Bidding farewell to Adrian Ward, the Donegal Haven Volunteer from Letterkenny today was top Irish chef Clodagh McKenna and Irish broadcaster George Hook. The 20 Irish volunteers on their way to Haiti were equipped with humanitarian supplies and high spirits as they set off from Dublin airport on what will be an experience of a life time. They will spend the next week working in scorching conditions in the small island of Ile a Vache, south of Haiti’s mainland.
The Haven volunteers, travelling from across Ireland, will be working directly with the community to rebuild structures that were destroyed after hurricane Sandy last year. Activities during the week will include painting local community amenities, forming drainage channels, building a playground area and regenerating the community garden.
Leslie Buckley, the founder and Chairman of Haven said: “I have always had great admiration for our volunteers and their ability, not only to adapt to, but to make a real and meaningful contribution with their work in Haiti. Spending a week in Haiti is not an easy challenge. Working long days in the soaring temperatures alongside some of the world’s poorest people is a testament to their characters and to the kind heartedness of our volunteers. The people on the island of Ile Vache will benefit immensely from their great effort this week.”
To date, Haven has helped over 80,000 Haitians through its programmes, providing shelter where it is desperately needed; clean water and hygiene during the cholera epidemic, that once again gripped Haiti since Hurricane Sandy; and training programmes to provide people with the tools to help move themselves out of poverty and to access basic amenities to live a full and healthy life.