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Sophomore Helps in Haiti

Sophomore Grace Hill travels to Haiti to help volunteer at local orphanages.

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Sophomore Helps in Haiti

Sophmore Grace Hill hugs her new friends she has made while in Haiti volunteering with the Global Orphan Project.

Sophmore Grace Hill hugs her new friends she has made while in Haiti volunteering with the Global Orphan Project.

Photo submitted by Grace Hill

Sophmore Grace Hill hugs her new friends she has made while in Haiti volunteering with the Global Orphan Project.

Photo submitted by Grace Hill

Photo submitted by Grace Hill

Sophmore Grace Hill hugs her new friends she has made while in Haiti volunteering with the Global Orphan Project.

Sela Kincaid, Reporter

Stepping into a large building, full of hard-working students and excited volunteers, sophomore Grace Hill greets Haiti’s Transition Academy for orphans, excited to help volunteer her time. Hill traveled to Haiti Jan. 17-20 with her Aunt Carolyn Kusmin and Uncle Bruce Kusmin who travel to Haiti at least twice a year to volunteer. This was the first year that Hill’s parents would allow her to go help out.

“They always wanted me to go and I would always ask my parents,” Hill said. “Finally they let me and agreed.”

Photo submitted by Grace Hill
Sophomore Grace Hill traveled to Haiti with the Global Orphan Project in January.

Hill traveled to Haiti through the Global Orphan Project an organization that helps orphans all over the world with the help of volunteers. Kusmin is a trip leader and has lead trips since 2010. This year they had 21 people volunteer, including Hill, and her close friend Delaney Pepin, a sophomore at Bishop Miege High School.

“It was a great experience,” Pepin said, “to see how other people our age are living in another country.”

While there, Hill was able to visit a T-shirt factory where orphans who are 18 or older can work and gain a living wage. They also visited Transition Academy for orphans, a school for orphans over the age of 18. The school helps them learn about trade with the goal of getting a job after graduation.

“It’s hard work,” Hill said. “But the people who work in the factories get better wages than other people in Haiti.”

After learning about the job opportunities offered to the orphans, Hill and the other volunteers went to many orphanages for children. Hill and Pepin were able to make friends with the new children they met. Kusmin could tell that Hill was having a great time while volunteering.

Photo submitted by Grace Hill
While volunteering in Haiti, sophomore Grace Hill was able to visit orphanages and meet with the children.

“Even though there is a language barrier,” Kusmin said. “They still loved being together.”

All the children in Haiti spoke Haitian Creole, a language mainly made from a mix of French, Portuguese and Spanish. This created a barrier between many of the volunteers and orphans. In spite of not being able to fully understand each other’s language, Hill and Pepin said they were not discouraged.

“I enjoyed playing with the kids,” Pepin said. “It was fun trying to attempt to speak Haitian Creole.”

On Sunday, Hill had the opportunity to go to Mass and experience the cultural differences between Kansas City and Haiti. The church was full of colorful dress and song. Hill said that there was much more singing in Haiti’s church than ours.

“The coolest part was when we went to church,” Hill said. “We couldn’t understand it because it was in French, but the music and dancing were cool.”

Hill said she hopes to continue going in her future, to see her new friends that she made.

“It was such a cool experience,” Hill said. “I really want to go again.”

 

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Sela Kincaid, Reporter

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