Colline Foundation

About

The goal of this program is to provide every participant with an introduction to the practice of medicine in a developing country. Students will get a basic overview of a developing country's medical system as it is carried out at the country's busiest hospitals. Observers can expect to participate, with their Haitian Medical Student colleagues, in the work of a medical center that receives and treats some of the nation's needy. This program will allow important relationships to develop between program participants and people who are integral in providing healthcare in a developing country.

Founded
2009
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

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Jay
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am fortunate to have been one of the first participants to have experienced this program. A little blind faith and trust in an as yet untested and unproven vision left me with an experience that I shall remember for a very long time.

We ran a summer camp for the children who resided near the Colline Academy. Every day more children came as word spread in the area. We enjoyed playing games, teaching English, serving meals and getting to know each other.

We helped during the early rebuilding of the Colline Academy which had collapsed during the earthquake several months earlier.

We spent amazing times with the children at the orphanage which also served as our retreat after a hard day of work in the blazing sun.

Absorbing all that had happened in Haiti so recently was at times a lot to handle but the amazing people of Haiti helped us to realize how strong they are. Their hospitality and openness to visitors is something I have experienced in very few of the countries to which I have travelled.

I can also happily say that I came away from the experience with a lot of new friends.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that we could have spent more time seeing different areas of Port Au Prince and Haiti. But time was short and the program was still in its infancy. I know that the groups that came after us were able to experience to a greater extent some of the other things that Haiti has to offer.
Default avatar
Dave
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

During my senior year at Yale, I led a trip to Haiti that was facilitated by Colline Foundation. Colline Foundation provided us with housing, food, security and transportation during our 10-day stay in Haiti. All of the program's 9 participants greatly enjoyed the experience.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, I would have included more cultural activities in the program, although that was no fault of Colline Foundation.
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Erin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Colline Foundation is one of three volunteer organizations I have traveled abroad with and the program exceeded all my expectations. The compound we stayed at satisfied all my needs and I was not concerned about my safety. Any potential language and cultural barriers were already addressed prior to my arrival, so communication problems that could have occurred were diminished. As a student pursuing a DNP for Nurse Practitioning, I felt as if this program was a great way to immerse myself in an unfamiliar community and learn how to practice medicine in a clinic and a rural environment.The amount you learn in this kind of setting is invaluable; you are given the chance to apply your medical knowledge while enhancing critical thinking skills by improvising with the third world setting. This program allows you to learn a lot about yourself as well as broadening your cultural competence. I would recommend this program to anyone contemplating traveling abroad and giving aid.

What would you improve about this program?
There were some events that occurred during the trip that could have been avoided if the trip was more organized. I firmly believe this occurred because I was one of the first trips the organization had run. Jimmy and the rest of the organization are consistently working to ensure the program is running at its highest efficiency. I also know from my experience of traveling in third world countries that nothing is predictable and unexpected obstacles will consistently arise!
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engmbt
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As a Yale student, I had the privilege of being part of an international relations group that used The colline Foundation to facilitate the trip. The accommodations were not only remarkable, but the experience gained was simply invaluable. Later I attended the Volunteer program and would rank it one of the best volunteer programs I'v ever been a part of. We were able to really familiarize ourselves with the surroundings and aid (in a visible way) the community. There was also time for leisure activities which truly helped to add to the greatness of our overall experience

What would you improve about this program?
I would like the program to be more expansive(i.e branch out more to different sectors). This, however,is an issue I think they are trying to address with the formation of this new medical venture initiative. As, someone who is very interested in how to contribute to sustainable advancements of the medical sector in developing countries, the program seems like a great way to begin discourse!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Marlissa Collier

Marlissa is a 25 year old young professional from Los Angeles, CA. Marlissa attended California State University, Long Beach and in 2010 she received her bachelor's of science degree in Construction Engineering Management. She then went on to become a Market Analyst for Southern California Gas Company. She has recently accepted admission at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she will pursue her MBA with concentrations in Marketing and Strategy. She is both a Cox School of Business scholarship recipient and Forte Fellow.
Colline Foundation alum Marlissa Collier

Why did you decide to study abroad with Colline Foundation?

On that Tuesday in January of 2010 the photos of destruction on CNN forced tears into my eyes and I thought “no FEMA, no emergency response service, and no evacuation plan.” Photographs of crumbled buildings, limp bodies and newly orphaned children flashed across the screen and I prayed a prayer for the few who were shown and the millions who were hidden in the background. In the weeks to come, I watched as nations across the globe pledged funds, relief efforts and continued thoughts. But soon Haiti faded into the background and seemed forgotten. I decided to find a way to join the effort of bringing aid to the Haitian people. I stumbled across the Colline Foundation’s website and began to look into the volunteer program. Jimmy responded almost instantly and I booked a flight to Port au Prince.

What made this experience unique and special?

To my surprise, that week in Haiti proved to be the best trip I had ever taken. That week I became friends with people from every corner of America because we shared a common bond. We were strangers away from home and gathered for one purpose: to make a difference. Each time I’ve traveled I’ve learn more of their language, culture, political environment and economy. And each time I’ve departed I’ve left a piece of my heart with a little boy named Jeremy, an orphan, who at first meeting grabbed my hand and held it for what seemed like a week straight. I am still friends with some of the people I met on my trips to Haiti. The experience was priceless.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future Colline Foundation students?

Visiting Haiti made me aware of the need to foster global awareness so that we can contribute to the world through education, understanding, compassion, and tolerance for people from other cultures. Discrimination, stereotypes and hate are all born from pure ignorance! The only way to force ignorance out of its place is to implement understanding. I would advise future Colline Foundation students to go in with a open mind and a willing heart. There is so much to learn in Haiti about the human spirit, the love for ones fellowman and the brilliance that is Haitian history. Take in everything. From the food and music to the language and dance. Haiti is an amazing place.

If you could do-over one thing, what would it be?

If I could do one thing over it would be to visit Haiti earlier. Before the earthquake turned the attention of the world to Haiti. I would have followed these words years before my trip:

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread - but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing - but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks - but homeless because of rejection.

Mother Teresa

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Jimmy Toussaint

Job Title
Executive Director
Interview with Jimmy Toussaint - Colline Foundation

What position do you hold at CF? What has been your career path so far?

Jimmy: I am the executive director of Colline Foundation. Prior to being the executive director of Colline Foundation I built a school in Haiti during my sophomore year of college in 2008. Ever since the earthquake in 2010, I have dedicated myself to running Colline Foundation's volunteer programs.

Did YOU study abroad? If so, where did you go and what inspired you to go?!

Jimmy: I never got the chance to study abroad because I always traveled back to Haiti to work at the school I built. So, I did teach abroad.

What does the future hold for CF - any new programs to share?

Jimmy: I am very excited about our Haiti International Clinical Apprenticeship Program (HICAP). It is the first time people outside of Colline Foundation were involved in structuring and molding a program we are facilitating. I got to work with some people at Yale University that previously participated in one or two of our past programs. I think HICAP offers a fulfilling and valuable experience to people interested in healthcare at a global level.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?

Jimmy: I think, because there is more exposure to international issues, more Americans are interested in learning abroad. Globalization has connected us all. Over the next 10 years, I believe more and more students will travel and study abroad.

Which study abroad destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

Jimmy: I think Haiti is very underrated. There is so much history. ecology and development economics someone can learn by researching in Haiti. I don't know what country is overrated and what may be overrated for me can be an excellent learning experience for someone else. Every program isn't "one size fits all". I do think we are providing a special program in Haiti and we are excited about showing the world that Haiti is the next best location to learn and research.