Academic institutions such as Goucher are ideally poised to establish sustainable and socially productive relationships with Haitians in the local community and abroad. Last summer David Adams, a Goucher senior, spent a month in Haiti and met daily with college students from Port-au-Prince. All of the students expressed the same desire: to be connected, to have access, to engage. “They want to learn at all costs” he said, “because they know the value of an education. And proximity is essential in equalization. Determining the possible spaces in which long-term relationships may grow is lengthy and difficult, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake.” The time for developing mutually beneficial relationships is now.
Over winter break, shortly after the earthquake, we expressed concern to President Sandy Ungar and Vice President for Government and Community Relations Wendy Litzke about the devastation in Haiti, and we inquired about how Goucher could help. After meeting with the administration, it became clear that an efficient, collaborative and completely inclusive framework needed to be established in order to involve the Goucher community in Haiti relief efforts. When we got back to Goucher, we decided that it was necessary to continue meeting with the administration to share our ideas.
Following a countless number of meetings with faculty, staff, students and community members, we established Imagine More. We are a student-run ad-hoc committee at Goucher College, with the following mission statement: Imagine More is committed to the development of a sustainable support system for the people of Haiti as they work to rebuild their Nation economically, culturally, socially and emotionally. All of the funds raised will go to the non-profit organization Partners in Health. This organization has been doing phenomenal work in Haiti and other developing nations for over thirty years.