SYRACUSE , NY (WSYR-TV) – Several Syracuse University students managed to stay safe when they traveled to Haiti this past week as Tropical Storm Emily passed by.
Seven students and four staff members were in Port-au-Prince to install a Wi-Fi system for the University of Haiti.
They hope to build an Internet connection for all eleven campuses. But the storm set the crew back a couple of days. While staff continued to work, students were told to stay in their hotel while the storm skirted an already fragile nation. Strong winds threatened to topple thousands of tents that locals have been living in since last year's earthquake.
Graduate student Kshitij Mahant says, "The infrastructure there is really nothing. They have just two or three computers, which were connected to the internet, per campus, compared to our university's thousands of computers."
Some students are inspired enough to return someday and finish the work they started.
Nina Morrissey, who lives in Syracuse says, "I can't wait to get back there, to do as much as I can to help them. It's definitely a wonderful experience and you feel really good helping other people."
"They have the confidence to build the city back, said Shivesh Ganotra, a Telecommunications and Network Management student at SU. “ If they're given enough funding and if people support them with charity, I'm pretty sure that they'll be back on their feet."
The University is beginning fundraising efforts for future trips to Haiti. For more information, contact the Liaison for the Haiti Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.