The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti might have occurred three months ago, but several campus organizations are refusing to let the tragedy be forgotten.
“Forgetting what happened is the worst thing that we could do to our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” said Paul Jindra, International Development Research Council (IDRC) president. “The rebuilding effort will likely continue for years, so it’s crucial that we keep Haiti and its citizens in mind even now, months after the earthquake.”
The IDRC and the Kellog Institute’s Haiti Working Group will sponsor a Haiti Bonfire Party on Holy Cross Hill on the shore of Saint Mary’s Lake Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight.
The event will feature a celebration of Haitian culture, from traditional music to authentic cuisine.
Jindra said IDRC has assembled a playlist of Haitian music and will be using a student DJ.
“If you’ve never heard Haitian hip-hop before, it really is incredible,” he said. “A lot of these artists on the Haitian music scene could be radio-ready even here in the U.S.”
The food, he said, is from the University catering service, Catering By Design, but will be prepared using authentic Haitian recipes.
Jindra said the event aims to shed a positive light on Haiti.
“All we saw on the news [after the earthquake] was destruction, but that didn’t reflect Haiti’s truly brilliant culture,” Jindra said. “We wanted to give students an opportunity to experience the customs and the history and the heritage of the Haitian people.”
Tickets for the event, which are $10 in advance and $15 Friday night, will be sold in front of the dining halls. All proceeds, Jindra said, will go directly to the Notre Dame Haiti Response fund, which supports the Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, Friends of Orphans, the Congregation of the Holy Cross and the Notre Dame Haiti Program.
“[These are] all organizations doing incredible work in an unimaginably difficult setting,” Jindra said.
Sophomore Matthew Razzano, who will take over as IDRC president in the fall, plans to continue events on campus that raise awareness and funding for rebuilding efforts in Haiti.
“We are planning more Coffee and Conversations early next year to get students thinking about the aftermath of the earthquake and the developmental issues that were unearthed by the disaster,” he said.