Pathways Leadership LIVE program, a group created to foster youth leadership and empowerment wanted to expand Pathways’ mission globally and find ways to make a difference in areas outside of their own homes and communities. They found an organization called BuildOn, whose mission is to bring students to build schools in developing countries and interact with new people to learn a new culture. After deciding to partner with this organization, Pathways had to raise $30,000 in seven months. Remarkably, and with help from Pathways parents and families, the students were able to accomplish this looming feat.
Pathways went to Haiti from June 26-July 4, 2016. We helped lay the foundation and worked with the villagers daily. It was very hard work and involved intense manual labor. So what kept the Pathways students going? The community members of course! People of all ages from 3 to 65 came to help build the school and lend a hand. We were all motivated by the prospect of education and the opportunity it would give their children to reach their fullest potential. It was a fabulous and life changing experience. Click here to watch our video about Haiti!
The Haitian people, although living in extreme poverty, were some of the most gracious, joyful, and generous people we have ever met! We were able to give them the gift of education and the opportunity to learn to read and educate themselves. We lived in their homes, learned some Haitian Creole and customs, as well as played some soccer! Even though we both spoke different languages and live drastically different lives, both the community members and Pathways students felt at home. They taught us the true meaning of resilience, gratitude, and compassion.
The students created bonds with the community members that changed their lives, and they continue to keep in touch over Facebook and by phone. We learned so much that changed our lives and perspective. We love you Haiti! Pathways is already starting to brainstorm other ways we can make a difference globally, so stay tuned for information about our next adventure!
Check out our Facebook page for more pictures and information about our work in Haiti!