Looking towards Haiti, 2018

24 ambassadors will deepen connections between Schlegel Villages and Fonkoze

Albert Sese says he’s always taken pride in being able to offer something of himself in the service of others. As a kinesiologist at The Village of Sandalwood Park, he’s fortunate to that every day as his job, but he also spends a lot of time volunteering in a variety of other capacities.  

Barb Sutcliffe of Winston Park teaches oral health to children 
in Haiti during a day camp offered by Schlegel volunteers in 2016.

Now he’ll have the opportunity to expand on this sense of volunteerism as he joins the next group of Schlegel Villages ambassadors who will travel to Haiti in early 2018. This will be the third group to travel to Haiti to witness firsthand how funds raised through the annual Hand up for Haiti 5K Walk/Run event held every September are used to support some of Haiti’s most vulnerable families as they work to climb out of extreme poverty with Fonkoze’s Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) Program. The group will meet some of these families and will likely offer their skills and expertise in a series of day camps providing health education for mothers and a day camp for their children.

Plans and details are currently being finalized so the exact itinerary isn’t set, but Albert isn’t concerned. He’s heard from others who travelled there in 2014 and 2016 and he knows the impact is great, both on the Haitian neighbours who are touched by the groups and upon each individual ambassador who returns home with a completely new perspective on the resiliency of people who live and nation of struggles and challenges.

Albert would like to use his professional skills to support people in Haiti who live with physical limitations, but he’s willing to offer himself in any capacity. If anything at all, he’ll become one more voice in Canada to offer a testimonial view of the impact CLM has on the families it supports. 

“It’s definitely an experience you have to be there to understand,” Albert says. “It’s tough to explain in words,” he’s been told by previous ambassadors, and he’s eager to see for himself. Fundraising efforts are underway and he knows the trip will sneak up fast. There are 24 ambassadors connected to several villages, and all are working towards raising the necessary funds to make the trip happen.

One of the things he’s eager to see is the sense of mutual support he expects defines much of the CLM experience for women who are part of the 18-month program that offers a new start at building a life for their families beyond extreme poverty.

“With Fonkoze, it’s community-based,” Albert says, “so to be part of that and help in any way we can is great.”

For more information on CLM, please watch this video:


The Full Team of Ambassadors:

Haley Rice, Aspen Lake

Kristen Goulet, Aspen Lake

Karen Andrews, Coleman Care Centre

Jaitree Panchu, Erin Meadows

Amy Richard, Coleman Care Centre

Donna Calvert, Glendale Crossing

Luke Denomme, Riverside Glen

Candace Manwaring and her daughter, Avery, St. Clair

Alex Osorio, St. Clair

Bria Bannon, St. Clair

Tim Bost, St. Clair

Albert Sese, Sandalwood Park

Chris Micheletti, Tansley Woods

Barb Sutcliffe and her daughter, Dani, Winston Park

Ashley Schaff, University Gates

Melissa Abdul, University Gates

Tamara White, University Gates

Melanie James, Support Office

Colin Vandewetering, Pro-RESP, Community Partner