Building student involvement, fostering civic engagement and enhancing community service to advance public health. 

"Four years ago I had the desire to give back to a rural community in Haiti called Furcy and decided to host a Christmas party for the children of the area. I was happily surprised by the amount of support received for this project and was able to provide 240 children with a memorable Christmas on the first year. In the following years, I continued to receive vast support and the party started to grow in size and scope. On December 23rd, 2014, we organized the fourth annual Christmas party for 350 children of Furcy. During the party, we have been able to provide each child with shoes, warm clothes and school supplies, as well as a toy from Santa Claus. Each child is fed during the party and gets to enjoy some fun activities (music, games, arts and crafts etc). In addition, given my career path in dentistry, I strongly believe in the importance of oral hygiene on the overall well being of an individual and hope to promote oral health in the community of Furcy. As such, we have been providing the children with oral hygiene instructions and have distributed kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.

This party has been possible thanks to the generous contributions of friends and family, as well as businesses and organizations in Haiti and the United States. Thanks to the overwhelming support for this project, we have gained enough funds to invest in a more sustainable project. We will soon be opening an education/library center in Furcy, as we believe education to be key in the growth of the community and of Haiti.

The smile that this party brings to the children is amazing and heart warming. I wish to bring them this moment of joy for years to come and hope to continue to invest in their future with the help of everyone." 
 
-Stephie Castera (D16)
Categories: Reflections

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