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This week, Carlisle Dixon ’20 and Robert Hamilton ’20 had the honor of presenting at the annual conference for the National Association of Social Workers’ Pennsylvania chapter. (Coincidentally, at the same conference, longtime GMercyU adjunct professor Maria T. Weidinger was honored as Social Worker of the Year.)
Carlisle and Robert spoke about a project they successfully completed together for their Human Behavior and Social Environment class to benefit the Mercy Focus on Haiti program. Their goal was to educate the GMercyU community on the unmet need for clean water in Haiti and to raise enough money to buy a Chateau D’eau, a 500-gallon tank that collects rainfall and converts it into fresh water for a family in need – in this particular case, a family located in Gros-Morne, a poverty stricken area of Haiti.
“We put countless hours and dedication into this project,” said Carlisle. “The families living in Gros-Morne struggle to meet their daily needs. My partner and I knew if we put in the work to be able to purchase a tank, we’d be making one family very lucky.”
They designed a poster that illustrated a Chateau D’eau and what it does. They hosted tables around campus to educate fellow GMercyU students, approached faculty in their offices, collected donations and sold bracelets as part of their fundraising and education efforts. Ultimately, the two met their goal and raised enough money to buy a Chateau D’eau that would support a family of six.
Their GMercyU professor, Janice Nuss, MSW, LCSW, Director of BSW Field Education, has traveled to Haiti and has witnessed the need for fresh water firsthand. “The intention of this project was to expose our students to the under-represented areas of macro and international social work practice through service learning," said Professor Nuss. "I’m so proud of Carlisle’s and Robert’s hard work and dedication in achieving their goal, and for sharing their success at the conference.”