Vantage Career Center
Vantage Team Visits
written by Staci Kaufman, Superintendent
The 2013 Haiti team returned safely a few days ago, and
accomplished much good work in the past week. The Vantage Interact Club,
affiliated with the Van Wert Rotary Club, sponsors a carpentry program
in the mountain village of Borde, Haiti. Vantage students raise funds
throughout the school year to pay the carpentry teacher's salary ($100
per month) and furnish supplies and hand tools for the students. The
furniture made by the carpentry program is sold in Cap Haitien, Haiti,
and the funds are returned to the customer service account to buy more
|“What We Did on Our Spring Break”|
Spring break will hold special memories for 3 members of the Vantage
Interact Club and their advisor. Club Advisor, Ms. Peg Bollenbacher,
Interact Club President, senior Danielle Taylor (Lincolnview), senior
Tiffany Hahn (Paulding) and junior Samantha Spangler (Wayne Trace) all
travelled to Cap Haitian, Haiti. The purpose of this trip was to deliver
hand tools for the Vantage carpentry class in Bordes. This year, 10
Haitian students graduated from the carpentry class that is sponsored
and sustained by the Vantage Interact Club and their Rotary partners.
Since Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, it is
necessary for the Club to not only teach the Haitians a skill, but to
also provide the hand tools.
The Interact Club also collected and delivered 20 boxes of medical equipment and supplies, which was given to a Haitian medical clinic that treats orphans for free. While they were there, Bollenbacher and the students worked to sort the tools and medical supplies. They also visited the carpentry class at Bordes, Haiti, where the carpentry students, told the Americans to continue the educational program because it is just too important to end. “Seeing what little they had at their school made me feel very fortunate for what we have. They don’t focus on what they don’t have, but are grateful for what they DO have,” said Tiffany. On Easter Sunday, a graduation ceremony was held, at which diplomas and hand tools were distributed to the graduates.
The Vantage crew spent the week visiting friends, exchanging educational and cultural ideologies and visiting Haitian historical sites. At Milot, Haiti, the team visited Christophe’s Palace. The Haitians built the palace in appreciation of Christophe’s leadership to repel the French from Haiti. The palace was destroyed by an earthquake around 1840. The students were impressed with the Haitian’s ability to carve and their other art work. As a reward for their labor throughout the week, the team spent a day at the beach, near Labadee, Haiti.
usual, the students were initially shocked at the standard of living
that Haitians must endure. It is difficult to imagine what daily life is
like in Haiti. No running water, sewage systems, garbage pick-up or
traffic laws, were just a few of the things that Haitians live with
every day. Danielle said, “Looking out the window of the plane when we
first arrived, and only seeing shacks and garbage, I just wanted to cry.
But the people are nothing like what they live with – they are amazing
and so friendly.”
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