In June 2017, high school student, Maddie Goldstein, from Louisville Kentucky came to Leogane with her family and organized several days of arts, music and sports programing for the children of the community.

“After several months of pestering Jon and my father relentlessly, we finally bought plane tickets to Port au Prince not only for myself and Dad, but for my entire family: myself, Mom, Dad, my younger brother and older sister. I had wanted to travel abroad for service work since I became deeply involved in service programs in Kentucky, and quickly discovered that service was a passion of mine. I was excited that I had also convinced the rest of my family to get involved.

After coordinating with Pele and the staff of Petite Riviere, it was decided that I would be working with Sante Timoun, the children wellness program of the Rasin Foundation. With the help of my family members, Jon, and Pele, I was able to collect the supplies needed to have my own summer program for the children of Leogane. Each morning, my family and I would make our way to the Petite Riviere Health Clinic to start the day. Dozens of children would already be there, awaiting our arrival. My father is a general practitioner specializing in HIV/AIDS, so as I worked with the children, he would see patients in the clinic. I planned several activities for the children each day: making their own shirts with fabric markers, painting ceramic tiles, group music sessions, parachute games, a variety of sports (soccer, frisbee, baseball, badminton), coloring, and printing out pictures of themselves with friends with a instant polaroid printer. The clinic also provided us with clean water and lunch one afternoon to give the children.

My family stayed in the beautiful Kiskeya Guest House for the week that we visited. We loved all the staff at the guesthouse; they were very welcoming and tended to our every need. We were cooked three delicious meals a day, which we missed when returning to the United States. The Guest House is located on a beautiful farm with different animals roaming the land. There was also a pool to relax in when the heat peaked for the day. The staff truly went above and beyond, and I certainly plan on staying at Kiskeya again when I return to Haiti.

My ultimate goal in working with Sante Timoun was to keep the children happy and safe. I formed some very close bonds with many of the children, who I miss very much and think of often. I jump at the opportunity to tell anyone about my experience with the people of Leogane and the Rasin Foundation. I hope to come to Haiti and work with Sante Timoun annually. ”

Maddie Goldstein, Age 16, Louisville Kentucky