Service Learning in Haiti
Shippensburg Friends for Gros Mangles
Learn About Our Latest Involvement in the Village: A Dispensary Gros Mangles
Drs. Mitaut and Ragone led a group of students to Haiti in January 2013 and again in January 2014. Mr. Jonas Celius was the Haitian facilitator for the trip in both occasions. The service-learning project addressed the needs of a school in Gros Mangles on the island of La Gonâve. Students and faculty built a 5200 square feet playground for l'École Presbytérale in 2013 and completed an additional 4000 square feet in 2014. The project was the conclusion for a six-credit seminar taken over the winter break that introduced the students to the rich history and culture of Haiti. The seminars are offered with French and English options. The group, which stayed at the home of the Celius family, had plenty of occasions to socialize with the people of Gros Mangles, practice French and Creole and enjoy many aspects of the life in the island. The playground is now completed and the renovation of the dispensary of the village is in the planning stage. A village committee was created to this effect in January 2014.
If you would like to take the seminars and participate in this meaningful service-learning project over the 2014-2015 Winter Break, please contact Drs. Mitaut and Ragone. There will be informative sessions throughout the spring and fall 2014 semesters.
Before and after
Building the retention wall
Left: Bryant Snyder, Dr. Ragone, Mr. Jonas Celius.
Right: Olivia Ickes, Bryant Snyder, Sam Watson.
Dr. Mitaut in the cement chain.
Dedication of the playground
Dr. Mitaut signing the plaque.
December 2013: An interview with Dr. Ragone
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December 2013: Allison Hill reports to SUTV
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The playground was finished in January 2014.
Bryant Snyder came back for the project while Sarah Raudabaugh and Andrew Hutchinson joined in the efforts. Allison Hill participated as well in the building with her professor, Dr. Kim Garris. The two of them documented the project in film and photo and are in the process of developing a documentary. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!!
Mardi Gras Ball
The Shippensburg Friends for Gros Mangles held a fundraiser for the dispensary on Tuesday the 11th of February, 2014, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event was a Mardi Gras Ball. It took place at the Shippensburg University Spiritual Center. A donation of $3.00 was requested. Beignets and King Cake were served, both traditional Mardi Gras sweets in France and Louisiana. Dr. Ricardo led the students and other attendants into Zouk (Haitian dance) lessons. Prizes were given to the best dancers, and the King and Queen of Mardi Gras were crowned.
Some fifty students and professors from different departments attended the event, as well as a few members of the community.
Thank you to all those who came and helped for a good cause!
Our second fundraiser was a play, A tempest from Aimé Césaire. It took place on March11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Auditorium.
The play was produced by permission and in association with Aimé Césaire’s beneficiaries who graciously consented to waive their fees for the live and recorded versions of this project. To them we say, "Merci!"
The extraordinary success of the play was possible thanks to the hard work of about 40 persons. Special thanks to Dr. Peet for his masterful directing and to Dr. Garris for sharing photos and videos taken during the January trip. The congratulations for a job well done have been numerous.
We will soon post here the video of the play.
A great big thank you to the marvelous actors, musicians and technicians who worked tirelessly for several weeks to create a wonderful show. It has been a privilege to see you bring together A Tempest.
Thank you to the students and the members of the community who showed up in great numbers to support our efforts. There were 307 persons in the audience. This is very humbling.
Our third fundraiser of 2014 is a photo exhibit that will take place in the context of the 5th Biennial Modern Languages Conference, on the 3rd of May. Mounted photos of Dr. Kim Garris will be offered for sale at the price of $20.00. All proceeds will benefit the dispensary.
Note that this event is restricted to the university community and to the participants in the conference.
A New Project: A Dispensary for Gros Mangles
A new project is in the works for the French program and that is to provide the village of Gros Mangles with a dispensary. At this point, villagers have to travel for two hours over very rocky roads to the nearest health facility. This is of course a problem with patients who need immediate care or cannot be easily transported. With the help of a village committee, Drs. Mitaut and Ragone, as well as Mr. Jonas Celius, the preparations for this new endeavor started in January, 2014. The involvment and committment of the community will be essential for the success of the project, and the village of Gros Mangles, that showed a great willingness to work in 2013 and 2014, has already manifested its enthusiasm for this new project.
If you are interested in participating or contributing in any way to the construction of the dispensary, please contact Dr. Mitaut at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Ragone at email@example.com, and/or Mr. Jonas Celius at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DONORS FOR THE DISPENSARY
L'union fait la force
Mr. and Mrs. Jonas CELIUS $100.00
Mr. and Mrs. MOORE $100.00
Dr. Agnes RAGONE $100.00
Mr. and Mrs. JOWETT $100.00 in honor of the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Orcutt
Dr. John McCARTHY $500.00
The Modern Languages Department STUDENTS
Dr. Blandine MITAUT $100.00
Mrs. Kim SCHABEL $250.00
Mardi Gras FUNDRAISER $170.00
Dr. Sarah STOKELY $200.00
A Tempest $1535.00
Raffling of painting by Mr. Martin $292.50
Photos by Dr. GARRIS $120.00
Mr. and Mrs. THOMAS $25.00
Mrs. Halima GBAGUIDI $20.00