Project Haiti is a student run organization operating out of Penn State University Park’s Catholic Campus Ministry. We were founded in 1997 by Father Fred Byrnes, O.S.B., in an effort to make Penn State students more personally aware of the economic disparity that exists between those living in the United States and those living in developing countries. Although the foundation of this group is within the Catholic Campus Ministry, our membership consists of students from all backgrounds.

Project Haiti’s mission is to raise funds and awareness for Haiti, and to travel to Haiti to be in solidarity with the Haitian people.

What is solidarity? Pope John Paul II defines solidarity in his encyclical Solicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern; 1987): “Solidarity…helps us to see the 'other' - whether a person, people or nation - as our 'neighbor,' a 'helper' to be made a sharer on a par with ourselves in the banquet of life to which all are equally invited by God… Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.”

During spring break, a group of roughly 20 students travel to a rural community called Pandiassou in the central plateau of Haiti near the city of Hinche. In Haiti we stay with the Little Sisters of the Incarnation at their retreat center in Pandiassou. While we live, work, and play alongside the Haitians we learn about their plight and then we try to give them a “voice” when we return to Penn State, as the U.S. has a powerful influence over Haitian affairs. In 2004 and 2006, when politically motivated instability in Haiti prevented travel to Pandiassou, Project Haiti traveled to Crossroads near Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic home to several thousand Haitian diaspora.

Over the past decade, Project Haiti has been blessed to be able to raise over $100,000 for various grass roots organizations in Haiti including the Little Sisters and Brothers of the Incarnation, Maison Fortune Orphanage, and Partners in Health. Our annual fundraisers include pushing wheelchairs and selling programs at home football games, flower sales, spaghetti dinners, and speaking engagements at various parishes in Pennsylvania. 

Our next trip to visit our brothers and sisters in Pandiassou is March 2008.

 

Who:

Students from Penn State

Club Meetings:

9pm every other Tuesday

in the Harshbarger Room (Pasquerilla Spiritual Center)

Officers


President

Alain Bonny | arb5134@psu.edu

Vice-President

Lauren Barich | lmb5273@psu.edu

Secretary

Jennifer Jarvis | jaj5020@psu.edu

Treasurers

Charles Blazonis | cpb5008@psu.edu

Ludwig Kern | lak251@psu.edu

Fundraising Chairs

Caitlin Holtzman | cjh225@psu.edu

Jessica Matsick | jlm5295@psu.edu



Dominican Republic

Spring Break 2006


Pandiassou, Haiti

Spring Break 2005


Pandiassou, Haiti

Spring Break 2002


Links

Embassy of the Republic of Haiti

Little Brothers & Sisters of the Incarnation

Solidarity House

Diocese of Richmond

Maison Fortuné Orphanage

Partners in Health

Catholic Campus Ministry @ PSU