AFF Team Delivers First Creative Camp in Haiti

AFF Team Delivers First Creative Camp in Haiti

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 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!

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Imagine Having 70 Kids!

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.


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.