Sarah Danielle Williams, composition student at Blair, volunteered as part of a seven-person AidWEST Humanitarian Missions in Haiti team in early August. She organized and participated in a spring fundraising concert in Atlanta that raised nearly the entire $900 participation fee so she could volunteer for the team. She contacted various music schools in the weeks prior to the trip, focusing on the Ambassador Music Institute near the capital of Port-au-Prince to address their urgent needs for music education and replacement of instruments (most of which were crushed in the earthquake). While attending the Bard College Conducting Institute earlier in the summer, she met and encouraged another music student to join the AidWEST team and bring down brass, woodwind and string instruments to donate.
While working in the Orphanage Loyal in Croix des Bouquettes and the Muslim Hands Emergency School in Delmas, she learned popular songs in Creole and sang and played flute and guitar to the students. (Despite having only just learned how to play guitar earlier in the summer, she was able to teach some students how to play.)
She hiked to various tent camps in the mountain foothills north and south of the capital, to help in medical aid and to help the team distribute 900 pounds of humanitarian and medical supplies and French books to many victims. She also donated her personal laptop computer to the team translator, so he is now able to continue working as a liaison for AidWEST via the Internet.
© 2014 Vanderbilt University | Photo credit: Courtesy of AidWEST