WWB/SSF Haiti 2013

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Haiti 2013 Service Report: Submitted by Mr. Dave Smith May 26th 2013

Earlier in 2013 Mr. Dave Smith working as a volunteer with the non profit Samaritans purse had opportunity to share his love for welding with other welders in Haiti.  In his own words Dave shares some of his experience. 

Note this article was contributed by David J. Smith:

He is a journeyman millwright who worked 25 yrs. at the General Motors Truck and Bus plant in Fort Wayne, IN. He retired in 2009. Along with his travels he teaches part time at Ivy Tech Community College. He is a member of the American Welding Society Section 191 District 7. He enjoys volunteering time in various ways but whenever overseas tries to hold welding clinics as a “Welder Without Borders”.


WWB On The Road Again by Mr. Dave Smith


"The time has come again for Welders Without Borders to have clinics in places where the need is felt and opportunity avails itself. In the fall of 2012 I emailed our founder Prof. Colton about my opportunity to work near the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake that devastated much of the area near Port au Prince Haiti. I had the extreme blessing to work on a new orphanage being constructed and with that I felt there may be an opportunity welding clinics there. I was able tentatively schedule two clinics in Leogane and three more in another town (Les Cayes) in southwest Haiti. At that point Prof. Colton sent out a mass emailing to our WWB/SSF’s supporters for assistance. Angela Alazaro of Sol y Sol in Toledo, Spain responded in a VERY tangible way. Through her efforts, a pallet of supplies was sent to Haiti to help facilitate the clinics. Included were three Lincoln “Handy Stick”® 130 inverter welders, hoods, gloves, safety glasses, chipping hammers, brushes, and several boxes of electrodes. These helped us to either introduce or upgrade people in welding skills and knowledge. The clinics were received so well the candidates had to be handpicked because only so many slots were open for attending these events. Time was spent in a lecture setting to first cover the safety aspects and precautions associated with welding and then two other main topics were discussed. They dealt with the types of welding current, the meaning of the numbers found on the electrodes and the explanation of the AWS numbering system associated with each digit. The lab portion of each clinic was spent demonstrating proper electrode angle and arc gap and best ergonomic position so the body is relaxed while executing a weld. As we met in subsequent sessions the students practiced on maintaining proper weld speed, arc gap, and travel angle. I saw great improvement in just a few sessions and only wish I could have stayed longer. I encouraged them to continue welding any time they could get their hands on a stinger. Fortunately I was able to leave the inverters and non-consumable supplies in a storage area of a shop where we held our three clinics. I believe I will return Haiti to facilitate more clinics in the future. It’s organizations like WWB/SSF and individuals like Angela who helped “move” welding forward in less developed countries. I want to challenge and encourage all those who weld or are involved in joining metals to travel and invest some time to impart knowledge to the many people who desperately want to learn or improve their welding skills.  You might find your investment to train may have helped in seemingly unrelated ways. You might train someone who will use their weld training to make a crucial well repair on a well drilling rig thus allowing the rig to complete a well installation and in turn save lives through the clean water it provides. We can ALL make a difference but only if we are willing to be used. Take the challenge be a Welder Without Borders. "


P2P2P (Point 2 Point 2 Point):

Just a note to add that each of us in our own way connect with others who want to be part of the service work represented by Welders Without Borders which was founded in 2000 by Professor Samuel Colton.  In the fall of 2012 Professor Colton was able to travel to Spain and participate in an education tour made possible by members of the American Welding Society San Diego Section, Miller Electric Company and Arizona Western College in Yuma Arizona where Professor Colton works.  


While in Spain  Professor Colton presented the unique education model he champions at the Arizona Western College Institute of Welding Technology at the CESOL international welding conference in Madrid.  With support from his good friend Mr. Charles Vega Schmidt Professor Colton was able to visit a number of schools, manufactures and also participate in a very special Lincoln Electric open house.  During the CESOL conference and at the Lincoln Electric open house Professor Colton met Angela Alazaro a very talented welding engineer, welding industry executive working for the top welding distributor in Spain;Sol y Sol headquartered in Toledo.  Professor Colton's work and contact with Angela lead to her being instrumental in supporting Mr. David Smiths volunteer work to bring welding education to the welders he had contact with in Haiti.  You see how important each of us can be in the chain that unites us in our efforts to make the world a better place one welder at a time.

Haiti - Welders Without Boders Image Below: Haiti - Samaritanís Purse clinic in Leogane. Participating in the training workshop are welders for this picture left to right: Fredrick Aristil, David J. Smith, Jeune Jaen Gerald, Anel Aristil, Henry Fils, and Ducas Andre.