Friday, July 31, 2015

Bonas and Beyond: Haitians coming to campus

St. Bonaventure University Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am super super excited to announce the Bonas and Beyond program!

This fall approximately 20 Haitian students will be coming to St. Bonaventure to participate in over 2 weeks of classes and cultural exchange. It will be a great way for the Haitians to learn about America and for members of the Bonaventure community (including local residents) to learn about Haiti.

It is going to be GREAT!

Bonas and Beyond Pamphlet

How will it work?

Haitian students will take part in a series of classes and seminars on campus and will make trips to experience local businesses, farms, and regional tourist attractions. In addition to the organized educational activities, the Haitian students will be immersed in the US culture daily. They will also have the opportunity to share lessons with their hosts on Haitian Creole, history, culture, and the Haitian economy.

After the conference, We will also be launching an online- not for credit learning program to help educate people while also making friends and associates from around the globe.

Classes will be taught on a volunteer basis by professors, students, and experts from the Bonaventure community. The classes will be in English and available online for free

What will they do?

Although visiting the US is a dream for many Haitian students, we recognize that it is a massive investment for them. It is our goal, therefore, to keep the students very active during their stay so that they can get the most out of this cultural exchange. Planned activities include:

(1 hour each)


(1-2 hours each)


(tentative; not yet approved)





Environmental Science

Computers and leadership

*These will meet Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Note: Economics and Finance may be combined



Irrigation Kits and Gardening

Solar Energy

Teaching (Standards)

Teaching (Practical Tips)

Project Management

St. Francis Week: We Are All One

NGO Management

Job Readiness and US College Preparation

Political Science

Physical Education


Niagara Falls

State Park
(Allegany, most likely)

Olean Wholesale Group

Olean General Hospital

Canticle Farms

Large Dairy Farm

Local Business -TBD

Police/Municipal Building

Restaurant - TBD

Mount Irenaeus

How can you get involved?

Host a meal (or eat out with them at a local restaurant)

Sponsor a student (food alone will cost over $200 during their stay)

Allow them to present to your class or group on Haiti

Attend presentations on campus

Attend a meal on campus with the students (BBQ or wrap up meal)

Be a community host (assisting with logistics and tours)

Provide transportation to off-site activities

Donate school supplies for the students to take home

Donate soccer equipment to be shipped to Haiti

Other details:

The Haitian students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the Buffalo International Airport. From there we will pick them up, drive them to campus, and host them in an on-campus dorm. We will also provide their daily meals, through the dining hall and off-site accommodations (including local church groups, picnics, a BBQ, etc).

Approximately 25% of the students will speak English fluently. If you know of a Haitian Creole speaker who would be willing to volunteer to be a translator, please let us know.

Transportation will be a challenge. Please let us know if you would be willing to drive.

The students will be attending men’s and women’s soccer games, watching a MNF game, etc. Participating in tailgate events would be a great cultural experience for them.

Bonagany and Francis Week will both take place during their stay.

Depending on the budget, students would ideally be provided with “goodie” bag, as well.

A pamphlet is available here:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Essence Festival Day of Service Offers Snapshot of New Orleans Recovery | TIME

As we approach the 10 year anniversary of Katrina BonaResponds will be looking periodically back at Katrina and our founding.  This will likely continue through the 10th anniversary of our "Big Trip" in March.  We kick it off with this current look at New Orleans.

Essence Festival Day of Service Offers Snapshot of New Orleans Recovery | TIME:

"The day of service at KIPP Renaissance High school was like a snapshot of the work that has taken place across New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In the 10 years since the levees broke and flooded 80% of the city, 94% of metro New Orleans’ 2000 population has returned. The economy is on the rebound with big businesses and startups popping up all across the area, though poverty remains pervasive in pockets of the city. The city’s all-charter school system has been held up by local officials as a potential model for the rest of the country, though reports from Mother Jones and Think Progress have found there is cause for concern in some areas, namely standardized test scores. Ask anyone—from the Mayor to Thursday’s volunteers—and they’ll acknowledge how far the city has left to go, but they can’t help but note how far it has come."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

BonaResponds Podcast now on iTunes

The BonaResponds Podcast is now online!  It has the video interviews (some of them) as well as new audio-only interviews.

Our podcast is now on ITunes :) will upload others soon.
Posted by BonaResponds on Wednesday, July 1, 2015