“Delivering aid in a culturally meaningful manner” and “fostering personal, mutually beneficial cross-cultural relationships” are two of YSI’s core values.. In order to uphold and embody these values, we pride ourselves on living directly in the community that we serve. Our compound is located in-between the homes of the people of Morel, and our gates are constantly open to them. Within our compound, we have a few household workers who often feel more like hosts than employees to our advocates. Among these hosts is Mirlande Million, a fifteen year old girl who has been helping out with laundry, cooking, and even teaching some of our advocates basic Creole!
With the help of one of our translators, Hans, I was able to interview Mirlande about her life and her experiences working with us. Mirlande attends school at ADM in Canape Vert, but she is planning to go to another school soon. She would like to become a nurse someday and maybe even work in one of the YSI clinics. “My favorite part of YSI when they visit is the way they always try to help people in my country. They create opportunities to them to see a doctor,” Mirlanda notes.
Mirlande grew up with Kevin's wife, Marie, who offered Mirlanda the opportunity to work at the compound. Her favorite things to do are watching tv, studying, and playing with Kerrie, Kevin’s daughter. She loves to look at the Haitian sea and enjoys eating local fruits. Her favorite memory from her time with YSI is the way that the volunteers treat her and watching the advocates help people, especially in her community.
Many community members welcome us graciously into their hometown with open arms. It is because of people like Mirlande that we are able to create such meaningful cross-cultural relationships and truly immerse ourselves in the lifestyle of the people of Morel.