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Be Like Brit Foundation, Inc.

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Be Like Brit Foundation, Inc.

Be Like Brit Foundation, Inc. Programs

Haiti

Children's Home and Community Volunteer

Do you want to become a part of a volunteer team in Haiti? Apply to join our Britsionary Program today! What does it mean to be a “Britsionary”? Being a Britsionary...

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Be Like Brit Foundation, Inc. Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My 3rd trip

My first trip to Haiti was in 2013 with BLB and it was a trip of a life time. So much so I went again in 2016 and recently just returned last Saturday (May 19,2018) Though traveling to a 3rd world country and it being the poorest country in the world, BLB makes you feel safe and provides an experience you will never forget. But for people reading this review and thinking about going for the first time, know this is not a vacation. Yes you experience the local market and culture, but BLB provides an experience where you work along side members of a Haitian community to build a home for a family. That is the experience of a life time and though you sweat like crazy and it is a lot of hard work, the end result is amazing. I can’t not wait to go back again!

Program: Children's Home and Community Volunteer

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Life Changing Trip and Experience

I visited Be Like Brit in July of 2017. Before going on the trip I was given a packet of information of what needed to be done before going on the trip and what to expect while on the trip. We met as a group with Be Like Brit staff and went over everything and anything we needed to know. The staff made me feel comfortable and that safety was the #1 priority. While traveling to Haiti a BLB staff member(s) was always with us. The travel is always unpredictable, but they had multiple plans in place in every scenario. While staying at BLB the Britsionaries have their own wing with private rooms. The rooms are equipped with bunk beds and bathrooms. The food is unreal and you will not go hungry. I recommend bringing snacks (that won't melt) and can fit in fridge that you like to have while out on the road and exploring. When not building a home, Britsionaries are brought on trips around the mountains and Grand Goave to experience the culture and see some amazing views. We visited the beautiful beaches and were able to really experience Haiti. I met so many welcoming people and learned more than I ever would have expected. The days fly by and I would do it all over again.

Program: Children's Home and Community Volunteer

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Cultural service experience for veteran travelers or first timers alike!

I have spent five trips in Haiti with the BLB team! I could not give them a higher recommendation. From the moment you make contact with the extensive and informative American-based team, til the moment you say goodbye to your team lander landing back in the US, this organization does everything in it's power to make you safe, informed, and comfortable. For these reasons I have chosen to take two of my student groups to Haiti with BLB and also joined three groups of individual volunteers. The leaders are talented and caring individuals who offer inciteful and relevant reflections and discussions throughout the trip in order to process what can be many people's first experience in a third world country. In my experience they show the highest level of care and empathy for both their "Britsionaries" and Haitians alike. Every trip includes a dual service component of fellowship and camaraderie with the 66 children and 100 plus staff members at at Brit's Home, alongside a home build in the community of Grand Goave for a family who would otherwise not be able to afford a stable weatherproof home.

This organization distinguishes itself in many ways from similar service trips in a variety of ways, but it can be boiled down to a few key factors.

1. The greatest importance is placed on volunteer experience and safety.
2. The familiar atmosphere experienced from both American and Haitian Staff members.
3. A genuine understanding of how social justice should be implemented in the modern age in a thrid world country.
4. A beautiful mission inspired by the incredible love of an incredible young woman, Britney Gengel, for whom the organization is named!

Program: Children's Home and Community Volunteer

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Faith hope & love

If I had to sum up the entire trip in two words: life-changing. I know it sounds cliché, but being in Haiti and working with Be Like Brit last week has impacted me beyond words. It’s hard to describe everything I experienced, without actually being there. I saw the heartbreak that is the poorest third world country in the Western Hemisphere. But I also saw the hope that is in the community.

I fell in love with the 67 children I was able to spend my time with within the orphanage. They were the worst of the worst, and were blessed enough to be found by the BLB team and brought into this family. Just writing this now brings a huge smile to my face and warmth in my heart when I think of the children. At every moment, there were always three or four children climbing on me, using me as a human jungle gym. But it was infectious having them always wanting to play with me and I craved it when I was not with them. It was incredible to see how, despite the horrible conditions that are in Haiti, they are just children who only want someone to give them love and attention. This goes for the people within the community as well. Although it was heartbreaking to see how down and glum the people in the market and on the street looked, if you looked at them and said “Bonswa” and asked how they were, their faces lit up. It taught me that humans in general simply want someone to care for them and know that someone has their back. And anyone can do this.

Another thing that surprised me in Haiti was how hopeful and grateful they were. On Sunday we got to go to a Church service. The Pastor was speaking back and forth between Creole and English, translating it so we felt included. Both him and the people in the congregation came up to us and thanked us for all that we were doing. They were so grateful that we were coming down and putting in time and effort in hopes of helping make life a little bit better. The BLB orphanage was founded on Brit’s final text: “They love us so much and everyone is so happy. They love what they have and they work so hard to get nowhere, yet they are all so appreciative. I want to move here and start an orphanage myself.” Now, I get it. This sums up the experience I had with the people in the community of Grand Goave and surrounding villages. I got to see how much of a difference we made, especially on our trip on Friday during the house-blessing ceremony.

In four days, we worked tirelessly with Haitian masons to construct a home for one of the BLB nighttime caregivers. We started Monday with a pile of dirt and finished Friday with a home: a symbol of hope for the future. When we performed the house blessing ceremony, I was overwhelmed with how moved I was from building this safe place. In the ceremony, Franklin, the father, shared one of the Haitian mottos with us: “Here in Haiti, whatever you give out, you will always receive more.” This profound statement was spot on and I got so much more out of this week than I thought I would.

From the homebuilding, to exploring the community, to the little children who now take up a huge part of my heart, this week was incredible, moving, and brought a roller coaster of emotions. Most importantly, it taught me the importance of love. It also showed me how blessed I am and I am so thankful. I am thankful for my family, and my parents for letting me embark on this journey. I am thankful for my friends and companions who have helped me become who I am today. I cannot express how much Haiti has meant to me. I fell in love with Haiti, the children and cannot wait to go back soon for my third trip!

Program: Children's Home and Community Volunteer

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A Life Changing Experience

When I first heard about Be Like Brit, I was searching for a way to give back, to see what Gods path was for me. I grew up helping at a neighborhood opportunity center, so I had some experience relating to helping others. I wanted to be a change in someone's life.
I had never been on a mission trip before so I was excited, nervous, and anxious all in one. When I got to Miami for our flight to Haiti, I met Melissa. Energetic, she was like a friend who you'd not met yet. I thought she's just as excited as I am! She was are team leader from Be Like Brit.After we arrived in Haiti, I instantly noticed how different it was from the US. The drive to the orphanage was almost an overload for my brain trying to take everything in. I think that is when I met Francky. He's a driver for BLB, and so nice.
Once you get to Be Like Brit, there is nothing to prepare you for the pure LOVE and JOY you feel when you walk in. The children are so happy to see you and come up and hug you. It is amazing! We also met Jonathan who's the director, Gama who is head of security, Peterson who helps with the children (and gives you Haitian Creole lessons) and Amanda who helps with the children's education, and they are so great and welcoming! They do amazing work with the children. We also met Len, Brittany's father, who is doing amazing things for the children and the community around Be Like Brit. He has the biggest heart I have ever seen.
While our group was there, our goal was to build a house for a local Haitian family. A two room house. We would build in the mornings, and after lunch we would get shown around the Grand Goave area. We got to see different missions that were there, and meet others that were there helping. We got to take walks up the mountain and see the local children, and go swimming with the children from BLB. After supper we got to spend time with the children playing and coloring. On Sunday, we walked down the mountain and went to a local church at MOHI. The service was great, and I even had someone to translate for me. The day before we finished the house, we got to go to the local market and buy food and supplies for the family we built the house for. On the last day we got to dedicate the house and meet the family. I have never seen people so genuinely nice as the Haitian people I met. So happy with whatever they have.
It was an amazing week, and I met wonderful people I will never forget. I will be returning soon, and in the end, It was also my life that was changed.

Program: Children's Home and Community Volunteer

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