Richard Ireland’s life has been a life of service. At age 52, when he told his brother he was going into the Peace Corps, his brother’s reply was, “No surprise there.” He has served as advisor and Board member of the Right Use of Power, President of Columbia River Peace Corps Association, President of the Hakomi Therapy Association, and served on Board of Directors Hakomi Institute, all motivated by the desire to make life better for the people he knows. He has assisted countless people over the years as a therapist, teacher and mentor. His students at the Oregon School of massage have thrived with his support for pursuing their dreams.
Richard Ireland grew up in Southern Oregon, knowing little about the outside world. This changed while attending the University of Oregon Honors College in the late 60s. His desire to enter the Peace Corps was held off by life’s events until 1998, when he went to Haiti as a Peace Corps volunteer.
Leaving a practice of Massage and Body Centered Psychology, he turned his attention to the challenges of Haiti. While there he had the opportunity to be part of Haitian life and developed lasting relationships with several families. Given the ongoing conundrum of how best to serve Haiti, he decided upon retuning to the U.S. in 2001 to send some money to these families to spend on their children’s education. He asked a few friends to help, who have generously donated for the past 12 years.
Fully aware that competing needs (food, shelter etc.) might have overriden his request, he was delighted upon returning in 2011 to discover most of these children had gone to school, and that inspired him to continue working, so he established EFH (Education for Haiti). The EFH program continues education for students beyond High School as well.