The article below is about the donation AHA students made in 2014. Read about the 2015 effort.
In the Spring of 2014, two AHA students approached members of the AHA Tech department with an idea. Why not give graduating seniors who will be getting a new computer for college an option to donate their AHA laptop to a needy school in Haiti? Fiona O'Rourke '14 and Claire Hogan '15 had been on a mission trip in January with a group from their parish, Annunciation in Minneapolis, and were fired up about helping those they had met on their trip.
"To me, it was so frustrating to think I've been born into a lucky spot, with all kinds of technology and every opportunity to learn," said Claire Hogan, '15. "And then, when I go to a neighboring country and a boy my same age has to bike downtown and pay for a chance to use a computer for one hour, I see an opportunity for me and my peers to step up."
In recent years, members from Annunciation have been traveling with Mission Haiti, Inc. to Leogane, Haiti, twice a year to meet and work with the people there. They serve at College Coeur de Marie Secondary School, where students in their last year, called philo, spend an intense year studying for their exam. If they pass, they will go on to University. Through the AHA-Mission Haiti, Inc. partnership, 13 Haitian College Coeur de Marie students who passed their exam were supplied with a laptop to bring with them as they continued their studies at University.
The other laptops that were donated by AHA students of the class of 2014, a total of 37, were used to build a computer lab at the Coeur de Marie secondary school. "Now, because we've provided these computers, they have the opportunity to have the entire world of the Internet to learn and explore," said Hogan.
Hogan will again invite the Class of 2015 to donate their computers. The AHA Technology department will be collecting them on May 27, 2015 and will re-image and prepare a portion of the laptops to be sent with Mission Haiti, Inc volunteers when they travel to Haiti in June and then again in January. These computers will most likely be used to maintain the existing computer lab at College Coeur de Marie Secondary School and if possible, to start to provide computers for the elementary school in Leogane.
"This is a key generation after the devastation caused by the earthquake of 2010," said Hogan. "I hope that this can be an equal partnership between both AHA and the recipients of the laptops in Haiti in creating a world where there is equal opportunity for education."