French succeeds supporting Haiti


Jenna Bao

Junior Lalitha Konda works at the French department’s Haiti collection table in the Commons. Over $100 were raised during lunch, but the vast majority of the funds came from French students personally collecting of donating. The week-long fundraiser for HavServe produced $2100.

While French Club usually focuses on experiencing French culture, it recently undertook a more serious mission.
The club and all levels of French classes worked to raise money for HavServe, a volunteer organization that will use the money to get immediate aid to Haiti after the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew.
“In the past twenty years, according to the UN, Haiti has lost more lives due to natural disasters than any other country on the planet. Unfortunately they do not have the means to rebuild (they are still rebuilding from the earthquake in 2010), and without generosity from abroad they would be destitute. Hurricane Matthew left almost 1,000 dead and tens of thousands homeless,” said Mrs. Lesley Chapman, French teacher.
The hurricane did considerable damage in the southwest United States and Caribbean. It touched down in Haiti on Oct. 4 as a Category 4 (out of five, signifying catastrophic damage). The Haitian government estimates that 2 million were impacted by the storm.
Haiti was still rebuilding from the 2010 earthquake when the hurricane hit, destroying homes and infrastructure. Not only that, it also increased the spread of a cholera epidemic and postponed a presidential election originally set for Oct. 2.
Multiple affected areas cannot be reached due to destroyed roads and debris, but the US and the United Nations have sent supplies.
The fundraiser for HavServe raised a total of $2,100 that will contribute to flying over supplies for immediate survival like food and medicine. Donations were primarily collected through asking teachers and peers and setting up a donation table at lunch from Oct. 10-14.
“I am personally surprised by the success of this fundraiser. Usually a one week fundraiser doesn’t make anything over a couple hundred dollars, much less a couple thousand. The French students are a special, group, a very unique and passionate group of people, with all their work, not just this fundraiser and I think it showed,” said Ryan Tufts, French Club co-president, 11.
While the French program’s involvement may be confusing at first, Haiti is a Francophone country and was once a French colony. The classes learn about the French-speaking world in general, particularly in French V where each student is assigned a French-speaking country to study throughout the year.
“Haiti is a former French colony, and a francophone nation. In French class, we study all francophone communities, not just France. It is important for us to realize that Haiti is a part of that community. It is important for students to feel a part of a community and to give back. We at Sycamore are so fortunate,” Chapman said.