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 Post subject: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:44 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUgF0ybh6F8

On January 21, Save the Children carried out a distribution that provided people in a makeshift camp in the neighborhood of Carrefour Feuilles, Port-au-Prince, with much-needed household items, hygiene supplies and clean drinking water. Colin Crowley, a member of Save the Childrens multimedia response team, conducted an interview with nine-year-old Andrise, outside her family's camp. Crowley translated her comments for the video which he also shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:38 pm 
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A Fierce Rain in Port-au-Prince


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJda4da_39c

Tanya Weinberg
February, 2010

It’s the middle of the night and outside a fierce rain has whipped up in Port au Prince. It’s coming in thunderous waves, drumming across the roof of Save the Children’s office. It gives me a chill, although I’m warm, dry, and safe inside. I’m thinking how none of that is the case for many of the students and teachers I met at the Bazilo community school earlier today in the hardhit neighborhood of Carrefour Feuille.

Right now, about 50 children and adults must be trying to sleep on the gravelly clearing up a steep hillside from the schoolhouse. They have lost their homes, and some their parents, and now they have only a few small tarps to cover them from this unwelcome storm.

Downhill below their camp, the earthquake-shaken school still stands, but nobody sleeps there or enters for classes. The Ministry of Education has not yet evaluated if the building is safe for use. Next week, said Haitian officials in a meeting our education staff attended today. Save the Children will provide one of the teams of expert inspectors to be sent to schools across the city.

I really hope the Bazilo school is deemed safe and the children can come inside from night rains and harsh daytime sun as they try so hard to learn. It was inspiring this morning to see half a dozen packed classes of attentive kids crammed into a modest clearing next to the school. Teachers led the smallest children in song and then lessons on counting. Just on the other side of a chalkboard propped up from the dirt, older children practiced multiplication out loud.

Nobody complained about anything. Occasionally some of the youngest children would cry for no easily apparent reason. But it wasn’t hard to imagine how many reasons there could be.

The school principal, an amazing woman named Marcelin Mireille, explained how Bazilo has become much more than a school. It’s a haven for children who have endured and lost much, but can find routine and nurturing support in the school’s safe orbit—even if there’s little protection from the rain.

Save the Children supported the Bazilo school before the earthquake through the “Rewrite the Future” campaign to improve education for children in conflict-affected areas. Now the school and students need help more than ever. Today we brought some learning materials, but it was soon obvious that the greatest immediate need is shelter—especially as the rainy season approaches. We’ll also provide training to the teachers on using new materials, supporting the children’s emotional and social needs, and on urgent issues of disaster risk reduction.

Here’s some video I shot at the school. I visited the school with Chloe O’Gara, Save the Children’s Associate Vice President for Education, and I think she sums up really well what Madame Mireille and her staff have achieved and how important it is for the kids.

In this video, Bourdeau Immacula, 22, shows where she and others are camping near a steep embankment above the school. With her is her nephew Peterson, 3. He lost both his parents in the earthquake. Bourdeau enrolled him at Bazilo so he could have some normal childhood experiences amidst the upheaval in their lives, and the school is now their home, too. She says the 50 people who squeeze into the area at nights are “like a family” now.

I hope they are keeping dry.



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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:47 pm 
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This is so sad. Millions and millions are pouring in through the well-established charity organizations. But almost all of that is going to fund the big ticket items needed to get the country back on its feet. But who, in all of this is focusing on helping the poor children trying to go to school and find shelter where they can stay dry????? I know those who channel the big donations are desperately needed; but also needed are those who will move in and help the most vulnerable in Haiti. Thanks for finding this charity and I hope our modest combined totals will truly make a difference for the most needy here.



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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 12:12 pm 
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SD you stated the case with respect to the children of Haiti, very eloquently and I thank you for your comments. I also want to thank the Zone for choosing Save the Children's Haitian relief efforts for this year's Birthday Project. :hatsoff:

The people of Haiti have endured a great deal of hardship, throughout much of the history of their nation; yet they have an indomitable spirit and generosity that is remarkable and I'm so glad that our worldwide community of JD fans will be helping them, in some small way, to move forward beyond this tragedy. :worldhug:

Live in Depp
Boo



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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 10:47 am 
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"I feel safe here and this is the only place I can play"

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Each child-friendly space established by Save the Children is set up with a kit of materials — which cost $368 for the organization to assemble. Each kit provides up to 100 children with hours of play that helps them build their resiliency, recover from the disaster and allay their stress.

Micheka's story

Eleven-year-old Micheka proudly writes her name on a pad of paper when we ask her to spell it for us.

We met her at one of Save the Children’s child-friendly spaces that was set up in Port-au-Prince shortly after the earthquake. These programs provide Micheka and thousands of other children in affected communities a place to play, interact with their peers and just be children for a while, helping them recover from the devastating earthquake that ravaged Haiti on January 12 and the frequent aftershocks that have followed.

The threats and fears of children in the disaster zone remain undiminished.

Micheka and her family had to flee their home with little but the clothes on their backs. They now live in a tent on the grounds of the Saint Louis Gonzague secondary school. When the earthquake struck, Micheka was at school and her immediate thought was for her family.

“I was afraid that everyone in my house had died so I ran home as fast as I could. No one died but something fell on my little cousin and she had to have her arm amputated,” she says.

Micheka lives with 13 people in one tent. She says it is hard to sleep at night as there is little space and it is very warm. She told us that life now was harder than before the earthquake.

“My house was destroyed in the earthquake. A wall has collapsed so we came to live here,” she says. “A few days ago we went back to visit our house. I was shocked, and I found none of my toys. I really want a baby doll to play with.”

Port-au-Prince is experiencing frequent aftershocks, a reminder that danger is still a reality. Micheka says that every time an aftershock occurs she feels like she will be “swallowed up by the ground.”

But at this child-friendly space set up by Save the Children, Micheka and hundreds of other children affected by the earthquake have a chance to forget their fears. Here they have a supervised place to play where they can talk about their feelings and feel protected and secure.

“I like to come here to play and joke around with the other kids. I feel safe here and this is the only place I can play,” she says.

Micheka used to go to school, but she is waiting to see if her school will reopen on March 1. When we asked her what she missed about school she told us:

“I love to learn and one day I would like to be a doctor.”

Micheka also introduced us to her mother and showed us where she lived. Her tent is one of thousands of others crammed into a small space. There is no running water and stagnant water has collected in a shallow ditch nearby. At one point Micheka spontaneously knelt down and started praying. When we asked her why, she said:

“I feel lucky here because some people don’t even have a tent to sleep in. I am praying for those people who don’t have a tent, and I hope the country will be safe again and that people will be happy and safe.”


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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:36 pm 
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"I want you to build houses because I don’t want to see people without a home"

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Thanks to Save the Children, classes have begun again for the children of Cejecodema School in Martissant, Port-au-Prince.

The land was cleared of rubble through our cash for work activities. After that, Save the Children provided classroom tents and supplies so that more than 130 children have a safe place to learn. This is the first temporary school we set up after the earthquake. For many of the children – like 4-year-old Leka – this is the first time they have had an opportunity to attend school.
Leka's story

For the school principal, Madame Maxilene Leonard, this day hasn’t come soon enough. She says she feels relieved to finally have a safe place to teach her students.

For a few children here, like children all over the world, first day at school was a little overwhelming – there were some tears. But not Leka – she was proud and happy to be here. She sings to us in a shy and sweet voice. It’s a happy children’s song and it’s clear that she enjoys expressing herself and participating in other structured play activities at this school.

Leka also wants to speak about her fears. Though she is quite young, she is wrestling with feelings that seem beyond her young years. “I am not afraid of dying” she says. “Some people cried when they saw people die. I cried when some of my friends died but I feel safe here now. I don’t want to see any houses fall anymore. I am excited to learn my alphabet and to go to school.”

For these children who survived the January 12 earthquake, but whose homes and schools were damaged, the large outdoor tents give them a place to continue their education, play and interact with each other in a safe environment. In the areas hardest hit by the earthquake, Save the Children is providing these safe, temporary classrooms to help vulnerable children recover from the disaster. The agency plans to set up 300 temporary classrooms over the coming weeks. Save the Children will also repair some less damaged structures.

Madame Maxilene Leonard, the school principal, says she expects attendance to increase to 400 very soon. “Yesterday we received these tents from Save the Children. Our school was destroyed by the earthquake and it was unsafe to return to it. We feel much safer now that we can be outside. We still need supplies: we need chairs and a blackboard and we need water and toilets. We find that most of the children here are needy, we try to give them some comfort and care. I think that Save the Children is really helping to give them this comfort by providing us this space and this tent.” Soon, Save the Children will also provide safe drinking water and latrines to the school.

In a country where only 51 percent of children attended school before the earthquake and where, on average, children only complete four years of schooling, this disaster has compounded already daunting challenges in education. To ensure that children continue to have access to education, Save the Children will work with both government schools and with private and community schools.

Before we left Cejecodema School, we asked Leka how we can do more for children like her. She said: “I want you to build houses because I don’t want to see people without a home. We can now stay dry because we have a plastic sheet. I would also be glad if you could buy me a car or a motorcycle!”




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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:51 pm 
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“I want to learn how to fix things"

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Classes have begun again for the children living in this poor community in Martissant, Port-au-Prince, thanks to the first temporary school set up by Save the Children after the eartquake.
Jimmy's story

At Cejecodema school, Jimmy Rifuse, 10, clutches his new notebook and pencils close to his chest. Today is the first day he has returned to school since the earthquake on January 12th turned his life upside down.

“I like to study and I want to learn”, says Jimmy. “My school fell in the quake but I don’t want to go back to it because I am afraid to have concrete over my head. I like this space because it is outside. I feel safe here.”

In Martissant, where homes and buildings were destroyed by the January 12 earthquake, the large tents ensure that children can continue their education and play and interact with each other in a safe environment.

In areas hit hard by the earthquake, Save the Children is providing these safe, temporary classrooms to help vulnerable children recover from the disaster. The agency plans to set up 300 temporary classrooms over the coming weeks, which would include repairing some less damaged structures.

In a country where only 51 percent of children attended school before the earthquake and where, on average, children only complete four years of schooling, this disaster has compounded already daunting challenges in education. To ensure that children continue to have access to education, Save the Children will work with both government schools and with private and community schools.

At the Martissant school, Jimmy says he will study hard to be a mechanic.

“I want to learn how to fix things so I can be helpful to my family and the community.”




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 Post subject: Re: Birthday Project 2010 ~ Voices from Haiti
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:31 pm 
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An Orphaned Boy Finds a New Home at a Haitian Community School

Laurent Duvillier
Save the Children manager, media and communications
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
March 2, 2010

3-year-old Joseph was buried in debris when his aunt, Immalula Bordeau, age 22, rescued him alive. He lost both parents in the earthquake.

“Every time Joseph hears a helicopter, he gets scared,” said Immalula. “It reminds him the sound of the earthquake.”

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Today, Joseph is learning and playing with other children in a community school supported by Save the Children. He is pictured at left, learning at school on Feb. 17, 2010. (Photo credit: Louise Dyring)

Perched high on the hills above Port-au-Prince, the Bazilo Community School stands amid the devastated neighborhood of Carrefour-Feuille. The Haitian Ministry of Education has yet to assess if the building is safe.

In the meantime, classes continue on this steep slope under the open sky.

Every inch of flat space is used to work on the alphabet, review multiplication tables or practice writing. No walls separate the classes, which serve 120 children between the ages of 3 and 12.

Despite the shortages, the teachers and children look happy to be back on the learning track again.

Parents have brought their children en masse to Bazilo school. And not simply for an education.


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Bazilo has become a 24/7 community-based care center, an invaluable resource for kids like Joseph. (Pictured at left, Joseph playing with a friend at Bazilo. Feb 17, 2010. Photo credit: Louise Dyring)

“As long as he can play with other kids, Joseph is happy. He makes a lot of friends at school,” said Immalula, who has been caring for him. “It is good to start education as early as possible. Other schools are too far or too expensive. We simply cannot afford it.”

Every night, Immalula and Joseph — and about 50 others — cram themselves in a flimsy collective tent that rests on a tiny plateau on the edge of the cliff above the school.

“It is not easy but now we know each other. We have become like a big family,” says Immalula.

Save the Children has distributed educational materials (including pencils, notebooks, stationery supplies and toys) and tarps to the school. Prior to the earthquake, the school was supported by the agency’s “Rewrite the Future” campaign.

Teachers will receive additional training in responding to children’s emotional and social needs and helping mitigate future disaster risks.

Save the Children is also facilitating the Ministry of Education’s efforts to inspect and certify the remaining schools in the affected areas of Port-au-Prince.




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