by DG STEVE HARRINGTON, November 2017 Mission Trip
    I had the pleasure recently to be a part of a humanitarian project to Haiti. It was part of an ongoing program in Ti Riviere called Mission-Haiti. It was the most challenging, yet most rewarding, experience I have ever had in delivering help to the less fortunate.  
    During my club visits as part of my District Governor duties, I often speak on how we can ‘Make A Difference’ in our local communities and globally. I speak on how Rotary delivers hope and goodwill to people through our six areas of focus: education, peace and conflict resolution, maternal and child care, community development, water and sanitation, and disease prevention. My Mission-Haiti experience touched most of these areas of focus.
    As a country, Haiti is one of the world’s poorest and undeveloped nations. It was difficult to see the state-of-affairs in the larger cities, but it is a way of life for them. Mission-Haiti focuses on the rural, mountainous region of Ti Riviere in southeast Haiti about 45 minutes from the city of Les Cayes.
    The Mission-Haiti program supports education, community development, water and sanitation, maternal and child care, and disease prevention to Ti Riviere. I visited schools, orphanages, elderly care facilities, and a developing medical clinic all a part of the Mission-Haiti project. To say Mission-Haiti is ‘Making A Difference’ in Haiti is an understatement. It is one the most comprehensive humanitarian programs I have seen, and is changing the dynamics of a this poor rural, mountainous community.
    Mission-Haiti is physically challenging for the mission teams because of the mountain climbing and undeveloped transportation system required to reach many families. But seeing the lives we touch and help is most rewarding. To see the children hike, sometimes hours, through the mountains to attend school, and then arrive in a clean school uniform is humbling.  
    The Haitian people we met were the most kind, gracious, and appreciative people you could imagine. I believe the work of Mission-Haiti is developing a new generation of leaders for Haiti. Leaders that will someday help change the dynamics of this poor nation. I have seen the smiles of children and adults that are so grateful for the assistance that we bring. And the hope and goodwill they experience through Mission-Haiti is what Rotary is all about…’Making A Difference.’
    For additional information about this humanitarian program go to