The Joys of Giving Back
Taylor Beck is a 21 year old university student from the US who volunteered with us in Haiti for six weeks in the summer of 2011. IDV was not her first visit to Haiti, yet it was her time with IDV which she feels impacted her most.
I first visited Haiti in 2008 on a mission trip and ever since that first trip I was itching to go back. When searching for an organization to volunteer with I had a short list of criteria: an organization that allowed independence while volunteering, an organization that housed people from all walks of life, an organization that provided affordable housing, and, most of all, an organization that possessed the same values as me and was in Haiti to improve the lives of the people in the community. IDV fit the bill, so I decided to return to Haiti with IDV.
I wasn't really sure what to expect from IDV, and in the end I was really surprised by how much I learned and grew from my time with IDV. I can honestly say that I was truly changed by the people that I met during this short time spent with IDV.
The entire experience was incredibly powerful. The memory of leaving the kids at The Hands Together to Defend the Children Orphanage brings tears to my eyes. I'll also always cherish the memories of playing games and singing to fellow volunteer Ben's guitar playing and the memories of how much my English students improved. They make me so proud.
Working with IDV wasn't my first experience volunteering in a developing country, but it was certainly the most influential. My time spent in Haiti confirmed for me that working with the Haitian people is something I will pursue after college. Every single person that I met, volunteers and community members included impacted me with their warmth and their passion for creating a better Haiti and a better world.
I can honestly say that I met some of the greatest people in the world while in Haiti and I will remember them for the rest of my life. This experience taught me how difficult it can be to get anything done in Haiti but with a group of passionate and determined people, like those at IDV, you can accomplish anything. The volunteers at IDV and everyone that works with that organization, from Rose the cook to Jacknet that door man, are all incredible, top-notch individuals who I would work with again any day.
Taylor will finish University in 2014 with a degree in Public Health and International Studies. She plans to join Teach for America for two years immediately after graduation and then attend graduate school for public health. She will continue to volunteer in Haiti during her free time.