In addition to providing children in Haiti with backpacks and school supplies, we would also like to to implement a Community Outreach program for children in Port au Prince. A “test run” was done in September of 2013. We brought the The Rainbow Fish to children in two orphanages in PaP that we worked with in May. Thanks to a generous donation from one of the friends of Be The Hope: Haiti, we were inspired to do a story time/arts & crafts project with the children.
The book, which is in both English and French, was read by an awesome volunteer (Thanks again Brian!). The children were completely engaged with the story. After the story, each child was given the opportunity to make their own Rainbow Fish using a fish template on card stock, tissue paper and special sparkly paper “scales”, glitter glue and markers. The children had a wonderful time and were very creative! We hope to bring more of these projects to children, especially from Cite Soleil, in the coming months.
If you would like to help support these programs, you may do so in the following ways:
One of the contacts given to me by HC was Frantz Lafaille. Frantz volunteered at orphanages through HC for over a year before starting his own project, Future For The Kids. Frantz is focusing his efforts on 3 orphanages, 1 school, and the Cite Soleil Youth Center. He is currently helping 153 children ages 1-14 years old.
Cite Soleil is the poorest and most dangerous area in the Western Hemisphere and also one of the largest slums in the Northern Hemisphere. An estimated 150,000 of Cite Soleil’s residents are orphaned or abandoned children. Seventy percent of these children are school age, however they do not attend school. Half of the houses in Cite Soleil are made completely out of scavenged material and an estimated 60% of homes have no access to a latrine. Gang violence has plagued the area and after the earthquake in 2010, many escapees from the damaged prison returned to commit crimes.
It’s because of these harrowing statistics and Frantz’s commitment to the children of Cite Soleil that I am choosing to help them. My goal is to bring as much as I can for these 153 children on my trip to Haiti. Through my correspondence with Frantz, I have a list of needed items including clothes, shoes, and arts and school supplies I have used the powers of Facebook to message all of my mommy friends asking for donations of gently used clothes and shoes for boys and girls. I have created a Wish List on Amazon for chalk, chalkboard erasers, markers, pencils, etc. and I have partnered with a wonderful company to create a backpack with school supplies tailored to my needs. I am hopeful to launch my fundraising campaign by the end of February to raise the necessary funds to purchase 150 filled backpacks at an incredible price of $25.00 per backpack! I am currently trying to find the best way to get the backpacks from the U.S. to Haiti and through Customs. I did discuss the option of buying the backpacks and/or school supplies in Haiti (hoping to help bolster the economy) but I have learned that it will be much more expensive than the price I can get here. I may look into this a bit more once I am there, but for now my goal is to get the 150 filled backpacks to the kiddos now as well as clothing, shoes, toys, and art and craft supplies.
If you would like to learn more about Frantz and Future For The Kids, please check out his blog and Facebook page.