Eli Brooks was solely supposed to remain in Haiti for a number of weeks. Like many school college students, the mechanical engineering senior’s unique plans for the summer time of 2020 have been scrapped as a result of pandemic. He had a chance to volunteer at Have Faith Haiti Mission and Orphanage in Port-au-Prince for 4 weeks. As his month in Haiti was coming to a detailed, Brooks had a change of coronary heart because of a persuasive toddler.
“Individuals have been asking me to remain, and it’s fairly onerous to say no to a three-year outdated saying ‘Mr. Eli, are you able to keep right here and educate me?’” recollects Brooks. He determined to take a go away of absence from MIT through the fall 2020 semester and stayed in Haiti for 5 extra months.
The six months Brooks spent in Haiti can be transformative for each him and the kids he labored with.
For almost the whole thing of his time at Have Religion Haiti, Brooks remained on the quarter acre plot of land. His bed room was in a small constructing in the course of the playground. The tiny room had no operating water or air con, however Brooks was amazed by how shortly the comforts he took with no consideration again house didn’t appear to matter.
“Inside a number of days I noticed that whereas that is the toughest place I’ll ever reside, it is also the happiest I’ve ever been,” he provides.
When Brooks arrived on the orphanage, college students had been remoted for six months as a consequence of Covid-19. With so many immunocompromised youngsters, there have been few guests – making Brooks’ arrival all of the extra thrilling.
At first, his position was much like a camp counselor. Within the morning, he would arrange impediment programs for the youngsters and referee water balloon tosses. Throughout the afternoon, he’d educate youthful youngsters find out how to learn and focus on books with the older youngsters. It was this expertise educating that ignited a spark in Brooks.
“As soon as I began educating children find out how to learn, I fell in love with it. That’s after I determined to tackle extra of a educating position, and I believe that was the best resolution I’ve made, possibly ever,” he recollects.
Replicating MIT’s Toy Product Design course
After deciding to remain to show for 5 months, Brooks drew upon his experiences in mechanical engineering courses at MIT. He noticed a chance to duplicate class 2.00b (Toy Product Design), when educating center faculty and highschool college students. Supplied to MIT’s first-year college students every spring, the category introduces college students to product design and the product growth course of. By the tip of the semester, college students current a working prototype of a toy.
The primary half of the semester, Brooks taught college students primary, hands-on engineering expertise. He utilized a few of the slides developed by Professor David Wallace and Lecturer Joshua Ramos for the category.
“It was wonderful to clarify what engineering was to those children and to see that they fell in love with it,” says Brooks.
For the second half of the semester, college students pitched toy product concepts. Very like in 2.00b, college students would begin with dozens of concepts, sketch out the ideas, and slim it right down to the highest three. They then constructed prototypes for the youthful youngsters on the orphanage to check out.
Whereas MIT college students in 2.00b have entry to equipment, electronics, and varied supplies on campus, Brooks needed to make the category work with cardboard, paper, and glue sticks. These restricted sources didn’t stifle college students’ creativity.
Brooks was impressed by the prototypes college students developed by the tip of the semester. Initiatives included a “Reside Motion FIFA” soccer recreation and “Mad Ball,” which resembled a typical pinball recreation. The video games have been so fashionable, the youthful youngsters on the orphanage performed them throughout Brooks’ going away occasion.
How one can reside life a greater manner
As his time in Haiti got here to a detailed final winter, Brooks mirrored on how life-altering the expertise was. When he first arrived in Port-au-Prince, he was scuffling with what he wished to do along with his life and grappling along with his personal psychological well being and happiness.
Seeing how joyful the kids at Have Religion Haiti have been with so few materials items or the comforts he had grown accustomed to gave Brooks an schooling in happiness.
“I believe going there taught me lots about find out how to be joyful and find out how to take care of psychological well being,” he says. “These children don’t have anything and so they have been happier than I used to be. I actually realized simply find out how to reside life a greater manner.”
As he enters in remaining yr at MIT, Brooks is now exploring profession paths in educating. He not too long ago utilized to graduate faculty packages for a grasp’s in schooling with a specialization in educating within the interior metropolis.
Wherever his profession takes him, Brooks is aware of he’ll discover a path again to Haiti sometime.
“There isn’t any query I’ll return to go to, hopefully sometime quickly. These folks turned my family and friends for six months, and the affect that they had on my life can’t be overstated,” he provides.