Lower Merion HS students help build school in Haiti
LOWER MERION TWP., Pa. - May 31, 2012 (WPVI) -- A group of Lower Merion High School students has just returned from Haiti where they helped build a school for local villagers.
The students raised $70,000 during the school year to make the trip.
The students remembered their time spent in Haiti; two full weeks working, learning and loving the beautiful country and its people.
Eighteen Lower Merion students and three staff members made the trip to the small village of Taverne to help the rural community build a school, but it is the life experiences they will remember the most.
"At first, the villagers were curious about us. Some of them had never seen people outside their own country before," said junior Charlotte Smith.
"Before the trip, I thought it would be really miserable on the work site, but it turned out to be just the opposite," said Divya Arya.
They are all members of the Lower Merion chapter of Build-On, an international service organization.
Normally colleges and businesses take on a challenge like this, but Lower Merion was the first high school chapter to build a school.
"It was life changing," said Tom Reed, a Build-On teacher's sponsor. "It was such a tremendous experience. The challenges we faced were incredible, and the connections we made in the community."
"We had an amazing host family," said junior Josh Metzman. "They just took us in, and they were so loving."
Charlotte Smith and Sara Kramer were especially fond of their host father who went out of his way to make them feel at home.
"Every single day, he would bring us fruit that he had picked from his farm," said Charlotte.
Build-On has built a total of 40 schools in Haiti and 400 in 9 developing countries.
"I think it inspires us to do more, to get more involved in the future," said Reed.
The students laid the foundation and constructed the walls of the new school, and the villagers will complete the job with the help of Build-On personnel.
school, haiti, philadelphia, local/state
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