What makes YourStory different?
We feel very strongly about what differentiates YourStory International from other service trip organizations—our commitment to responsible community empowerment.
When people in the developed world want to help less fortunate communities, their first instinct is often to send free goods and provide free labor. Unfortunately, this type of aid harms local communities by displacing their businesses and workers. It also tends to be short-lived, meaning it drives locals out of business before disappearing, leaving the communities worse off than they were before.
We avoid this pitfall by only using our volunteers to perform specialized jobs and hiring locals to support our work whenever possible. When you volunteer with us, you can rest assured that you are contributing the responsible empowerment of the communities we serve.
What do our volunteers do?
Students who work with us are more than just volunteers—they are trained to be advocates for a more equitable world. When you join us on an eight-day expedition to Haiti, you will have the opportunity to perform field work focused on community development and public health alongside our local translators, health care professionals, and your fellow advocates. Those interested in nursing and medicine will help run our clinics, which provide free basic health care to families in the surrounding villages. Others can work to empower families by conducting case interviews and collecting data to help us design and evaluate our programs.
How do I get involved?
Ethically Build Your Credentials
International service has become a crucial factor in school admissions and career advancement for pre-medical, pre-physician assistant, nursing, nurse practitioner, and other pre-professional students. This is especially important for pre-medical and pre-PA students due to U.S. medical schools’ increasing focus on global health and diversity, as well as the requirement by many PA programs that applicants complete up to 2,000 clinical hours.
We are encouraged by this new perspective in medical education, and we take our program’s ability to fulfill these requirements very seriously. Our volunteer advocates receive specialized training in both the weeks before they leave the U.S. and during their expeditions. By the time they return home, each advocate will have administered our public health education curriculum to patients and assisted physicians working in our Pont Morel Primary and Emergency Care System. During our clinics, each advocate will also perform essential duties including medical scribing, program evaluation research support, clinic coordination, and assisting disabled patients.
Our role as cultural ambassadors cuts both ways—we strive to make a meaningful difference in Haiti while also having our volunteer advocates learn about the communities we serve. When you travel with us, you will have personal interactions with community members through interviews, conducting surveys, and assisting with clinic appointments.
Haiti is a unique and beautiful place, and we ensure that our advocates experience the country as it really is. Despite its international reputation, Haiti contains beautiful beaches, vibrant communities, and resilient people.
Health Care Professionals
The Sante Leyogane health system is a unique service experience for health care professionals who would like to use their skills to make a sustainable and lasting impact in Haiti. Our system is a permanent fixture in the community and is led by an incredible staff of local doctors and nurses including Dr. Tony Bistine, our medical director. Unfortunately, the community’s demand for care at our PMPECS clinic far outstrips what we can supply, so we rely on professional volunteers to expand the number of patients we serve. Health care professionals on our expeditions provide primary care in our clinics and travel to our patients’ homes to conduct follow-up appointments and administer public health education.