Story by Chris Graham
As of the most recent report, a group of Blue Ridge Community College students and staff members in Haiti this week on a service project is accounted for and safe.
“We have received an encouraging message from an American volunteer who is currently in Haiti and who has worked closely with BRCC. She has e-mailed her organization, letting them know that she is OK and that our BRCC group is with her and fine as well,” a message from BRCC president John Downey posted to the college’s website last night reported.
The message from the volunteer on the ground in Haiti indicated that the group, working on a service project near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, has “safe accommodations and food, and are not harmed.”
The group is in Haiti in conjunction with the BRCC SIFE program – the acronym stands for Students In Free Enterprise. The SIFE program has engaged BRCC students and staff in projects including relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and an effort based in Jimma, Ethiopia, that assisted women in starting their own small businesses through a microloan program.
According to a blog maintained by the SIFE program, the group arrived in Haiti Monday. There have been no posts to the blog since Monday night. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti was recorded at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.