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:

May 26, 2016

Soaring into Summer!

One-on-one tutoring can make all the difference!
One-on-one tutoring can make all the difference!

Another amazing school year will soon come to an end for the children and youth in Little Footprints Big Steps programs ... all 300+ whose report cards we receive! 

Imagine, in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the cost of even a basic education is so high it is unreachable for most. Registration fees (there is NO public schooling), uniforms (required), shoes, undies/socks, school supplies, tutors (to supplement the half day school classes promoting opportunity for success), transport (there are NO school buses and many families live in very rural areas) are all well beyond the reach of the majority. YOU are making this possible. YOU are part of changing the cycle of poverty by making this happen.

Through the recent times of extreme rains and storms, of resurgence of violence, these children have been able to hold onto their pride of personal growth and learning, continue to practice, to have something that cannot be taken away from them – their education! Individual students continue to make huge steps on their path.

Wilguerson is going to two schools and excelling at both - English school 8am - noon; classic school 1pm - 5pm! Israel Renaudin remains the #1 student in his class (every month this school year, except for November, when he was 2nd) and is hoping to be able to undertake English studies through summer school. Kenzie has worked hard to stay top student in his class and is also eager to carry on learning in summer school. As we receive report cards for each student we support, through your assistance, we are continuously amazed and so proud of all of these children who have over-come so much and have met the opportunity for an education with enthusiasm and diligence.

We will be hosting a workshop for some of our youth 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 children in summer school and recreational activities through your support. This continuity of learning and interactions is so important to establishing the changes in thought, outlook, confidence and health. Let's make that a part of this summer! 

Education at many levels! Our employees, and even some of our youth, work with local authorities in 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 also active partners in a larger group on deinstitutionalization meeting regularly in Port au Prince to discuss the shift from orphanages/ institutionalization to family and community based approaches, and key members of our Haitian team participated in a training led by LUMOS organization regarding preparation for family reunification (photo attached) . 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. We are able to achieve an ever increasing level of impact, while still maintaining very personal contact with the children.

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. 

 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.

Soccer fun at the Boy's Transitional Safehouse
Soccer fun at the Boy's Transitional Safehouse
Staff attending LUMOS-hosted training
Staff attending LUMOS-hosted training
Prevention of Abuse awareness led by LFBS staff
Prevention of Abuse awareness led by LFBS staff
Founder awarded Meritorious Service Cross Medal
Founder awarded Meritorious Service Cross Medal

Links:

Mar 2, 2016

What a year this will be!

Ysaac and Wilguens Progress Reports
Ysaac and Wilguens Progress Reports

Hello and Happy 2016! We are filled with hope and excitement for all of the continued Big Steps that the year ahead will bring to the hard-working children and youth in Haiti.

The One Helps One school provides a very comprehensive progress report for each child, featuring not only academic progress but indicators of social skills and self-motivation. Attached is an example of two student reports: one showing Ysaac's remarkable progress... he was the top student in his class, both academically and for his level of self-discipline and the other showing young Wilguens great strides. This school is an English immersion school using the 'ACE' curriculum. Louzenflore Bell had 92 % on her most recent report card -she is only in first grade but is brilliant! Even children who previously were kicked out of other schools for bad behavior - and struggled to pass - are now excelling. Photos of progress awards are attached.

Many of the girls had great challenges during the first semester so they are now being tutored five days a week for 2-3 hours each day. Ketlene improved by 10% and went from being in 18th to being in 4th place in her class between September and December! Other student highlights include Israel R maintaining the highest grade in his entire class throughout the whole year so far. Absolutely incredible diligence and outcome. Maxime has the 3rd highest mark out of 70 students in his class!

This year is going to be incredible.

Little Footprints Big Steps' co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations is currently in Canada as she is about to be honored with the Meritorius Service Cross Medal in recognition for the amazing accomplishments in Haiti and the evolving partnerships, program models and inspiration broadening daily. While in Canada, Morgan Wienberg has been speaking to numerous school and service groups and at a gala fundraising event in her home town of Whitehorse, Yukon. Photos of that event, and the wonderful table top heart decorations made by local elementary school students are attached. Before returning to Haiti, Morgan will be traveling to India where she will be presenting  and sharing Little Footprints work at an International Conference in New Delhi.

Thank you for helping make it possible for these children to go to school and have a real future to work towards!

Ysaac receiving Award with Morgan and teacher
Ysaac receiving Award with Morgan and teacher
Milene receiving award with her father and teacher
Milene receiving award with her father and teacher
Hearts for "Share the Love"
Hearts for "Share the Love"
'Share the Love' gala event in Whitehorse,Yukon
'Share the Love' gala event in Whitehorse,Yukon

Links:

 
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