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Helping Haiti...

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Montserrat Sanchez

Colombian.

J. D. - Law, B. A. - Political Science and Post Graduate Diploma – Social Administration. Thirteen years working for the State Government in Colombia. I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic since 2008 and worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development.

Since the earthquake in January 2010, I have been working full time helping Haitians victims.
This has been the best job I have ever had in my life.
My salary: kisses, smiles, hugs, tender words and the greatest gratitude.

My bonus: the satisfaction to have made a difference in the lives of those we have being able to help.

Montse

Jordi Alvarez

1986, Colombian.

I have a degree in economics from the University of Salamanca and one year of exchange in Copenhagen Business School. Currently, I work for the World Bank in the Dominican Republic.

On January 13th, one day after the earthquake hit Haiti, I was sent by the World Bank as volunteer to provide support. It was the first UN convoy sent from the Dominican side; however, the most important part of the team came 4 days later, when I told my mom to come and help us; I believe it was the first H2H work. Once the short-term mission with the UN was over, and given the level of commitment and affection developed with the victims we got to help, we decided that H2H mission was not over.

Even though H2H has done mostly donations so far, we believe that needed and poor people do not need charity forever, they need a real opportunity and a hand in a difficult moment to get empowered and start re-building their live; which is our new goal as H2H members.

Jordi

Viviana Alvarez

1984 Colombian.

I have a degree in Business Administration and International Management; and currently doing an Executive MBA program. I have lived in different countries before ( France, US , UK and Colombia) and I am currently based in Barcelona where I work virtually for Unilever’s Global Customer Service team, where my current role is to Project Manage logistic projects across 20 different markets. I work in Unilever since 2006.

Inspired by my mother (Montse Sanchez) and brother (Jordi Alvarez) on their involvement and engagement with Haitian disaster after the earthquake, I decided to do help from Europe and to use all my network and support from colleagues and friends in order to get donations and ideas in place, along with the dream of creating something else that could provide more sustainable help and tangible deliverables for a known community and network that my family established in Haiti. After my visit to Port Au Prince in June 2010 I had no doubt that it will be the biggest challenge in my personal and professional live to do something else than charity. My mom and Jordi did more than humanitarian help… they created a bond and chain of hope with a wonderful community.

H2H was born in my family’s heart and good will to help, so along with them and 4 other key members (Bernd, Pierre, Albert and Nick) it is was our aim and dream to take H2H into another step in order to offer a real opportunity and hope to 11 families, by supporting them to become self-sufficient.

Haiti is NOT alone!

Vivi August 2010, Manchester

Bernd Weisshaar

German, born 1959, married with Sabine, our son Finn turns 18 this year.

I have a degree in business administration and work now for 25 with Unilever, a multi-national in the FMCG industry. I work internationally since 1992 in different management positions. My current role in Paris focuses on Supply Chain working with global customers.

In April 2010 I heard from Viviana Alvarez about the impressive engagement of the Alvarez family supporting people in Haiti after the earthquake in January. For me this was the trigger to get involved, using my knowledge and skills in supporting H2H in order to make it a long term sustainable initiative.

This project which is built on supporting people in order to become self-sufficient reflects my belief of effective humanitarian engagement.

August 2010

Pierre Mille

I am 45 and a very lucky man: The proud father of 2, my son Nicolas (15yo) and my daughter Quitterie (13yo) raised in France by their mother, I live and work now in Switzerland with my Partner after multiple experiences in Italy, The Netherlands and France.

I am a snowboarder and a runner, an extravert looking to share his passion. I have supported the foundation of H2H and I am now trying with our friends to channel as much money that we can get to support our activities in Haiti: We took responsibility to help a small community (see the cases and videos & pics) and my participation is to run for money (I will be running anything up to 42.2 Kms provided you finance me H2H).

Valerie Hermann

I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I’m currently working for the World Bank in Washington, DC.

While living in the Dominican Republic, I was sent the day after the earthquake by the WB local office, among other colleagues, as a volunteer to the Haiti border. We stayed there for a week. After that, I continued working with Jordi and Monzerrat and joining them in the H2Haiti missions to Haiti.

My experience those first days is something you would never imagine. It really changes the way you see everything around you, it is something I will never forget.

There are still a lot of challenges and things to do in the community, but with the efforts of the team, the new ideas and the support provided, Haiti and its people will become more empowered and will be able to become more economically independent.

Andres Bonell

Since I can remember, I felt compelled to help others. As a kid, being a member of the Red Cross and other community service oriented groups, I new that I had the passion for service and aimed to make a difference in my community. With time, this passion evolved as a personal goal and commitment for several initiatives and volunteering in Colombia.

Working in the financial sector, with a background in business and operations, I understand the importance of appropriate management of resources and education are the backbone for the development of any community, likewise, generosity compassion and hard work are the foundation for any charitable effort to succeed; these are the values that encompass H2H’s principals.

Living in South Florida, I have witnessed the horrible ordeals that Haiti faces day by day, but at the same time I see the courage and thriving character of its people, who with a little help will be able to rebuild their nation. This is our cause and what we strive for, and know that with your help, we will “Leave this world a little better than you found it”- R. Baden-Powell.

Nick Gazzard

I became involved in H2H after meeting Bernd at a conference in 2011. My offer to help rapidly became a journey with our community to a better place, and it is a privilege to work with such a wonderful organisation and team.

I was born in the 1960’s and I’m based in Surrey in the UK with my family, and run a specialist management consulting company. I travel extensively, and this led me to live in South Africa for five years. While there, I was involved with several charities and NGO’s and saw too much waste and failure, ending up with severe “donor fatigue”. The incredible H2H story and the dedication of the team really touched me, and once I joined them I was amazed by the range of work being done, and how effectively H2H used resources.

Over the past two years, in addition to the on-going humanitarian activity we have developed exciting new projects like the micro-credits to develop businesses and thus jobs, to help the community to become ever more self-supporting, and this area is my personal favourite.

In my spare time (ha!) I help run an ancient broad leaf woodland wildlife conservation programme, and enjoy carpentry, wood-turning, opera and early music, skiing, travel, cooking and company.
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