A group of Collège Louis-Riel students is anything but scared about an upcoming humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic to help build a family home.
However, organizers at the St. Boniface school are hoping individuals will be suitably spooked if they attend an upcoming fundraising social to support their mission.
The social will be held Sat., Oct. 27 beginning at 8 p.m. in the basement of Holy Family Church, located at 778 Archibald St. All community members, as well as friends and family of the students, are welcome.
Nine Grade 9 to 12 students will be among the contingent heading to a destitute, remote area in the San José de Ocoa province in the Dominican Republic for 15 days next January to help construct a new, hurricane-resistant house for a family of five to seven.
This will be the school’s fourth mission, which is organized in conjunction with the Association for the Betterment of San José de Ocoa (ADESJO), which was formed by Canadian minister Lou Quinn of Scarboro Missions, said Louis-Riel teacher and work experience co-ordinator Marie-Christine Dauriac, noting the party needs to raise $5,525 to build the house.
She hopes the Dominican-bound students — who are in the school’s alternative program, which focuses on work experience — will gain a new sense of perspective.
"This is something to distinguish the students in a very positive way," said Dauriac, who lives in Windsor Park.
"We get to live with the villagers, which is very important, as we get to live the culture. You get to put names to faces and get to know the community you’re helping."
The house’s foundations will be rebar, the floor cement, the walls cinder blocks and the roof corrugated iron, Dauriac said, noting the travel group is called Couer dans la main 2013.
Robert Stanners , the school’s vice-principal, added the trip will help "create a certain culture in the classroom and a certain sense of pride."
Student Kelsey Flockton is looking forward to building a piece of community.
"I get to help people who’ve lost their homes," said Flockton, 16, who lives in St. Vital. "It will be good to give the family something that not everyone can give — especially giving it right after Christmas."
Genevieve Plamondon, 17, will be following in the footsteps of her sister and is looking forward to breaking out of her comfort zone.
"Just to be able to help people is the main reason I’m involved. My sister went two years ago and she had a blast," said the St. Vital resident. "And the fact I’ve never left Manitoba and never been on a plane means I can cross it off my bucket list."
Plamondon said the social is intended for both youth and adults and Halloween dress is encouraged. A prize will be awarded for the best costume.
Tickets cost $10 each. For tickets, or to donate, call Dauriac at 204-799-8831. Anyone making a donation of more than $20 will be issued a tax receipt.