Aug 18, 2016

And... WHAT a summer it was!

Our caring and dedicated staff
Our caring and dedicated staff

LOOK what you have made possible! We are excited to share a ‘snap shot’ of the wonderful activities and progress that these past couple of months have brought.

 Even as we begin the flurry for another exciting school year, it is astonishing to realize that we are just about to finish our 5th year of operation since the founding of Little Footprints Big Steps! The steps that have been taken toward true and lasting change for individuals, families and communities have been immense.

Through the relentless, determined efforts of Little Footprints leadership and Haitian staff (photo), as well as strong partnerships and collaborations they have forged with local and international organizations, we have led and participated in initiatives with widespread impacts. From educating communities on the rights of children and women; influencing the practice of institutionalization to be replaced with family reunification; building local capacity and expertise; to supporting and encouraging hundreds of children and youth to thrive in schools and skill based training. This is also part the legacy being realized from your support.

This summer, our Outreach work with the families that we have reunited children, located in 22 communities in Haiti, included us accompanying Mika, one of the girls rescued and reunited with her family to Port au Prince where she was interviewed by LUMOS Organization for a video they are making promoting family reunification. A photo is attached of this bright and articulate girl who, just a few years ago, was in an abusive orphanage with no options for the future. We rescued her and reunited her with her mother four years ago. She now is dedicated to her studies and hopes to become a doctor one day. 

Back in Les Cayes, a number of the youth that have experienced severe trauma undertook art therapy with an experienced volunteer. The Transitional Safehouse was transformed into a busy art studio(photo)! One of the results included a beautiful mural, where the group painted the beautiful background, then added a personal piece. A lasting reminder of the creativity and possibility within them all – and foremost in their minds was including ‘Ti Pye Gwo Pa’, Creole for ‘Little Feet Big Steps’ speaking to the significant impact on their lives (photo). Others were busy translating the art therapy manuals from English to Creole. An Environmental Awareness workshop ended up with the participants singing as they cleaned up the local beach and surrounding area.Yoga classes also are part of the holistic programming for Trauma Recovery. Other children were also immersed in Summer School activities – including Music School (photos)! There were numerous field trips to learn about their country, continued English tutoring, apprenticeships and sessions with the Agronomist building on agricultural skill and knowledge from last summer’s Our Garden Haiti training. It was also a time where children stayed at the Transitional Safehouses healing while they underwent various medical procedures, tests, surgeries.

Another key training and capacity building highlight that occurred this summer was a First Aid/CPR and Train-the-Trainer workshop.  It was attended by over 50 enthused participants, including a number of staff and youth from LFBS (photo). These skills not only build the ability and confidence of our staff and youth, but also will enable them to pass along this new critical knowledge to their families and communities.

 AND, now a new cycle of learning and growth will begin with registration, school supplies, uniforms, shoes, transportation arrangements all underway – for over 250 children. A generation that will have an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families…and lead the way out of the cycle of poverty and dependence. Thanks to YOU!

This newsletter has just a couple of the many stories from this summer’s endeavours, please visit our Blog for more stories and photo, https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/update-august-2016-summer/ ,and follow us on Facebook.

With much gratitude from all whose lives you touch so deeply.

Children and families of LFBS, Staff, Board of Directors

Mika, confident and articulate in an interview
Mika, confident and articulate in an interview
Art Therapy workshop at Transitional Safehouse
Art Therapy workshop at Transitional Safehouse
Finished 'Ti Pye Gwo Pa' mural!
Finished 'Ti Pye Gwo Pa' mural!
Summer Music Camp!
Summer Music Camp!
First Aid/CPR learning to be shared
First Aid/CPR learning to be shared

Links:

Aug 18, 2016

And... WHAT a summer it was!

Our caring and dedicated staff
Our caring and dedicated staff

LOOK what you have made possible! We are excited to share a ‘snap shot’ of the wonderful activities and progress that these past couple of months have brought. 

As we look to the busy fall season, it is astonishing to realize that we are just about to finish our 5th year of operation since the founding of Little Footprints Big Steps! The steps that have been taken toward true and lasting change for individuals, families and communities have been immense.

Through the relentless, determined efforts of Little Footprints leadership and Haitian staff (photo), as well as strong partnerships and collaborations they have forged with local and international organizations, we have led and participated in initiatives with widespread impacts. From educating communities on the rights of children and women; influencing the practice of institutionalization to be replaced with family reunification; building local capacity and expertise; to supporting and encouraging hundreds of children and youth to thrive in schools and skill based training. This is also part the legacy being realized from your support.

Our Outreach work with the families that we have reunited children, located in 22 communities in Haiti, includes: enabling self-sufficiency through small businesses (photo attached of Maxson family and proudly showing their roadside motorcycle and bicycle maintenance supply shop); Mika, one of the girls rescued and reunited with her family, was interviewed by LUMOS organization for a video promoting family reunification; providing the opportunity for home repairs and rebuilding (photo shows Patrico family home under construction).

Back in Les Cayes, a number of the youth that have experienced severe trauma undertook art therapy and environmental awareness workshops with an experienced volunteer. Along with summer vocational training opportunities, there were also music camps and numerous field trips to learn about their country, continued English tutoring, apprenticeships and sessions with the Agronomist building on agricultural skill and knowledge from last summer’s Our Garden Haiti training. 

Working on the root of issues is key in the collaborative partnerships LFBS has forged. Members of Haitian protective services authorities and LFBS staff meet regularly with youth-at-risk for discussions, training and assistance (photo). Another key training and capacity building highlight that occurred this summer was a First Aid/CPR and Train-the-Trainer workshop.  It was attended by over 50 enthused participants, including a number of staff and youth from LFBS (photo). These skills not only build the ability and confidence of our staff and youth, but also will enable them to pass along this new critical knowledge to their families and communities.

A generation that will have an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families…and lead the way out of the cycle of poverty and dependence. Thanks to YOU!

This newsletter has just a couple of the many stories from this summer’s endeavours, please visit our Blog for more stories and photos, https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/update-august-2016-summer/ ,and follow us on Facebook.

With much gratitude from all whose lives you touch so deeply.

Children and families of LFBS, Staff, Board of Directors

Family Maxson business
Family Maxson business
Patrico family  home under construction
Patrico family home under construction
Art Therapy workshop at Transitional Safehouse
Art Therapy workshop at Transitional Safehouse
Staff and police meeting with youth-at-risk
Staff and police meeting with youth-at-risk
First Aid/CPR 'Train-the-Trainer'
First Aid/CPR 'Train-the-Trainer'

Links:

May 26, 2016

Soaring into Summer!

Ocean Marine Institute Training class in session
Ocean Marine Institute Training class in session

It was in the January 2015 that I first shared news of the exciting new program that four of our youth would be undertaking. They had reached a level in their regular schooling, dedication and maturity that they could be enrolled in the Ocean Marine Training Institute where they would begin a two year learning and practicum journey to be able to be employed in the cruise ship industry. Well, I am excited to update you and let you know that the original four have been progressing well – and have passports! AND, we have been able to enroll an additional two students who are doing extremely well in this unique opportunity that will lead directly to employment for them all. Your continued support is making this path possible! Their learning and skills, transferable to many situations, includes: International Culture; Cruise Hospitality; First Aid; Fire Prevention; Housekeeping; Food and Beverage preparation and service; Personal Survival and Safety; Health and Fitness; intensive English and Spanish – AND multiple international certificates are earned throughout the process! I have attached a photo of the group in an English tutoring session at our Safehouse. We also have dedicated participants, previously street youth, enrolled in mechanics apprenticeships.

We will be hosting a workshop for those currently involved in vocational training focused on Leadership, Personal Finance and Personal Development. The innovative and inspiring Haitian that has designed and will be delivering this workshop focuses on overcoming obstacles and leadership through learning and practical activities.  This summer we will have a visiting volunteer working on special art therapy projects, a mural, environmental awareness campaigns and projects as well as another focusing on staff training and leadership building skills. We hope to be able to enroll some of the youth in summer vocational training through your support.This would ensure that the connection between the school year learning and effort - and the practical opportunities for work and self-sufficiency are established.

Education at many levels! Building confidence, good team skills, work habits and speaking skills are definitely part of training toward obtaining and holding a job in the future, so we have included some of our youth, and some of our employees, in important partnership work with local authorities. Together they have been executing a Community Outreach Abuse Prevention and Child and Women Rights Campaign with trainings focussed on prevention of violence and sexual abuse (photo attached). In several communities in Haiti’s south, these informative sessions are provided to school classes as well as at ‘town hall’ sessions for community leaders and the general community population.  At our Girls Safehouse, we also host sessions to explore women’s health and well-being discussions. We are active partners in a larger group on deinstitutionalization meeting regularly in Port au Prince to discuss the shift from orphanages/ institutionalization to family & community based approaches, and our key members of our Haitian team participated in a training led by LUMOS organization regarding preparation for family reunification. LFBS has been invited to join a network of local authorities and organizations focussing on preparedness and disaster relief efforts in preparation for hurricane season. Collaboration and partnership is key – entire communities are being changed!  We are now able to achieve an ever increasing level of impact, while still maintaining very personal contact with the children which is why our work has made such inroads.

Little Footprints Big Steps vision and focus are to empower locals and the sustainability of the learning and collaboration at all levels. We recognize and value the importance of reconnecting Haitian families, of changing the mentality and situation of youth as well as entire communities, of building up local authorities’ capacity, of teaching Haitians to invest in and help each other, or empowering youth and parents to seek sustainability.

Inspiring and sharing far and wide. As noted in our previous report, Morgan Wienberg, LFBS founder and Head of Haiti Operations, work was recognized by the Government of Canada with the Meritorious Service Cross Medal. The photo below shows her receiving this incredible honor from the Governor General. Before returning to Haiti, Morgan traveled to New Delhi, India as a delegate and presenter at the Udayan Care International Conference. She shared our program and service model in her presentation “Emotional Preparation to Transition Vulnerable Youth into Socially Responsible Youth” to an enthusiastic audience and was voted best poster presentation at the event (photo attached). 

For more photos, Blogs, videos, media interviews, please visit our website at www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com.

To view a terrific recent interview with Miami TV host/reporter James Pierre:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VMeKKTxkM&feature=youtu.be

 Imagine the impacts, today and into the future, near and far, that your partnership with Little Footprints Big Steps is enabling! YOU are a critical part of that. Please share with your friends. 

Poultry & livestock = health and self-sufficiency
Poultry & livestock = health and self-sufficiency
Founder awarded Meritorious Service Cross Medal
Founder awarded Meritorious Service Cross Medal
Staff attending LUMOS-hosted training
Staff attending LUMOS-hosted training
English tutoring session underway at Safehouse
English tutoring session underway at Safehouse

Links:

 
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