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SFH History

Founding Students for Haiti

sfh history 1SFH and President Harker

The first Students for Haiti chapter was founded by Matt Watters in the summer of 2009. Having previously accompanied a medical mission and worked in Haiti, Watters was determined to create a strong student organization at the University of Delaware that would advocate and fundraise for healthcare projects in Haiti.

matt watters medical missionUnited Students for Haiti video 2KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

“I first became interested in Haiti after accompanying a medical mission to Haiti in the spring of 2002. I returned to Haiti to work at St. Boniface Hospital for five weeks in the summer of 2009. As an EMT, I worked in the ER and Delivery room. I found the experience to be many things, though above all, I felt frustrated and helpless. The lack of healthcare was appalling. I witnessed many infant fatalities that would not have occurred here in the States or, for that matter, on the other side of the island in the Dominican Republic.”

-Matt Watters, Founder & Chairman, Students for Haiti, Inc. (2009)


After Watters shared his experiences and his vision for Students for Haiti with university faculty, students, and staff, many expressed interest in becoming involved in his organization. By the end of the fall term, Students for Haiti had gained significant momentum and had close to fifty active members.


Matt speaking with crowds


“To further publicize and gain support for the cause, I founded Students For Haiti and applied to be a registered student organization. Close to 3000 emails later and a frozen email account, I had 50 members. In an effort to gain further support, I gave over 20 presentations to fraternities, sororities and other student organizations. By co-sponsoring events, I not only increased the events’ participation, but it also enabled me to gain multi-organizational funding from the university.”

-Matt Watters, Founder & Chairman, Students for Haiti, Inc. (2009)


villa clinic       villa clinic 3


With his determination, charisma and enthusiasm, Watters continued to motivate students to fundraise, fundraise, fundraise. As a direct result, Students for Haiti at the University of Delaware was able to raise over $70,000 for the reconstruction of a health clinic within two years’ time.