Tate full interview
CHP: What drew you to CHP?
Tate: I respected Colorado Haiti Project’s approach to development work in Haiti. CHP operates with desire to keep the community at the center of everything. It was refreshing to see convicted individuals in CO and Haiti overcome barriers to come together and improve people’s lives. I saw how involvement with CHP and the people of Petit Trou had impacted people’s lives and in some cases taking them in a completely different direction. Relationships with our Haitian partners have been powerful and transformative, both for people here and there. CHP staff, board members and volunteers give so much of their time and selves to the organization. It was inspiring.
CHP: How long have you been involved with the organization?
Tate: I started volunteering in the spring of 2012, focusing on the health work. In February 2013, I was hired on part-time basis and in July came on board full-time. This February I will go to Petit Trou as the on the ground CHP staff person. It has been an amazing process.
CHP: What specific projects do you work on with CHP? (Upcoming trip to Haiti!)
Tate: I have a Master degree in Public Health so over the last two years, my programmatic focus has been more on the health work: fostering a better relationship with the Haitian Ministry of Health, organizing Health Agent trainings and logistics and developing the Community Health Aide program. However, in the office my job title should be: Do Whatever Needs To Be Done. In any given day, I can be seen updating the website, creating email campaigns, ordering art inventory, attending committee meetings, making a video, speaking on a panel and processing donations to name a few. Come February in Haiti, I will oversee all four program areas: Vocational Development, Water, Infrastructure, Sanitation, Hygiene (WISH), Community Health and Education. My years in the office in CO have helped develop many different skills necessary for general operations and program management. My first project though will be learning Creole.
CHP: How has working with this organization impacted you personally?
Tate: Where do I start?! Volunteering and working at the Colorado Haiti Project has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I can’t imagine my life without the people I’ve met and support I’ve received. I have grown immensely personally and professional the last 2.5 years. To everyone I have worked with and met through CHP: you have impacted my life in more ways I can count and I am forever grateful.
CHP: For those who are on the fence about getting involved, what would you say to inspire them to become involved with CHP?
Tate: The Colorado Haiti Project is not a typical development organization. It is a family of some of the most passionate, generous and knowledgeable individuals around. It is guided by a humanity in which every life matters. When I first started, I wanted to ease suffering, especially due to lack of access to basic needs. What I didn’t expect was to have my own life cracked opened to new possibilities of being and living.