Classic LifeCare employee Jean Lubin has big plans for a small town in Haiti.
Lubin, who was born in Haiti, immigrated to Canada December 8, 2008. He returned to Haiti in February last year and was devastated by the damage done to Haiti by the 2010 earthquake that left many people homeless and destitute.
Many Hatians who had been living in the capital of Port au Prince when the earthquake hit were living on the streets in a small town called Miragoane.
Lubin, who once worked as a teacher in Haiti, knew he wanted to help the people of Miragoane so he decided to return to Haiti in August, 2012 to host a soccer camp and community building week. He met with leaders from the community and some of the youth to determine how he could make a difference.
“Soccer is important to Haitians. I knew that if we held soccer games, a lot of people would gather and I would get to know people, to learn their names, have some fun, and we could get together to collaborate on some changes in the community.”
The soccer camp was a huge success, involving between 200 and 500 people each of the eight days. When participants weren’t playing soccer, Lubin would lead them in other games, teach them songs and make meals for them.
“The biggest thing I wanted to teach them is that the government is not going to come in and clean up their community. I taught them to keep it clean themselves. We did some cleaning up while I was there and they have done a good job since then. They have been keeping their community and water clean.”
He says most children in Miragoane don’t attend school because there is no room for them with only one elementary school and no high school. His goal is to build a high school because change will come once people are educated.
During the soccer camp, Jean was able to get medical care for two people in Miragoane who needed help, sent two young people to high school at a neighboring town, and sponsored four youth to attend a leadership seminar from Nov. 1 – 4.
Lubin and his wife went back to Haiti in December to hold a Christmas event in Miragoane. They fed the children, sang Christmas songs, gave them cards and made bracelets together.
He plans to return for the second-annual soccer camp this August and bring clothing and shoes for the community.
“Some of my friends are doctors and we want to set up mobile (medical check-ups) because most of the people do not have the opportunity to see a doctor.”
Soccer jerseys for the 2013 camp have been donated, but Lubin says he would love to bring some shoes when he returns in August. Many of the kids attending his first soccer camp played barefoot because they don’t have shoes.
Lubin, who has worked for Classic LifeCare for almost two years, says he enjoys his clients and the work he does for them.
“Back in Haiti, I cared for both of my parents, who were very sick, until the time they died. I was happy caring for them. Working for Classic LifeCare and working with clients makes me feel like I am still caring for my own parents in some way. I learn from them.”
Lubin welcomes donations of money, clothing and shoes for his next trip and encourages anyone wishing to volunteer their time to contact him. Lodging is included but volunteers are responsible to pay for their plane ticket and food.
If you would like to volunteer or donate money or supplies for Jean’s next trip to Haiti, please contact Classic LifeCare’s head office at 604-263-3621 or email Jean at [email protected].