October 05, 2011

Hamline Alumni Use Their Skills and Passions to Bring Hope to Post-Earthquake Haiti

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Sarah Baptiste has been traveling to Haiti since she was 15. Now, with the master’s degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University School of Business that she earned in 2009, she has gone on to impact many lives on the island that she loves so much.

Baptiste, along with Nora Romness, who graduated from Hamline’s College of Liberal Arts in 2009, are employed at a nonprofit called World Wide Village. The organization uses donated funds to provide people in Haiti with clean water, supplies, and the skills needed to be self-sufficient amid a tattered national infrastructure.

The organization also makes use of micro-transactions to sell goods from Haiti to outside consumers. For instance, it supports and helps with marketing for a small company that produces hand-made greeting cards.

“[Haiti] is a beautiful place with amazing people,” Baptiste said. “I’m so glad that I am able to work for something that I am so impacted by in a job that I love.”

Another important function that World Wide Village fulfills is organizing service-learning trips for groups traveling to Haiti. The organization assists in planning every aspect—from logistics and itineraries to reflection and spiritual guidance.

“It’s a transforming experience,” Baptiste said. “Normally people start out being nervous about going down there [to Haiti], but come back with compassion and passion to serve.”

According to Romness, World Wide Village is a small organization, and everyone is called upon to undertake multiple responsibilities. She attributes her flexible preparedness to the Hamline education she received.

“I feel like I really got a broad spectrum [of knowledge],” Romness said. “Hamline really gives you the skills to succeed wherever you are."

But perhaps the most important value imbued upon Baptiste and Romness is compassion.

“God loves the Haitian people, and we want to continue to help them by giving them the help and skills they need to recover.”

Find out more about World Wide Village.