Loading
American volunteer in Haiti makes ‘transition from teacher to relief worker’
Elissa Kergosien
Elissa Kergosien

.- An American volunteer in Haiti has stepped up to the challenge of helping the country cope with the aftermath of the massive earthquake that flattened the city of Port-au-Prince last week. Elissa Kergosien, of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, returned to Haiti just before the earthquake hit and feels herself to be “in the center of God's will.”

Kergosien, a recent college graduate, was interviewed by the Diocese of Biloxi's Gulf Pine Catholic just days before the 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. 

She told the newspaper that her decision to spend a year at the Louverture Cleary School as a volunteer teacher wasn't a difficult one.  Her parents had involved their family in missionary work for a long time, from countries in Eastern Europe to the Dominican Republic.

Though she had worked with the poor before, “It was still kind of shocking to see the poverty that exists in Haiti. It was shocking to see all the malnourished children in the neighborhood surrounding the school. They’re happy children, but they have bloated stomachs and it was shocking to know that it’s just a 90-minute plane ride from Miami and people are dying from malnutrition.”

During a brief visit to the U.S., Elissa spoke at her home parish and raised $1,500 for the school in Haiti. “It’s a school that completely supported by U.S. parishes and donations and it’s doing incredible work in Haiti,” she said. “It’s raising up a generation of leaders in Haiti who are going to help to rebuild the country. These are children who are dedicated to staying in the country and using what they’ve gained at this school to become leaders in government or become doctors to help their country.”

And on January 10, Elissa Kergosien boarded the plane to return to Haiti for the spring semester. On January 12, the infamous earthquake hit the country. Kergosien’s parents, who still reside in Bay St. Louis, found out about the quake on the ABC News website.

Her mother told the Gulf Pine Catholic, “I called Patrick Moynihan (the President of The Haitian Project, which runs the Louverture Cleary School) and he told me that he had spoken to Elissa just prior to my call and that the school buildings had not collapsed, and no one was killed. A few children were injured, but no life threatening injuries.”

The subsequent aftershocks knocked out all communication with the school. A day later, a missionary from an organization nearby stopped by the school and offered internet access to Kergosien. She was able to send an email to her family, and has kept the outside world updated as to the status of the school and country.

Elissa’s family is just happy to know that she is doing all right and that she “has made the instant transition from teacher to relief worker and has adjusted well.” “They are doing a very good work and we should not worry. She says she is where she is supposed to be and that we are to trust that she is in God's hands and all will be well,” Carolyn Kergosien said.

For more information abou The Haitian Project, visit: http://haitianproject.org/


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: