For the second year, Main Line Unitarian Church hosted the Greater Philadelphia Area Symposium on Haitian Service, which is a way for local individuals and organizations to share their experiences of volunteering in Haiti.
Born out of a group of church members who visited Haiti on a service trip in 2012, this year’s Symposium was organized by Dan DiLucchio, whose commitment to the cause attracted 17 different organizations to present their stories on Saturday, June 8, with several other groups sending messages of support.
One of the main rallying points for this year’s attendees was current U.S. legislation affecting Haiti. Shelly Moskowitz, Manager of Public Policy and Mobilization for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) provided an excellent briefing on what the Symposium participants can do to influence support of the Assessing Progress in Haiti bill.
In addition to passionate presentations from organizations like Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia, Men Anpil, and St. Joseph’s University, the Symposium members were treated to a special Skype call from Amy Wilentz, award-winning author of Farewell, Fred Voodoo. Ms. Wilentz was very gracious with her time and answered some excellent questions from the audience.
After a spectacular Haitian lunch catered by Wilfried Gabriel, breakout groups shared ideas and experiences along lines of interest such as Education, Healthcare, and Agriculture.
The 2nd Annual Greater Philadelphia Area Symposium on Haitian Service truly was a collaborative and inspiring event. New connections were made, friendships formed, and the energy generated in support of Haiti was palpable. Plans are already in the works for next year’s event!
To stay up to date on the events of the Symposium and its members, “Like” their Facebook page.
A photo gallery of this year’s event is available on Main Line Unitarian Church’s Facebook page.
Photo: Participants of the 2nd Annual Greater Philadelphia Area Symposium on Haitian Service gather at Main Line Unitarian Church on June 8. Seventeen organizations shared their specific focus on service work in Haiti.