In the heart of Haiti, amidst the challenges and joys of serving vulnerable communities, Odius stands as a steadfast pillar of support and compassion. As a Special Project Coordinator with Hands & Feet Project since its inception, his journey intertwines with the very fabric of the organization’s mission.
Q. How did you get involved with the Hands and Feet Project?
A. I became involved with Hands & Feet Project when Drex Stuart came into where I was working at the time and said that he was going to build a Children’s Village and said he would be able to house 80 children. While I was working there, they hired a new boss, but when they needed the boss, they could not get a hold of him. Then, my brother referred me here, and I’m still here today. I’ve been here for a long time, since 2002/2003.
Q: How have you seen the Hands & Feet Project impact the community in the past 20 years?
A. The change I see is that Hands & Feet Project provides a big help to families who are in hard times and do not have anything at all, and they help them. They assist them in paying for school fees, providing food, helping house them, checking in on them, and doing lots of other things, which makes me very happy.
Q. How has the impact changed since we started?
A: Well, I feel like the impact has changed because of the way they now help people; this changed Hands & Feet Project and made it into a whole new Hands & Feet Project. Where they started by helping children, they have grown to help families and communities.
Q. Could you provide some specific examples of projects or initiatives that have made a significant difference?
A: Sometimes, Hands & Feet Project helps build houses for those in very bad situations, but now, because of the house repairs or houses built for them, it helps change that person’s life, which is a big improvement for their families.
Q: How has Hands & Feet Project been able to change its approach and adapt to the challenges of working in Haiti?
A: When the situation seems difficult, there is staff in Haiti who helps Hands & Feet Project stay on task. When it’s hard, staff on the ground speak with U.S. staff and look at how it can be changed and how we can help, and we keep things going so that there is no complication in the end.
Q. How would you describe being a part of the Hands & Feet Project team?
A. I am proud that Hands & Feet Project came to Haiti. It is a help to us all because I myself don’t have the capacity to help all the people who need help. But Hands & Feet Project came, and they are helping us. I give all of myself to help them with whatever they are doing so that we can encourage them to help Haitians who don’t have anything so that Hands & Feet Project can grow in their capacity.
In Odius’s words, we glimpse the impact Hands & Feet Project has had over the past two decades, weaving hope and resilience into the fabric of Haitian communities. As we reflect on our journey, we renew our commitment to continue walking alongside those in need, guided by compassion, solidarity, and unwavering dedication.