Two of Dalhousie’s women’s basketball players are volunteering their time to make a difference in places that need it. The first story we are sharing is of Ainsley MacIntyre’s experience in the Dominican Republic.
Ainsley is a Sydney, Nova Scotia native who just finished her first year with the Tigers. As soon as her exams were over, she packed a bag and went on an eight-day mission trip to the Dominican Republic with the Lighthouse Church in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
Here’s what she had to say about her experience…
Our team worked in the Sosua and Puerto Plata areas of the Dominican Republic. We worked with an Empower Girls program, a group that works to keep young girls out of the sex trade. We also had the privilege to work at a school, Hugs for Kids, that was built from money raised entirely in Cape Breton. We worked on the school and interacted with the children.
The mission was to help the poor, spend time with children in orphanages, hospitals and schools for sponsored children. We worked on a construction project, and this was very rewarding because we physically got to carry cement blocks, rebar and bags of sand up a huge hill. It was great to see the finished project. However, I must say that working with the children at the school was the most rewarding in my eyes. They were so joyful and playful regardless of the language barrier. They were happy just to hold your hand or touch your hair. After working with the children, we were given the chance to see their homes. The feeling I felt when I was walking through their village was indescribable. It was so difficult to grasp the fact that these beautiful and carefree children lived in such poverty.
This trip was definitely life changing. I can’t wait until my three younger siblings have the opportunity to go on this trip with me! I can’t stop human trafficking in the Dominican or help these families get out of poverty but I can make a long-term difference in their lives. My start to this long-term difference was to sponsor a child so they had the privilege to attend private school and get an education.
Stay tuned for a second story from Emily Hanaka who is currently in Kenya, Africa for two and a half weeks with an organization called C.L.O.U.D (Changing Lives through Opportunities and Unified Dreams).
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