The Spirit of Service in Haiti

by Connor Kennedy

This winter I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a portion of my break on a Branch Out International Trip to Cap Haitien, Haiti. It is an experience I will never forget. I have known that I hope to one day work in international development for quite some time now. However, that is easier said than done. I viewed this opportunity as a step in the right direction, as I had never before been to a developing country. My experience with Branch Out was wonderful in preparing our team on the culture, lifestyle, and history of a country I previously knew little about. Of course I remembered the earthquake that left Haiti so devastated only a few years ago, but apart from other limited knowledge, I really did not know much about the country I had committed to traveling to and working in for a week’s time. Even our preparation, weekly meetings, and the knowledge I had previously had about developing countries could not prepare me for when we finally arrived in Haiti. Cap Haitien was vibrant, colorful, full of life and people walking around everywhere and riding five to a motorcycle. The city and its landscape were beautiful with miles and miles of blue coastline. What I was less prepared for was just how different the country was…the roads largely unpaved except for very busy streets, with no central electricity and mostly no plumbing, was a far cry from anywhere I had ever been before. What struck me the most were the countless stray dogs, goats, cows, chickens, etc. that seemed to roam anywhere and everywhere at all hours of the day.

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What I’ve gotten out of being involved with organizations on campus like Amnesty and Oxfam, AKA: Not Bad, for an Undergrad

As with every experience that you’ve ever had, the most common question that comes to people’s minds when asking about involvement with Non-Government Organizations is: Why?

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Nic Martinez: Passing on the Spirit of Service

OCE Community Profile Series
By Graham Bryant ’13 | July 30, 2013

When you think of the qualities and dedication exemplified by William & Mary’s many active citizen service-learners, the image you conjure is inevitably one of someone like Nic Martinez ’14. As president of the College’s Nu Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity and one of the largest community service organizations at William & Mary, Martinez helps coordinate the efforts of around 300 service-minded students dedicated to meeting the needs of Williamsburg and beyond. When not working with APO, the government major and economics minor frequently devotes his time to OCE projects and events, passing along his passion for service learning the College’s next generation of engaged scholars. We sat down with Martinez to talk about his experiences and future plans.

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Femetor? A blog from Jimmy Cary about his time in Fodome Axor, Ghana with SPIMA

Visit Jimmy’s posts on his tumblr site.

The Kenya Sustainability Project 2013

KSVP team member Ryan Boles created this Prezi to share more information about their work with COGRI.  Visit it for a glimpse into their work with Nyumbani Village and the things they learned there!