AFF Team Delivers First Creative Camp in Haiti

August 1st, 2017 Posted by AFF Team

24 teachers, 150 kids, 8 volunteers, 5 interpreters, 98 degrees… Creativity was made for weeks like this!

In July, a team of eight volunteers with the American Friendship Foundation traveled down to Haiti to work with teachers on strategies to integrate creativity into the classroom. The team included Jeff Clark, Terry Clark, McKenzie Clark, Erica Stanislawski, Kenny Askew, Julia Smith, Rose Neese, and Kris Neese.

 

Teacher Workshop

The program started with a two-day workshop for Haitian teachers.  Twenty one teachers from J Nissi School and Institution Mixte Frère Silar, along with three future teachers from the HELP organization in Port-au-Prince, shared ideas around critical thinking, brainstorming, creativity, and the arts.

In Haiti, as in many other nations, the educational system is focused on rote memorization. When teachers can help their students to solve problems in creative ways and to think outside the box, they are planting seeds that will help this next generation of leaders to tackle larger issues like the environment, politics, and social justice.

Teachers are the conduit to get students thinking in new ways.

At the center of the training were a series of creative challenges hosted on www.kreyatif.org that provided the 24 teachers with a practical set of exercises (in Haitian Creole) to leverage in their classrooms.

Teachers were treated to an award ceremony at the end of the event where they received a certificate of completion for completing the training.

Creative Camp

Following our professional development workshop, it was time to bring in 150 kids for a two-day “Creative Camp” and let our Haitian teachers test out their new skills!

Creative Camp was fun summer opportunity for the kids living onsite at the Ororaedh Orphanage alongside students who attend J Nissi School in the extremely impoverished Cité Soleil area.

It was amazing to watch how quickly the entire group adapted to the concepts around critical thinking.  The teachers taught with authority and confidence, and you could see the students’ minds firing up and having fun.

The approach on this Creative Camp was that our team of AFF volunteers took a backseat during the event. Haitian teachers were the star of the show!

Next Steps

The week was amazing, but there is still work to be done. The team that organized the teacher workshop and Creative Camp is looking for ways to build a consistent delivery mechanism around these ideas.

It is a simple and obvious philosophy… Haitians are going to find the answers to Haiti’s issues. Investing in teachers and students, specifically in their ability to tackle tough problems and work as a team, is a great partnership opportunity for us.

Thank you to all of the people who provided encouragement and financial sponsorship for this project!

Sharing Stories of Haiti

July 3rd, 2017 Posted by AFF Team

For those of you who have joined us on a trip to Haiti, you know that it can be quite difficult to explain what life is like on this distant Caribbean Island. Sharing your passion for partnering with Haitians on projects to better their community can be quite difficult!

This fourth of July weekend, volunteers from the American Friendship Foundation are testing out a new concept on Lopez Island to raise awareness and funds for the Nissi School in Haiti.

Not on Lopez Island? You can still support the school by clicking here.

Beer and Wine Garden

The concept being tested is a beer and wine garden on Lopez Island. AFF volunteers Jeff Clark, Terry Clark, and Hubermann Alcean are spending the weekend hosting a community event where visitors to the island can purchase beer, wine, brats, and snacks. All proceeds from the event will go towards a school in Haiti that was founded by the Clarks in 2011.

All sorts of visitors have been stopping by to enjoy a refreshing beverage and learn more about the school in Haiti.

Learn About Haiti

In this picture you can see AFF all-star Hubermann Alcean and his daughter talking to guests about life in Haiti. Hubermann met Jeff Clark in 2010 while providing medical relief for the earthquake in Haiti. Since then he has helped to lead several of the service trips to Haiti. Hubermann now lives in Bothell and works at Evergreen Hospital.

Nissi School

The Nissi School in Cité Soleil opened in October 2011 providing education and hope for the children and families in the area. Cité Soleil is described as one of the poorest communities in the Western Hemisphere, so education is desperately needed to provide the kids with a good bearing in life.

The school is fully funded by donations from the American Friendship Foundation.  The financial support provided through donations to AFF helps pay teachers, provide new uniforms each year, purchase books, supplies, and funds a school lunch program.  Donations to the project are definitely needed, your generous support is appreciated.

Dreams of Being a Doctor

March 12th, 2017 Posted by AFF Team

ChrislandeMeet Chrislande, a student at J Nissi School in Cité Soleil, Haiti.

Our local lead in Haiti, Jacque Jackson, had an opportunity to interview Chrislande during a recent visit to the school.

  • Chrislande is in the 5th grade at J Nissi School.
  • Her favorite subject is science, in particular the environment. She likes to think about different ways that she can prevent pollution and protect the earth.
  • One day, Chrislande dreams of being a doctor. Where she lives in Cité Soleil there is a lack of medical support. As a doctor, she could support the people who need help in her community.
  • She likes to talk to her friends about the importance of school. She encourages them to study because with an education they can do good things in their future.

We respect Chrislande and are proud to be working with our partners in Haiti and supporters in the United States to develop a strong school in Cité Soleil.

Interview with Dr. Bordes

February 7th, 2017 Posted by AFF Team

Meet Dr. Bordes, an OB/GYN who manages a medical clinic for the community of Canaan, Haiti. Dr. Bordes started his work here following the 2010 earthquake when hundreds of thousands of people were sent to this “temporary” camp outside of Port-au-Prince. Six years later, Canaan has developed into it’s own city and is having it’s medical needs met thanks to the service of Dr. Bordes.

In this interview, AFF volunteer Hubermann Alcean had a chance to ask Dr. Bordes about his vision for the clinic and the medical needs that are going unmet within the city of Canaan.

Dr. Bordes shares his growth plans for the Canaan medical clinic including:

  • Building more advanced maternity services including a delivery room, pre-op and post-op space, and postpartum care.
  • Offering counseling services by a professional psychologist for victims of sexual assault.
  • Expanded emergency care services. Many of the residents of Canaan can’t get transportation to other hospitals or are turned away because they can’t afford the care.
  • Round-the-clock care for Canaan to save more lives!.

To all of the American doctors and nurses who have traveled with us to Haiti, you know Dr. Bordes and the extraordinary work he pours into the city of Canaan. We are proud to be partnering with him to support his vision for better medical services in this burgeoning community.


Raw Video Transcript in English

(Thank you, Hubermann Alcean)

The picture I have for this community.

So, we need a clinic or hospital that can see different types of people.

So now we have general consultation for patients who have colds and fevers. And right now we do c-sections we do deliveries now.

And now we need a space that can provide different services based on the type of patients and people that we are seeing.

For example, we would like to have maternity service.

Including patients who have preeclampsia.

Delivery room.

A room for postpartum or pre-op.

Post-op for after surgery or after operation.

And he would like to have a space also to see children.

And he would like to see infants, like little babies.

And let’s say if someone comes and has a c-section, after that if there is an issue with the baby we need to be able to ask about the baby and have a place for the baby to stay for the night for follow up.

And that’s for maternity.

Now we see all cases pretty much.

And we would like to offer a service based on the people’s culture and people’s familiarity of cultural differences if you want to call it that way.

And because we have a psychologist on board we started seeing a lot of patients that came here for sexual assault because it’s a big community and it’s a lot of people who live here and so many different types of people and we would like to have service where if someone was to be sexually assaulted and they need assistance and after being seen medically they have a psychologist that can come and counsel them and give them advice on how to move forward.

And even though we have a public hospital just right around the corner doesn’t necessarily mean that this hospital can provide all care for everybody. And if there is a lack of equipment and services, let’s say someone comes in from a car accident and they’re not allowed to take care of them because a lack of resources and sometimes that person might die trying to get somewhere else to get better care.

And that’s why I want to say we need an emergency service just to be able to see someone right away who has been in a car accident or something big happened and save some lives.

And we can say that those type of services are very important for this community and the fact that most people who live in this community don’t have enough money to afford anything else that would be awesome to have that kind of possibility for them.

And just think of someone gets in a car accident at 1 o’clock in the morning.

And let’s say someone is sexually assaulted during the night.

And let’s say to be honest just during the day like if someone were to go somewhere else to get care you have to have a private car some kind of transportation to get out of there. And that’s why most people come here is because they can’t afford the transportation to get somewhere else. They have to come here and with what little I have, I have to be able to do something.

And as Jeff can say, one time when he came in there was a patient that had a really bad emergency and he had to take him somewhere else to get care.

And we think if we can build a hospital that can provide those type of services and we can assure you that we can save some lives and a lot people won’t die because they can’t get that kind of care.

Imagine Having 70 Kids!

January 16th, 2017 Posted by AFF Team

During our October 2016 trip to Haiti, we had a chance to sit down with our friend Déluc Silar and find out how things are going at the Ororaedh Orphanage.

One of the things that we absolutely love about Silar, and a big reason that we wholeheartedly support his program, is how much he loves his kids. He needs to… there are 70 of them living in his house!  Silar and his wife have made it their life’s work to take in abandoned and orphaned kids, love them, feed them, protect them, and educate them.

Silar took a big leap of faith when he decided to serve as a father to seventy kids.  We are looking for people who can help support his work with a recurring monthly gift to cover the costs of feeding, clothing, educating, and caring for all of these kids.

When you donate to the American Friendship Foundation, 100% of your donation goes direct to the project. We don’t have any employees in the United States, just a dedicated group of volunteers.

Donate

People who work for Microsoft, Boeing, and other companies that match donations are encouraged to leverage those funds with their recurring gift.  Search for “American Friendship Foundation” and “Ororaedh Orphanage” to find our listing.

Many of you reading this post have met Déluc Silar and visited his home. He is an inspiration for anyone having one of those “overwhelmed parent” moments!  More importantly, he is a great example of the Haitians we work with who love their country and are working tirelessly and selflessly to give it a better future.