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2012 HAC Summer interns
The time has come for HAC's 2012 internship program.
It has been over two years since the earthquake, and the strengths and shortcomings of many well-intentioned systems for helping people in dire situations have been duly tested. With this experience, HAC is even more dedicated to its goal of empowering local people to help themselves, of listening to the community and responding to the needs they themselves express, and enabling projects that the communities can manage themselves on a long-term basis.
Based on past successes, the time has come for HAC to improve and expand its programs. To help us do this, twelve interns arrived in Croix des Bouquets for an 8-week work session that began on 16 June. They have varied specialties and skills but share a strong commitment to sustainable development and empowerment within the local community. Our interns will contribute to HAC's expansion through projects such as a survey of needs regarding health and nutrition, a 2-week teacher training conference to encourage interactive classroom activity throughout the country, educational recommendations to the new government of Haiti for feasible ways to implement the planned free education system, and an expanded curriculum for Ecole Shalom that will include life skills such as gardening and nutrition, as well as evaluating current projects and identifying positive networking opportunities with partner organizations.
Keep up with our summer interns through our website, Facebook page, and the interns personal blogs.
Primary Education Interns
Erin McCloskey - University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Masters in International leadership.
Erin came to Haiti so see first hand how sustainable development is implemented here. Her specialty is francophone development, so in Haiti she hopes to see how the French education system has influenced education in Haiti, and how new developments, such as learning English, can enhance the current educational system.
Lily Buchanan - The Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California. Masters in Public Administration and International Education Management.
Lily's degree focuses on NGO and non-profit management, and her interest and concentration on Haiti has been growing "organically" through friendships, readings, personal research and her love of French for several years. Along with expanding access to education, she hopes to dedicate her career to bringing a more interactive and enriching school experience to the children of Haiti. Her favorite thing so far in Haiti: seeing at once the cultural differences and universal similarities that bring all children together.
Jacob Bogart - Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Bachelors in International Studies and French.
Jacob first visited HAC last spring with the Ohio State initiative called "Haiti Empowerment Project". His internship will be in parallel with a school-sponsored research project entitled 'Help or Detriment, the Role of NGOs in Haiti', in which he wants to flip the conversation and ask aid recipients, notably in tent communities, how they feel about past aid efforts and hear their suggestions for improving them in the future. Jacob is dedicated to empowerment programs, and hopes to use his English teaching experiences at HAC to complement his development work goals.
Public Health & Nutrition Interns
Tzipora Lederman - Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. Bachelors in Politics and minor in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies.
Tzipora has volunteered at an orphanage in Ghana, and with a manual labor project in Haiti before her internship with HAC. The first two experiences left her with the feeling that her tasks could have been done by locals, in order to develop the local economy. This time, she feels her HAC work is better tailored to her education and allows her to use her skill set. Tzipora hopes to always be doing her part to fix some problem, somewhere. For now, she concentrates on understanding how social constructs like class, racism, and gender roles influence individual's state of health.
Carson Artz - Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, Bachelors in Industrial Design.
Carson was looking for a drastic change from the classic design internship: cubicle, computer screen; marketable products. He discovered the link between public health and design in an elective class, and has kept researching it. He is interested in the visual communication of projects and system design, for example, overseeing the entire pattern of how people get clean water, how they learn about nutrition and get access to needed foodstuffs, how to create safer cities without people walling themselves in, or projects like HAC's sustainable goat husbandry program. Because at this moment Haiti is almost a clean slate for development, it offers an opportunity to design excellent systems from the beginning, and Carson hopes to be a part of that design process.
Katie Wolt - Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington. Masters in Environmental Studies.
Katie is passionate about bringing people together, and bringing communities together, through food: good food. And good food means good ingredients, from healthy animals to homegrown veggies. She hopes to serve as a resource for the people here in Haiti based on her experiences creating food bank gardens in rural, agrarian communities in the US, but she insists on respect for local know-how. She hopes to be a part of the new paradigm HAC is helping to create for positive cooperation between Haiti and the US.
English Language Interns
Hannah Kahn - Graduated in 2012 from Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. Bachelors in Religion, minor in Politics.
This is Hannah's third trip to Haiti, and she is on her way to serve as a teacher's assistant in English Literature in southern China for the next school year. She adores the general ambiance of development in progress that she feels in Haiti, and the feeling of hope and optimism in the air here. Her first two trips were a good introduction to relief work and volunteering, and she is excited to further those experiences as part of HAC's long-term development focus. Hannah is committed to giving back to Haiti at least a part of the richness it has given her. She is pursuing a career in teaching because she is convinced that it is a powerful way of inspiring and empowering people.
Kelsey Swift - Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts. Bachelors in English and Theology.
Kelsey's concentration is on theological ethics, especially in relation to the ethical treatment of migrant populations and immigrants. She has worked in two refugee resettlement agencies in the US, as well as a program for children from Somalia, and has done research in Jordan and along the Mexican-US border. She hopes to compare these experiences with the conditions in Haiti's internal displacement camps. For the moment, her English studies are directed toward ESL, and she is excited about her first experiences running her own classes at HAC this summer.
Diana Jean-Simon - Saint Leo University, Saint Leo, Florida. Bachelor in International Business, minor in International Hospitality and Tourism.
A native of Port-a-Prince, Diana is returning home after her studies in the US. She wants to work in micro-finance because she has seem the impact that access to even small loans has made in Haiti as far as allowing people to help themselves. She chose HAC because she was impressed with their programs and their dedication to step-by-step building up of communities, one at a time.
Molly Price - Flagler College. Bachelors in Business Administration, minor in Marketing.
Molly chose business and marketing because they are fundamental parts of almost any enterprise. With microfinance, she discovered a potentially rewarding way to use her skills to make a positive influence on the world around her. She chose HAC over a corporate internship to see first hand how small investments can go a long way to help people rise out of poverty.
Liz Haffa - Monterey Institute of International Studies, Masters in Public Administration with focus on international development
Liz did her undergrad at UCLA with a major in Psych and a minor in French. Prior to coming to HAC, she also completed the FMS professional training program in the field of impact investing and social enterprise. She was drawn to the microfinance department of HAC because she had learned about it in her classes and felt that it offered opportunities for empowering communities to help themselves by gaining access to the credit needed to build their small enterprises that they would otherwise be denied. She hopes to gain field experience, learn about the rich culture and language of Haiti, apply the tools she has learned in her coursework, and see the impact that these loans can have on the borrowers and their communities.
Communications - Reporting Intern
Patricia Pabst - Freelance French-English translator.
Patricia is originally from Oklahoma, but is naturalized French and has spent the last few years in the Caribbean, mostly between Cuba and the Dominican Republic where she now resides. She was able to quit her office job 3 years ago, and has since dedicated a large part of her time to volunteer efforts because she is committed to helping people to help themselves, fighting against racial and national prejudice, and the fact that there are sufficient resources and wealth on our planet for every person to have decent living conditions and a satisfying life. In this internship she hopes to gain technical skills in communication that will allow her to better adapt her writing and language experience to serve development organizations.