Knoxville woman's personal mission is to help people in Haiti

Knoxville woman's personal mission is to help people in Haiti

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Mire is interning this summer at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a law firm in Port-au-Prince. Mire is interning this summer at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a law firm in Port-au-Prince.
"I intend to come back and follow through with the work that the Haiti Outreach Program has started, and continue to work with organizations like the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti," said Mire. "I intend to come back and follow through with the work that the Haiti Outreach Program has started, and continue to work with organizations like the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti," said Mire.
Mire's parents, who still live in Knoxville, are very proud of their daughter. Mire's parents, who still live in Knoxville, are very proud of their daughter.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (WATE) - Driving around Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, sometimes feels like chaos. It would be hard to imagine anyone wanting to come and live here.

That is not the case for a young woman from Knoxville who is currently calling Haiti her home.

"Living in Haiti is challenging," said Knoxville native Sophia Mire. "It's extremely hot, but it's also very rewarding. The people here are so gracious, very welcoming. I feel totally safe."

In 2004 at age 14, Sophia Mire came to Haiti for the first time with Sacred Heart's Haiti Outreach Program.

Mire graduated from Knoxville Catholic High School, and is now a law student at Loyola University in New Orleans.

She is interning this summer at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a law firm in Port-au-Prince.

"This summer I'm working on forced housing evictions," said Mire. "One of the main problems recently has been IVP camp dwellers who have been forcefully and violently evicted from their tents by reported land owners, so we are working to find alternative housing for them and bring those perpetrators to justice."

They are also working on helping rape victims. Many times their cases are never prosecuted.

Mire says there is a reason she keeps coming back to Haiti.

"I think it makes me more appreciative for the things I have been blessed with," said Mire, "Certainly a calling towards working with these people in the long term. I can't feel my life without Haiti. Haiti feels a void. There is no really other way to put it."

Mire's parents, who still live in Knoxville, are very proud of their daughter.

"I love what she's doing there," said Mire's father Dr. Dean Mire. "I'm appreciative of what she's doing there. I'm very excited about her work with the people of Haiti."

"You just always try to give each child, we have four children, you expose them to many different things and hope they will find their passion, and follow that route," said Mire's mother Cindy Mire. "She did develop that early on."

"I couldn't ask for more supportive parents," said Mire. "They have been here numerous times as well and they share in my passion for Haiti."

Mire says she knows this will not be her last time to Haiti.

"I intend to come back and follow through with the work that the Haiti Outreach Program has started, and continue to work with organizations like the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti," said Mire. "The work is endless and I look forward to being here long term."

Mire's internship will end in August.

Her father is a family doctor in Knoxville, and has headed up several medical trips to Haiti with the Haiti Outreach Program.

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