April-May 2018
A diverse group of Canadians will travel to an island off the coast of Haiti at the end of April to work alongside local community members to rebuild an elementary school damaged during the most recent hurricane. 
The group includes individuals from youth to seniors, from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rotary, the United Church and International Development students from Humber College. 
The group will fly into Port-au-Prince, the Capital city of Haiti and its most populous city at just under 1 million inhabitants (metro area 2.5 million).  Port-au-Prince, is reported to be one of the world’s most dangerous cities.  Our group will be met at the airport and escorted across town to take the ferry to the island. 
This is anything but an all-inclusive resort trip.  Our accommodation on the island will be fairly basic and the food that will be provided for us will by and large be the local cuisine, lots of rice, beans, and fish, some chicken.  We are renting a house in the community to stay in and hiring locals to prepare food for us, so it will be a real cultural experience.  Ile de la Gonave, a few miles off the Haitian mainland, is a small dot of an island.  The island is made up primarily of small fishing villages.  It is 37 miles long by 9.3 miles at the widest point (287 sq. mi.) with a total island population of 87,077 (2015). 
The pace of life is simple and quiet.  There are few vehicles, far more donkeys.  The roads, really rocky, rutted, coral paths, have been described by travel veterans as some of the worst.  But the place is safe, and the people smile.  Gonave couldn’t be further from the frenetic anger that simmers on the streets of Port-au-Prince.  It is reported that not too many white folks make it out to Gonave - a poor corner of the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation.  One visitor, after he had spent some time on the island, realized that even in the poorest of places, the human spirit can find joy.
As a group we will spend the next 8 days working on the school.  We anticipate that the temperature will be in the 90s every day with high humidity and the chance of rain most days, as a result we won’t work day and night.  We will pace ourselves, there will be down time to swim and relax a bit.  Then eight days after our arrival we will take the ferry ride back to Port-au-Prince and a flight back to Canada. 
The Project includes:  Building two class rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and an office for the principal.
The group has hired a local contractor to secure the materials and supervise the project along with translators, and cooks.  So along with the rebuilding of a much needed elementary school the project will inject a significant amount of money into the local economy.
Total building cost is:  1405,279.60 Haitian national currency, which is $22,665.80 USD.
The group consisting of 10 participants and including the on the ground costs while in Haiti in the total cost of the project we need to raise an additional $4,500 USD for a grand total of $27,165.80 USD.
To date the group has received:
  • A grant from the Rotary Club of Sarnia of $4,000 US
  • A grant from Rotary District 6330 of $2,000 US
  • A grant from the United Church of Canada for $3,000 CDN  ($2,340 US)
We are anticipating receiving an additional grant in the amount of $5,000 CDN ($3,900 US)
Individual team members have been asked to raise money through donations from friends and relatives and a number of small fund-raising events are taking place both in Sarnia and at Humber College.
You can support the efforts of the group by making a donation (all donation will receive an income tax receipt) by using the following link:
Each member of the team is required to cover the cost of return flights from Canada to Haiti. 
The group departs Friday April 27th with a return date of May 6th
Trip Organizer
Michael Hurry is the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sarnia-Lambton.  He is also the current President of the Rotary Club of Sarnia.
Since 2009 he has taken many groups on trips to various locations around the world including climbing trips to Everest Basecamp in Nepal (2011, 2016), Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2014, 2015), Mount Kenya in Kenya (2013), Mount Elbrus in Russia (2009), Aconcagua in Argentina (2009, 2010, 2017), Choquequirao Peru (2015).
He has taken a group of 20 teens to build a kitchen at a school in a remote village in Kenya.  Taken part in a house building trip to the Dominican Republic, assisted in raising money for overseas projects in Nepal, the Caribbean, Peru and Tanzania.