Haiti

UF students spent time with children living at an orphanage during a service trip they took to Haiti during spring break this year. Projects for Haiti Inc. is planning a second trip to Haiti in March.

Several UF organizations are partnering to collect books and raise money to establish the first public library in Cap-Haitian, a city in northern Haiti.

Projects for Haiti Inc., a nonprofit organization started by two UF students, will send a group of about 30 people to Haiti from March 3 to March 9 to set up the library, said co-founder Bertrhude Albert.

Volunteers will also be helping build a church, working at orphanages, teaching English classes and doing other work during the trip.

Albert's father, Isaac, runs a church there, but moved it to a new building and donated the old one to the organization in September.

Albert, a 21-year-old English senior, said the first floor of the three-story building will be converted to a community center that will host different events.

The second floor will be the library, which will include books ranging from children's stories to novels.

The library will be split into four sections of books according to language: English, French, Spanish and Creole.

"Hopefully, with this library, it's going to be an arena for people to try to learn English," Albert said.

Knowing the English language can help give Haitians an edge when applying for jobs, she said.

Projects for Haiti is getting help from several organizations in collecting books and raising money to fund this library, including the Center for Latin American Studies, UF McNair Scholars Program, Club Creole, Gators United for Haiti and Chi Alpha at UF.

The book drop-off station for the McNair Scholars Program is on the third floor of the infirmary.

The Center for Latin American Studies has a book drop-off station at its office in Grinter Hall.

"I know that this library is going to bring so much hope to northern Haiti and equip Haitians in a powerful way. I'm always seeing if people want to partner up with us," Albert said. "It's definitely a lot of work, but it's worth it."