Help Heal Haiti group spends Spring Break giving back

Some Butler University students spent Spring Break in Haiti strengthening their relationship with its people.

Nine Butler students, part of Butler’s Help Heal Haiti chapter,  spent their week with orphans, at a disability center and in clinics and schools in Haiti.

The group spent time in Saint-Louis-du-Nord and the village of Beauchamp.

In Beauchamp, rain is scarce, and water is limited. Besides building a stronger relationship with the people, the group’s focus was on the water situation.

Junior Amanda Rasch said the group walked two hours to a well with some of Beauchamp’s children. One of the pumps was broken, making the walk four miles rather than two.

“It’s just amazing to see how blessed we are, and it really opens up our minds,” Rasch said.

The fundraising the group has done on campus has gone toward purchasing materials to repair the well.

“It was pretty cool because when we got there, the people were so happy,” Rasch said. “They thanked us, and they were singing and dancing and so happy.”

Rasch’s favorite part of the week was making strong relationships with kids and connecting with the people.

Sophomore Lauren Anderson said her favorite day was going into Beauchamp with a translator and hearing people’s life stories.

“They were just so open about their daily struggles and their life stories, which was just an amazing opportunity,” Anderson said.

Anderson said another favorite part of her week was the program “Meals on Heels,” which supplied buckets of food to people.

“It was so eye opening to see how people rely on each other because they really do not have anything else, any material resources or material belongings,”Anderson said. “Their entire society and their entire lives are just built around the relationships that they make with each other.”

Sophomore Andrea Baker said she made a special connection with an orphan named Roseguelin.

“She stayed attached to me the entire trip at all times, no matter how many kids were around,” Baker said. “She would even just be holding onto my pinky if it was stretched across. She just had to be connected to me at all times.”

Even though the two had a language barrier, they were inseparable throughout the week and shared a heartfelt goodbye.

“The night I knew I had to say goodbye, I knew I was going to be emotional,” Baker said. “I didn’t want her to see me cry, and I knelt down to just give her a hug because, again, we couldn’t even communicate.

“When I knelt down and she knew I was telling her goodbye, she just bawled, and, I mean, I lost it because it was so hard, because she was an orphan, so she doesn’t have a family. And I knew that that was a common thing in her life. People would come, but they would leave.”

The group was started by junior Aaron Harrison, who wanted to build relationships with Beauchamp’s people.

In the future, the group hopes to keep investing in the relationship with the people of Haiti and hopes to keep making the trip every Spring Break.

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