A 16-member humanitarian team from Red Deer volunteered this month at an orphanage in Haiti, a country still rebuilding after the 2010 earthquake.
The team from Unity Baptist Church worked in conjunction with Haitian Children’s Aid Society to help in the construction of a security wall where a new home for Haiti Children’s Home will be built.
“If there is an earthquake, it will be really something that won’t be shaken,” said member Petro Sabengele.
It was the first trip to Haiti for executive director of the Central Alberta African Centre, who remembered the scenes of destruction after the earthquake that were broadcast around the world.
“It was my dream, to be there, and get involved in a small way, especially with a children’s project.”
Sabengele, also a pastor with Kingdom Citizens Ministries International, got his chance after he was invited to preach at Unity Baptist and asked to join the team.
From what he saw, recovery continues to be slow in Haiti.
About 400,000 people are still living in tent cities.
While volunteers were there, a 16-year-old girl showed up at Haiti Children’s Home, located in the small town of Mirebalais, seeking help for her young baby.
Sabengele said with earthquake damage to its building, the orphanage couldn’t take any more children, and staff were trying to figure out how to help the girl. She left suddenly, leaving her baby behind.
During the 10-day trip, the volunteer team of six youth and 10 adults, worked with locals to begin building the security wall, tackled problems with the existing building, and ran bible school programs for about 150 community children.
Construction of the wall is continuing and is providing jobs for Haitians, he said.
“It was a very successful mission trip. Many people were moved and want to go back again. I would definitely go,” said Sabengele, who recently received his degree in social work.
He also spoke at two churches while in Haiti and spoke on a Christian radio station.
“I have a passion for the people of Haiti.”
For more information about Haiti Children’s Home visit haitichildrenshome.com or Haitian Children’s Aid Society at hcas.ca.