After attending the trip through the program at the Waterloo campus, Sarah Cifani, third year student at Laurier Brantford is determined to create the same trip for students here at LB, building houses in the Dominican for those who are in need of a roof over their heads.
So far Cifani has around ten students that are interested in either attending the trip, or helping out on the fundraising for it. The trip costs $300 total, which covers food, flight, and a place to stay for the two weeks stay in the Dominican Republic. She hopes to be able to go on the trip for May 2014, and plans on having a BBQ on campus along with a Harmony Square event to help fundraise money for the group.
Cifani has gone on this trip before. When she was in her last year in high school, she went on the trip through a different non-profit organization, where she met Michael Sunderani, the man behind his very own OCOA Project and the program that Laurier uses to send its students. Cifani came up with the idea to separate the campus groups for Brantford students to raise the money on their own. When Cifani had to go to the Waterloo campus, she was excluded from the fundraising activities and had to do it all on her own.
To those skeptical of their abilities to build a house, Cifani says not to worry.
“You don’t need skills for the housing, they tell you what to do and have workers that help you out and do all the big jobs,” says Cifani.
The trip is also less costly than the Kenya trip. Cifani assures that students do not need to attend the trip to be able to add it to their co-curricular record; they can simply help in fundraising for the trip and add it if they do not wish to travel.
Cifani says that this trip is about more than building houses.
“It really lets you put things in perspective. We wore our old hand-me-down clothes and the people were in awe of them. They held them up like they were fancy and when we left we gave them some and they were so surprised and thankful,” says Cifani.
For more information about the trip, contact Sarah Cifani at firstname.lastname@example.org or, join the group on Facebook: Laurier Brantford OCOA Projects