Last Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake, which tugged at the heartstrings of the DU community and the world. At the time of the quake, students united to raise thousands of dollars in relief aid and awareness through fundraisers such as vigils, benefit concerts, barbecues and restaurant galas.
While the hype around Haiti's condition in the popular press has died down, two members of the DU community continue to keep a close eye on Haitian relief efforts. Alumnus Sarah Leavitt and professor Lynn Holland offer their first-hand commentary on reports of epidemics, poverty and corruption hindering Haiti's progress.
Sarah Leavitt, a '10 Masters graduate in International Development from Las Vegas, currently works as the Digital Outreach Manager for the Lambi Fund of Haiti, an organization founded jointly by Haitians and Americans in 1994 that works in partnership with grassroots organizations to improve the livelihood of Haitians, build the economy and support agriculture, clean water and microfinance for Haitians. The fund has offices in Haiti and Denver, where Leavitt serves as the "techie," modernizing and improving operations and directing updates of the current work in Haiti.
Leavitt got her start in the Lambi fund as an intern while getting her Masters degree at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. According to Leavitt, the university helped her find the project to fulfill her work-study requirements.
However, Leavitt's connection to Haiti far precedes her involvement with the Lambi fund. In fact, she said, Haiti is ultimately what brought her to DU.