Wednesday, February 15, 2012

UC Community Called on to Offer Aid as Students Prepare for a Spring Break Trip to Haiti

From UC News:
UC Community Called On to Offer Aid as Students Prepare for a Spring Break Trip to Haiti

Collections begin next week for an over-the-counter medicine drive to provide much-needed aid to a clinic in Haiti.

Date: 2/10/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot   Preparation is already underway for a University of Cincinnati service-learning trip to Haiti over spring break, as coordinators organize an over-the-counter medicine drive to aid a clinic in the earthquake-ravaged country. Items such as gauze, child and adult pain medication, cough and cold medicine, antacids, antibacterial ointments and just about anything else in the average person’s medicine cabinet will be collected for the trip, which will depart Cincinnati for Haiti on March 16 and return on March 24.
Cheri Westmoreland in Haiti

Beginning on Monday, Feb. 13, collections for the over-the-counter medicines will be in place at the McNair Scholars Office in Room 700, Swift Hall, as well as on the second floor of University Pavilion. Beginning from noon-2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, collections will be in the breezeway of the Campus Recreation Center on every Wednesday during that time window through March 7.

This will be the second Africana Studies service learning course to travel to Haiti over spring break. The trip to further study Haitian culture and society will be led by instructor Cheri Westmoreland, director of the McNair Scholars Program, and Jana Braziel, a professor of English and Comparative Literature.

UC defines service learning as an experience in which students combine reflection with structured participation in community-based projects to achieve specific learning goals. This participation at the local, national or international level helps students gain a richer mastery of their course content, enhances their sense of civic responsibility and helps students connect classroom theory with practice, ideas, values and the community. Over the previous academic year, 52 different UC academic departments offered 182 service-learning courses.

Westmoreland says 26 UC students will be taking part in four service-learning projects in Haiti, including:
  • Developing a sports program for hundreds of children housed in an orphanage
  • Creating an arts-and-crafts project for the children
  • Leading a self-esteem program for teenagers
  • Supporting a program aimed at empowering women.
Westmoreland says the students are also working on care bags to give to women at a birthing center at the clinic.

“These trips can be both overwhelming and rewarding,” Westmoreland says. “The preparation can be a little overwhelming. Once we arrive, it’s so rewarding to see the impact of our preparation, and the effect it has on the students.

“Students truly feel that they are changed by this trip,” says Westmoreland. “They become more sensitive to the need that there is in the world, and they develop a strong passion to want to help.”

For more information on over-the-counter drug collections or in-kind contributions for the trip, contact Westmoreland at 513-556-2880; email

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