UWM students plan charitable trip to Haiti

Several students from UW-Milwaukee are planning to make a trip to Haiti in August to deliver water filters and shoes to those in need.

The students plan to deliver more than 1,000 shoes to children and to build at least five water filtration stations to help satisfy a critical need for clean drinking water. The charitable effort is called Project Haiti, Cite Soleil.

Students making the trip are:

— Steven Duclair, an interpersonal communications major at UWM. A native of Haiti, he came to America with his family 10 years ago. He is an inspirational speaker for youth education and communications director for Project Haiti.

— Emily Ruder, a biological sciences major at UWM and project organizer.

— Danielle O’Hagan, a civil engineering major at UWM and water filtration advisor for Project Haiti.

— Nikia Johnson, a biological sciences major at Marquette University and Project Haiti resource manager.

Daniel Gonzalez, a documentary filmmaker, will accompany the students to record the trip, which is scheduled for Aug. 9.

The students have been raising money and collecting shoes, working with partners including the Medical College of Wisconsin, Macy’s and several local schools.

The group also plans to purchase food and medicine from local markets in Haiti to give to those in need.

Duclair hopes the project inspires greater good beyond its immediate impact.

“The project is about creating an opportunity for us in Milwaukee to live in a charitable mindset,” he said. “All it takes is getting together with a few people to make something happen.”

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 60 percent of its population living below the poverty line, according to the World Factbook. The country is still recovering from several natural disasters, including a devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people.

The students have been raising money for the trip for a few months. Contributions can be made at the project’s GoFundMe page.

For more information, contact Steven Duclair, 414-840-4671,  sduclair@uwm.edu, or Emily Ruder, 262-719-2428 erruder@uwm.edu.