Students for Haiti host dinner
Students for Haiti hosted a Haitian dinner at the Connection to raise money for their organization and Haitian student scholarship on Feb. 24. Students dined on chicken in red sauce, red beans and rice, fried plantains and Caribbean vegetables. The room was decorated with red and blue streamers and a Haitian flag on each wall.
Within the first half hour of the dinner, the Connection’s tables were already packed to capacity with people eager to partake in Haitian heritage.
The food was prepared by the Chez Olga restaurant, which specializes in Caribbean cuisine, and the chef at the Connection. A live band played during dinner and $3 from every ticket went toward the organization and scholarship.
There was Haitian art displayed during the dinner, including masks, wood and relief carvings, and other statues, which lined the counter tops and dining area during the 5-8 p.m. event. It was an opportunity for people to see cultural aspects of Haiti that are typically forgotten in the media.
“We had a good turnout,” said Students for Haiti President Cathie Jean. “We brought awareness about Haiti to GV that was not depressing, but almost like a moment of enlightenment for staff and students to see what the Haitian people have to offer. It’s the culture of Haiti that we do not typically see.”
The dinner was the Students for Haiti organization’s first event to raise money for the Empowering Haiti through Education Fund. The fund exists to provide an educational scholarship to bring a student from Haiti to GVSU and provide them with an education so that they may return to Haiti and help further the nation’s development.
Besides the meal ticket, Students for Haiti also sold t-shirts with “Elév Pou Ayiti,” or “Students for Haiti” in Haitian Creole, written on the front for $15 with the profits going to the scholarship as well.
Inspired and created by Professor Peter Wampler, Students for Haiti will continue raising awareness about not only natural disasters or Haiti’s financial state but about its need of higher education in order to further develop the nation.
“I think a lot of people forget about Haiti when there isn’t a disaster, but they still need help,” said Students for Haiti member Monica Yothers.
If you would like to find out more information on the Empowering Haiti through Education Fund or if you’d like to make a donation visit www.gvsu.edu/haiti. Join Students for Haiti on Facebook at GVSU Students for Haiti or OrgSync.