In late June, 2007, nine young Haitians volunteered to help Betty Harmsen teach a one-week vacation Bible school. At the end of the week, they shared with her their hopes, for their own futures and for the future of Haiti. Out of this conversation, a shared vision was born – a vision for an organization that would help young Haitians attain spiritual, intellectual and emotional maturity, that would help them become self-supporting, and that would help them relieve the suffering of their fellow Haitians. She called home, her husband gave his wholehearted support, and the nine young volunteers became the first Haiti Share team. That was Friday, June 29, the day we celebrate the birth of Haiti Share.
Haiti Share was incorporated in Texas on January 9, 2008 and received 501(c)(3) status later that year. The fledging organization rented space in a house to serve as a training center, equiped it with laptops and other equipment, started a leadership training program and began sponsoring a couple of students in local Port-au-Prince universities.
Raymond Figaro Excellent was the first to graduate, with a degree in diplomacy. He is now Director of Haitian Operations for Haiti Share. Nicolas (photo on homepage) was our second graduate. He majored in business administration in the fall of 2013 and now has a full-time desk position with the Port-Au-Prince utilities company. Two young women are finished with classes and working on their senior project. One has a full-time job and the other will soon have a full-time job. Three young Haitians are currently in college classes, 3 are in trade school and 6 in heavy truck school.