Angela Raeburn, owner of Rapid Refill in Turlock, has decided to sacrifice some time and money to go help out in Haiti.
Angela’s intense interest and care for Haiti came before the current day crisis that has brought the poverty stricken country to our nightly news for about one week last January. Angela wrote about Haiti, Democracy and Class Conflicts for her Master’s dissertation in 2007 while in graduate school in Belgium. Angela was the recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship sponsored by Modesto Rotary Club which led her to graduate school in Belgium.
The culture and history of Haiti is what Angela wishes to raise awareness of as she announces her trip to the country. “Not only is Haiti the poorest country in the western hemisphere, the country’s history has never given the people who live there a chance to rise above their history that includes slavery, a bloody war of liberation against the French, a 20 year occupation by the USA, political corruption, social class conflicts, which must be included when any analysis is made of the reasons for Haiti’s abject poverty.” said Angela Raeburn.
So rather than send “just money,” Angela is going to Haiti by volunteering with an organization called Mercy League International. Mercy League International is a small grass roots humanitarian organization based in Oregon. “It is an opportunity to have an up close and personal view of what we see on the news and the chance to tell their stories.” I want to connect real people in Turlock with real people in Haiti and to build a bridge to share their stories”.
“It is a window into a world of opportunity for people who want to be involved in grass roots movements around the world,” states their website www.mercyleague.org.
The organization also makes clear that they do not claim to take responsibility for anyone’s personal welfare. The website says that “We all take a risk by working and volunteering in Haiti.”
Mercy League International charges $440 per week to feed, house, and transport volunteers such as Angela. A plane ticket of around $1,000 and other additional costs are borne by the volunteer.
Angela Raeburn will be involved in several aspects of relief and humanitarian work. She will be going to schools, caring for people who come to the organization’s field medical clinic, assisting with painting and rebuilding homes, and working with children who aren’t going to school. Her desire is to get support from her local Turlock community by way of donations in the form of money and/or supplies for children. The cost of supplies there makes it reasonable to gather items here such as pencils, paper, crayons, books, etc and take them over to Haiti with her.
Turlockers have a chance to personally contribute to an international cause by sending needed items with Angela before she leaves on March 22, 2010. Angela will blog through TurlockCityNews.com to share Haitian stories and how your contributions have helped the life of someone in that country.
BBVA Compus has opened a checking account under Angela Raeburn Haiti Project and is open for public viewing in an effort to be totally transparent in her efforts.
Questions about Haiti and about volunteering in this country can be addressed by calling Angela Raeburn at Rapid Refill at 668-2217 or her residence phone at 664-9962.