Written by Noel Glaser, current BSBA student
When I decided to focus my undergraduate thesis on post-disaster aid in Haiti, I had no idea that I would end up being able to see the country for myself. When I mentioned to my pastor from Monaco Christian Fellowship that I wanted to do research on this topic, he said, "I´m going to Haiti in March, if you want to come!". So, this last March, along with the pastor, his wife, and three other church members, I travelled to the disaster-stricken country of Haiti to conduct first-hand research.
Through visiting Port-au-Prince as well as two other very different regions of the country, I gained an understanding of the country, its people, and its problems, and it broke my heart. Port-au-Prince is saturated with NGO’s to bring help to the area, but there is still rubble to be seen in the streets and many Haitians still live in tent cities. And although all the focus is there where the earthquake hit in January 2010, I did not previously realize the extent of the despair and poverty in the rest of the nation as well. Being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (considered even to be a Fourth-World country), providing sustainable help to Haiti is much more complex than most think, requiring many long-term and committed initiatives.
What I gained in Haiti I will have with me for the rest of my life. I was able to gain a perspective that would be impossible to obtain through traditional research, and hope to be able to put it all together and create a very interesting thesis.