Rotary Interact club takes challenge of building school in Haiti
From left, Rotary Interact students Sam Pedersen, Chadwick Dowell, Shelby Renner and Dawson Miller are looking forward to building a school in Haiti.
With a garden growing vegetables for food pantries, the Louisiana High School Rotary Interact club fulfilled a local project goal in its first year.
Now in its second year, the club has taken on an international challenge, building a school and safety wall for underprivileged Haitians.
The idea began with Interact student Dawson Miller, who took an outreach trip to Haiti last year with his church.
Miller put the group in contact with Mila Ayers, who coordinates mission trips to Haiti from the Second Baptist Church in Bowling Green. Myers knew of the need for a school near the town of St. Mark and the idea took off.
“The country is in need of anything they can get but they really need schools,” Miller said.
“We’re hoping to get a trip set up for June to go build the school and a flood debris security wall,” said Dr. John Picone, Rotary Interact’s advisor.
The students have raised about $1,500 to build a concrete block school through selling apple butter, jelly and other goods they harvested and canned from their community garden at the high school.
They still need another $800 to build the security wall. Student Chadwick Dowell is heading up the fundraising for the second phase. The club will soon be selling candles to make money to finance plane tickets for the school building crew.
“It will make their lives better than they are now,” Dowell said.
“Last year it was a hope,” said Interact student Sam Pedersen. “Now with the group behind us it’s something we can do. When we saw what they have to live with, well, the school is just tarps and sheet metal.”
The students are also collecting notebooks and other school supplies to take with them.
“We have this wonderful opportunity,” said Interact student Shelby Renner. “We thought why not go big and do a lot of good.
“Going some place will be really big and we’ll start our fundraising soon.”