Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Espwa Gazette

The first article of the "Espwa Gazette" went out yesterday.

EDUplus will be sponsoring three young Espwa journalists to keep the world informed on the happenings in Haiti and Espwa through their perspective.

New articles go every Monday.

Be sure to stay informed!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Capturing Beauty

Having Sandey here this week has been such a positive experience for all. Sandey's photos have given us a voice.

Through her images, she has captured the beauty of Espwa- from the battered man who takes care of the horses, to the man who washes the pots that feed our children.

She has made each employee, volunteer, and child feel as though who they are and what they do matters.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words... to Espwa, Sandey's pictures are priceless.

Edy's Girls

A couple days ago, Sandey and I went to visit our dear friend Edy and his orphanage. Edy has used old shipping containers to build adorable bedrooms for his girls, a kitchenette area, a bathroom, and a storage depot. He has strategically placed the containers to form a circular shape with a gazebo in the center for the girls to eat and play. It is adorable.

The girls are so welcoming, and were so happy to see us. (It has been over six months since I have been there.) We had a good time. Unfortunately our trip was cut short due to rain, but we had enough time to do some model poses before we left! Thank you for the photos, Sandey!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Storm in Haiti

Tonight around 4:30 the clouds got dark, the wind started blowing, and my phone started beeping.

Digicel, the most popular telephone company in Haiti, sent out a message to all its clients.

"Port au Prince is in the middle of a cyclone. Don't stand under telephone polls. Don't stand under trees. The winds are strong. Don't go into homes that could fall over."

Shortly after the message came through, my phone started ringing. The wind kept coming and the rain fell sideways.

"Paige, make sure you are safe. Don't go into a building in case it falls over."

Nine months later, but the feelings are still raw.

I have been in hurricanes in Haiti in the past, and never once have I received a message from Digicel, or a telephone call from a friend reminding me to be in a secure location.

Haiti will come out of this stronger than before. Little by little positive changes will take place.

Lifeline Food Pick Up

Thanks to the generosity of Lifeline organization, we were able to take a morning trip (2 1/2 hrs each way) to Grand Goave to pick up three pallets of vitamin enriched chicken flavored rice. Through pure generosity we were given enough food to feed 1,100 children for two months, and have the opportunity to return for seconds!

Here are Sandey and Claudette sitting in the back of our empty school bus as we travel down the Haitian Highway.

One of Sandey's projects while she is here is to work with Enock, Kens, and SonSon (not pictured) on Journalism 101. They will be learning how to photograph, interview, and write articles for our EDUplus online blog, as well as the Pwoje Espwa SUD website. Here Kens and Enock are interviewing the director of the Lifeline program.

On our way home in a full school bus after a successful pick up.

Thank you, Sandey for the pictures!

Sandey Tenuto

The wonderful Sandey Tenuto is down visiting me and Pwoje Espwa for a week. She has been so good about updating her blog. Please check it out and make comments!!!

I will do my best to start updating mine again next week.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Eyes of the Future

These are the eyes of the future
That will create change.

It is our job to protect these eyes
Shield them
As long as we possibly can from
Hate, pain, loss, and suffering.

We cover them up
Hide them from struggle
Slowly removing the rose colored glasses
As they grow stronger

When these eyes are ready
We expose them to light
To dark
But not a moment too soon
Or sight will be lost.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pretty Little Girl

The Importance of Outreach

More and more, the need for public outreach in Haiti is being expressed, and rightfully so. The lack of medical, educational, and nutritional support is greatly lacking countrywide, and it seems the proclamation for outreach is not being heard.
I was lucky enough to witness the importance of outreach one Saturday while distributing Vita-Food to families living in and around Camp Perrin. Vita-Food is a vitamin-enriched rice that has been brought to us through USAID and Cross International.
On this day, we lugged 40 boxes of Vita-Food up to Camp Perrin, and I met families that were starving in every sense of the word. Papi (pictured right) is 83 years old and blind. Though his children are living, he has no family. He relies on the charity of his struggling neighbors to feed and care for him. He was grateful for the company we provided for a short time, and his neighbors vowed to share the 8 boxes of food we left for them.
Jeanne Perrin (pictured bottom right) is originally from Lamartiniere, but moved to Port au Prince with her family for a better chance at life. On January 12, while at the river washing her family’s clothing, her home collapsed killing her husband and four year old son. To this day, she has not been able to bury her husband. Now, Jeanne is back in Lamartiniere struggling to feed her son and herself. She complained of having stomach pains, stomach pains that are caused by not eating for four days. We left Jeanne five boxes. Five boxes were just not enough.
The final place we stopped was a small neighborhood hiding on the side of a mountain. We climbed up the red dirt path and came upon countless families- all hungry. The children pictured left, are hungry in their bellies as well as their minds. Though they are all school aged, none of them have ever attended school- their families cannot afford it. All live in straw houses, and not one child was wearing a pair of shoes. We were able to leave their families with close to 20 boxes, but it was not nearly enough.
Though our efforts were small, they were necessary. By having more of these outreach programs, more families will have to opportunity to be fed.