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I'm Nittai Malchin, a senior at Palo Alto High School in CA and the founder of One Love Advocates. Our mission is to do whatever possible to improve access to education in communities that are struggling with destructive or endemic problems. My immediate focus is helping kids in Haiti gain access to educational opportunities. I recently traveled to Haiti, and I will be documenting my trip on this site. There are 4 sections (see navigation above) to my mini site: (1) my blog where i document my activities, impressions and thoughts from Haiti (2) About One Love where you can read more about the initiative (3) Support One Love where you can learn how to get involved, donate or help (4) contact info. And on the right sidebar you will find more info such as links to other sites, feeds, photos, videos, and ways to contact me or share One Love with others. Also, check out the cool toolbar on the bottom of your screen to see our videos, photos, and Facebook page, for translations, and more. Thank you for visiting and feel free to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good Insights

Hello,

In the last few days I've found myself busy (in addition to school - lots of tests before spring break unfortunately =)) collecting funds so that I can get to Haiti with a nice amount of money and make a difference. Things are going better than expected and I am amazed to learn how generous people are. I'll have more to say about that later as we use the funds in Haiti for good causes.

Some of the insights and tips that I have gotten from people that I approached these last few days in the context of One Love has been inspiring and meaningful. As you can imagine, Haiti is all new to me, and there is a lot that I still have to learn. Those two people stood out in particular with their insights:

Neerja Raman, a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford, sent me the message to be open to anything while in Haiti, and use the time to listen, observe and find my real passion. She suggested that I maybe then narrow down my involvement to tangible projects in the months and years to come. Neerja also suggested that I will not only benefit from seeing how others' lives can be different form mine, but also learn from them... It's a 2-way street: you give and you get...

Cynthia Hatfield used to work with my Dad, but has since then spent years in humanitarian assistance in various parts of the world most of us never go to (Afghanistan, the West Bank...). Cynthia was exceptionally insightful: She suggested that I may, at times, feel as if the suffering around me is too great and progress is too slow. Her message to me, however, was to remember that my greatest gift to the Haitians will be to show that someone cares for them - that even the most humble actions such as shaking the hands of someone who has lost their dignity, playing soccer with street children (which I am planning to do - I have a few soccer balls ready to be packed to bring along with me on my trip), making conversation and giving smiles readily are what truly make the greatest difference.

It's reassuring to know that others have experienced what I am about to experience, and their advice is helping and calming.

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