Mercy Corps in Haiti and Learning vs. Doing

Great news. My fabulous future roommate, Holly, who will be traveling to Haiti with me is a blogger for Mercy Corps. She has been in touch with someone locally about their programs in Haiti and it looks like we may be able to spend as much time as we want with them on the ground! This is fantastic news for me since I have been worrying about how to fill time and make the experience as impactful as possible for my travel partners. Also, the more connections we make, the more we will feel like we can accomplish.

A huge issue that young people face when they are empowered to travel and learn is the feeling that we don't have the skills to make change. I need to make clear to my travel partners that this will be an intense experience, but unfortunately, given our time constraints and general lack of experience & education, it will be more of a learning experience than a doing experience. But that's okay. My trip to Nicaragua and my first time in Haiti did include direct service components, but most of the experience was about learning, feeling, observing, and bringing back news and perspectives and new passions to our friends, families, and people in financial and life situations that may allow them to make more monetary or direct impact in those places.

Anyways, while I will make this clear to my travel partners, that doesn't mean that I don't want to show them as much as possible. That is why the Mercy Corps connection is so amazing. They seem to be accomplishing a lot on the ground, and many of their programs are wonderfully complimentary to what NPFS is accomplishing, especially given their more economic and adult-centered focuses in comparison to NPFS's focus on children and healthcare.

Read a summary of Mercy Corp's work in Haiti here.

Link to Holly's Mercy Corps blog here.

I've spoken about the learning vs. doing conundrum before at a brunch on behalf of the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership at the University of Portland. See speech here.