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What Is a Hands Together Delegation?

Originally designed for college students during their school breaks, our Delegation Trips give people an authentic "first look" at Haiti through a one week program. A typical delegation will have a minimum of four (4) and maximum of twelve (12) participants. Groups visit Haiti for a total of 7-10 days. Many colleges, parishes, and other groups come to Haiti as a delegation and upon returning home dedicate themselves to fundraising activities and collecting supplies for our projects. Delegations do demand a great deal of our time and resources, and we limit them to 3-4 each year through a special arrangement with our Chicopee office.

Through a blend of service, experience, reflection and prayer, we hope that participants grow spiritually and translate their delegation trip in some way into service or help to others.  We encourage participants to immerse themselves in the culture and affirm the dignity of the Haitian people.

There are certain basic tenants we ask all delegation participants to embrace, and these, along with our traditions (HT Traditions), provide the spiritual framework for delegation visitors.

  1. We emphasizes respect and dignity toward the people we serve in Haiti.
  2. We believe that serving as a volunteer in Haiti is both a privilege and in some ways an obligation.
  3. We recognize that volunteering with Hands Together will be physically and emotionally demanding.
  4. We embrace a spirituality that emphasizes a belief and trust in a God who loves us.

Sample Delegation Itinerary

Model for Experience - some sample days from past delegations. These are not necessarily in order and rarely does a delegation do everything listed below.

Port-Au-Prince - Cite Soleil Slum

Hands Together volunteer center in Port-au-Prince.

Day 1 - Arrival day.  HT Volunteer Center in Port-au-Prince

  • Orientation about Hands Together- its history, philosophy, spirituality, and a brief overview of its projects.
  • Initial visit to Cite Soleil slum and see afternoon education projects.
  • Attend Mass in our chapel.
  • Evening reflection

Day 2

Help with school feeding at the Becky DeWine school

  • 6:30 am Mass with the Missionary Sisters of Charity
  • Volunteer to help at the Missionary of Charity’s children’s hospital.
  • 10am – Drive to Cite Soleil and experience educational programs in Cite Soleil, meet the teachers and administration, , help with the younger children, (feeding, physical exercise, etc.). Visit our high school and meet the students. See several HT Campuses and walk around the neighborhoods in the slums. Have lunch at the school, return to the house by 3pm.
  • Dinner at 6pm
  • Reflection and fellowship.

Becky DeWine St. Franswa High School campus

Day 3

  • 6:30 am Mass with the Missionary Sisters of Charity
  • Visit remaining school campus locations and neighborhoods. Meet with neighborhood leaders in the slums.
  • Visit our vocational school in Cite Soleil. Site visit to HT supported Radio station. Visit our medical clinic, help with Elderly Feeding, help with mother & infant feeding, return to the house by 3pm.
  • Option to rest or help at MSC hospital.
  • Dinner at 6pm followed reflection and fellowship.

RURAL EXPERIENCES

Delegation gathering for Mass at our Agricultural development Center in Rural Haiti)

Day 4

  • Drive to Gonaives (4 hours)
  • Stop in Ti Desdunnes – a rural farming village, and meet children and community at the HT school and nutrition center. Visit our Gonaivs headquarters.
  • Drive to our Catholic Agricultural Formation Center in Bassen – sleep there

Day 5

Our tree farm in Bassen

  • Mass on roof and Breakfast
  • Visit to the reforestation and agricultural projects linked to the CCFP center.This center educates thousands of students on environmental conservation and promotes agriculture.
  • Work alongside farmers/villagers planting crops or reforestation efforts.
  • Site visits to water well and irrigation efforts.
  • Meeting with Bishop Yves Marie Pean

Day 6

  • Spend the day working at the Clarke Agricultural farm in Gonaives. Interact with the farmers and agronomists.
  • Return to P-au-P arriving by 7:00 pm.
  • Dinner
  • Prayer and reflection

Day 7

  • 6:30 am Mass with the Missionary Sisters of Charity
  • Visit the inner city of Port-au-Prince
  • Depart for airport 11 am

Delegation participants can expect to experience the following:

  • meeting dedicated missionaries from all walks of life and an opportunity to witness first hand their work at projects in both rural and urban Haiti;

  • specific work schedules in the adult and children clinics, run by the Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa Nuns);

  • the chance to observe our elementary schools and literacy projects in the slums of Port-au-Prince, meet with project leaders and other staff, assist with tasks such as feeding, recreation activities, etc.

  •  authentic encounters with the very poor of Haiti

Delegation participants are responsible for their own airfare. (Also, special delegations can be put together for parishes, colleges, and other groups if there is sufficient interest - please contact our office about the possibility of arranging special dates).

Joining or Organizing a Delegation

We try to schedule a maximum of 6-8  Delegations each year -- weighing several factors but giving priority to parishes and groups who've participated in past visits and demonstrate an ongoing partnership with Hands Together. We do hope to expand our ability to host Delegations after we establish our Co-worker long term volunteers who can assist with leading groups in Haiti.

If you are interested in organizing a delegation from you parish, school or another group, or if you wish to join an existing delegation, please contact us directly via email.

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