Volunteer View: Kristin Soukup

Newsletter issue: 
December 2013
News item date: 
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Volunteer Kristin Soukup helps Philo (senior +1) student Laguerre Lochard study economics.

Hello!  My name is Kristin Soukup and I am originally from Cedar Rapids, IA.  After studying mathematics and Spanish at the University of Notre Dame, with a couple of stints in Chile and in Ecuador, I realized that education and service abroad are my greatest passions.  They led me to commit to a year as a Volunteer upon my graduation.  My first few months here at Louverture Cleary School (LCS) have only confirmed my desire to work in education and my belief in its importance in any country, but especially in Haiti.

This year, I am using my background in math to teach algebra to the Senkyem (U.S. 8th grade) students, as well as economics and computer classes to the Philo (senior plus one) students.  Having studied Spanish for so many years, it’s a real pleasure to practice with the students between classes and help them with their Spanish homework during study hours.  The facility and enthusiasm with which LCS students speak Kreyòl, French, English and Spanish are an ongoing inspiration.

After the school day and netwayaj (campus clean-up), I often spend play hour leading Music Club, where students play piano and guitar, or directing Show Choir.  It’s a joy to be able to share my love for music with the students, and especially to witness and encourage the students’ musical abilities.

These first months at LCS have helped me to better understand the significance of work in the mission of LCS.  From teaching to leading activities, to cooking and cleaning, to Saturday morning work projects, our days are filled with different types of work.

An essential aspect of LCS, and specifically of the Volunteer community, is how deeply and directly our work is linked to prayer.  Gathering together for morning and evening prayer each day frames our days within the context of prayer.  Each task we perform has its specific purpose, and this purpose, rooted in our faith, allows us to clearly see and offer our work as a prayer.

This connection is an essential part of our community and our role as Volunteers.  It has already challenged me to grow in my prayer life and to engage more fully in my responsibilities.  I look forward to the challenges and joys that the rest of this year will bring.