THE BLOG
09/18/2014 02:34 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2014

Altruism in Haiti

I came to Haiti for a couple of days to work on our yearly Gala film. The film team was Christian Schneider and Dominque Taylor and I was the interviewer. I interviewed several youth who are part of the Worldwide Orphans "Youth2Children" senior leadership team in Kenscoff.

I interviewed one young staff member after another as we stood close enough to feel one another's breath on our faces. In some cases, the youth were well-spoken in English and in other cases, there was need for a translator (Myriam) because they were more comfortable speaking in their native Kreyol.

The staff didn't have any idea about what I would ask and none of them were present for the interviews of the others. One by one, they revealed their passion for their work. More miraculously, they discovered during our conversations that they, themselves, had changed. They shared with me about how the children had changed, but also realized that they had been transformed into generous and knowledgeable experts in early childhood development. Their speech became excited and passionate and their faces were animated with delicate muscle movements and smiles. They also cried. I cried and wiped my face to keep my glasses clear and my face less visibly emotional.

One said, "I was bad with them (children) and then I changed." Another said, "We gave life into a life," in reference to the changes of children living with HIV at Camp Kan Etwall. One staff quoted a camper as having said, "I want to be in camp forever." One young man spoke of his commitment to his country and his newly born son. He wants his work to be handed down to his son so Haiti can change.

I felt such gratitude for their vulnerability and openness. I think I was a witness to the birth of altruism in Haiti.