Past RISE Experience

With local masons and cement workers and community volunteers, students cemented floors for five local families in Villa Verda, Dominican Republic. The community council chose the five families considering age, health, income, and opportunity for alternate aid. Working with Community Empowerment local representatives, students stirred cement, carried, poured and completed floors in five homes. Through this experience, students gained a deeper understanding of the perseverance of Dominican communities, multi-dimensional poverty and were able to impact the lives of multiple families.  
Rush students and local community members line up in single file fashion to transport buckets of cement to pour upon the floors of community members’ houses. Two lines are set up: buckets going in and those going out. This structure greatly expedited the process to fully cement floors and distributed the work amongst members.
RISE 2019_building
Working with cement workers, community volunteers and local masons, students built a house for a local family in Villa Verde, Dominican Republic. The community council chose Elias and his family to be the recipient of the home due to his active contribution to his community.  Working with Community Empowerment local representatives, students tore down the old house, dug a huge channel for the foundation, stirred cement, laid brick, helped lay beams and delivered the siding for the creation of a new home. 

Mae Bass, College of Nursing student

“The roads in Villa Verde are made mainly of dirt and loose rocks; this lends itself to areas of disrepair making it difficult for cars and buses to access the community. However, community members take measures to provide repairs: rocks and earth are used to help fill larger areas of holes to maintain a level ground for vehicles coming in and out of the community.”

RISE children playing 2017-18
Working with a local mason and community volunteers, students built a playground for the more than 50 children cared for in the orphanage. Collaborating with Madame La Fleur, the orphanage’s founder and children’s primary caretaker, students provided much-needed health education, performed developmental assessments and collected growth data on the children. Through this experience, students gained a deeper understanding of Haitian cultural and life, health and wellness, education, and public systems.  

Harrison Pidgeon, medical student, year 3

“Madame La Fleur has created a loving community at her orphanage; they are a family not just children surviving together. It is amazing that La Fleur has given them a safe place in the midst of chaos where they can grow, develop and play as normal children.  I am lucky to have met such a powerful, inspiring force of a woman.”