Brandywine students continue their efforts to help children in Haiti
Through its partnership with the nonprofit organization, Traveling Mercies, and the Living Hope Mission, Penn State Brandywine students have begun their second project to help students in Haiti receive an education after the 2010 earthquake that destroyed their village. Traveling Mercies, led by alumnus Aldo Magazzeni ’72, will provide a new water system, while the students raise money for school supplies.
In 2011, students in Associate Professor of English Myra Goldschmidt’s civic engagement class set out to raise enough money to fill 50 backpacks with school supplies for students at an elementary school outside Port-au-Prince. At $6 per bag, they needed only $300. Through the outstanding generosity of the community, they raised nearly $4,000. The extra money was given to Traveling Mercies to help build wells at two schools so the children could have clean drinking water.
Goldschmidt’s class is at it again. This time, the elementary school is located in a rural community called La Lomas, situated in the Central Plateau of Haiti, near the town of St. Michel de I’Atalaye.
“This area is remote and the majority of the population lives on whatever crops they can grow with primitive implements in this arid region,” Living Hope Mission Directors Wilbert and Meg Merzilus said via email. “The majority of children do not have access to primary education. In addition, potable water is hard to find, and most people drink from contaminated sources. This is why Living Hope Mission, in partnership with the local church and funding from various donors, including Traveling Mercies, has targeted this area with a school of six classrooms accommodating 330 children, as well as a deep water well providing drinking water for the children and adults in the area.”
Magazzeni added, “The people relocated there [after the earthquake] and they need a school, a water system and school furnishings and supplies.”
Magazzeni said he will donate the water system and the interior furnishings for the school, such as teacher and student desks, while the Brandywine students will fill Penn State backpacks with pencils and other necessary school supplies. Once the fundraiser is complete, Magazzeni will deliver all the supplies to the school children, just as he did last time. All extra donations will be used for textbooks, desks and other supplies for the school or to help with the water system.
To donate to this student-led project, please send a check made out to “Penn State University” to Penn State Brandywine, ATTN: Maria Zuccato, C/O Aldo Magazzeni, 25 Yearsley Mill Road, Media, PA 19063; or stop by and see Gail Wray in the Office of Academic Affairs, located on the second floor of the Main Building, suite 212.