems from their own.

The focus for the general education group is on listening and learning. They don't travel to Haiti to parachute in with solutions: instead, they go there to learn about Haitians and about themselves. Both groups of students emphasized how much the trip revealed to them about themselves and their own preconceptions.

These trips happen in conjunction with Hands up for Haiti, a group of medical professionals that partners with Haitians to build sustainable educational and medical programs in Haiti. Our students also work with Rayjon, a local NGO that's been helping people to learn about Haitians and contribute to Haiti for thirty years now.

Thanks to the students who volunteered to share their stories with all of us.

If you'd like to learn more about Lambton College's connections to Haiti, please contact me. I'll be happy to put you in touch with the right people.

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