Sunday, June 28, 2009

This coming year I will be serving in the Diocese of Haiti as part of the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC). YASC is made up of young adults from all over the Episcopal Church who have a desire to serve, and live in companionship with others around the world. YASC participants spend a year working for churches around the world. In my group of YASCers there are people going to Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Japan and Ecuador.

YASCers at a training in Toronto

As for me and my journey, I will be going to Haiti. Starting in September, I will be living in Port Au Prince teaching English to seminarians, training youth leaders and doing an assessment of possible microfinance initiatives that could help support education institutions of the Diocese of Haiti.

I am really excited about this opportunity and it is something that I never really expected. Since the end of high school I have been passionate about issues relating to poverty, and issues of peace and conflict in Africa. My passion started in Sudan growing through my visit to the Diocese of Renk in Southern Sudan and was strengthened after spending a semester studying in Uganda. It was out of these experiences that the desire to work against poverty while living in companionship, and growing in faith came about leading me to YASC.

Although I never thought I would end up in Haiti the things that I have already started learning about the country, especially its people, makes me think that it may be exactly the right place for me at this time. Throughout my blog entries I hope to share these things and my experiences but right now what seems to stand out to me most from what I have read is the strength of the Haitian people, despite everything, a strength that I hope to learn from.

Holding Haiti in anticipation - Mallory