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May 2, 2019

Determination + Commitment in ACTION!

Graduating from Vocational training!
Graduating from Vocational training!

As school children and youth begin preparing for their exams to finish off this school year, we can see many milestones accomplished. Some students have done so well this year that they will not be required to write the final exams! Some of the children we have recently reunited with their families are undergoing special tutoring so that they will be able to go to school next year - what a new life they have to look forward to. Tutoring will continue through the summer months for many students to ensure they can continue to gain confidence and skills. Vocational skills training will also take place during the summer months for some of those enthusiastic youth! Those that have already completed vocational skills training will have an opportunity to use those new skills - and have their first employment experience - as we begin building  on the LFBS land development project! 

 The medical students we are supporting were excited to share their first term results – all were in the 70% range! So fantastic – and we were able to provide them with laptops to ensure their ability to be successful as they progress toward their medical careers! One of the agronomy students we sponsor has been able to go on field trips to other parts of the country to study and apply his learning in a practical way, another works with us on our family outreach and on our land – their enthusiasm growing along with their skills and knowledge.

Supplies not easily attainable in Haiti, come to us in many ways...including by sailboat! Wonderful supporters throughout the US brought supplies to docks along the eastern coast as sailboat Tandemeer loaded up at ports heading southward to Haiti. Boxes of backpacks for school (thanks to Move to Matter Organization), cases of UBSuperfood nutritional powder (thanks to UBSuper), medical supplies and even bicycles to provide transportation to and from school or work arrived at the dock! 

Sharing our model for programs and initiatives, and advocating for Children's Rights and concrete changes across the country is part of the critical lasting impacts that LFBS is involved with. Morgan Wienberg, LFBS Co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations was an invited participant in a three day National Workshop on the Reform of the Child Care System. Government officials from all regions of the country, as well as other Child Protection Actors, gathered to learn more about the process of reformation of child care systems. They discussed the goal of deinstitutionalisation (DI) as being so much more than simply closing orphanages: it is the development of family and community based solutions to child protection issues. During the workshop – facilitated by Haitian Social Services (IBESR) and UNICEF – they began brainstorming a long term plan for working towards DI in Haiti. Key information provided included: over 27 000 children currently in institutions; 80/90% of children in orphanages are NOT real orphans and have families; of 754 orphanages evaluated in the country, only 30 have been approved and have minimum standards of care; even those orphanages which have been approved, IBESR would like to have transformed into transitional centres and/or foster homes. IBESR requests that no more than 30% of funding goes to institutions, while at least 70% of funds is invested in community or family solutions. Morgan has also been invited to provide input to the "Report of the UN Secretary General on the Status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 2019".

One of the film crew members that was in Haiti in the late fall released a newsletter sharing some of his fantastic photos of LFBS staff, family and the surrounding area, as well as some of his insights from his time with us. Here is the link to that document: https://www.gbpcreative.ca/blog/2019/1/8/haiti?fbclid=IwAR29sR7tfNCQPkVD0T_ZCEQtWD7ovyBAWm84SWCqsS6f6QUx6XufbSyXtEM

Some of you may have followed the media coverage of tHaiti's country-wide demonstrations and escalating riots that took place in February. And wondered what it was really all about. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. With the majority of the people already living in extreme poverty - additional crippling inflation (Haitian currency lost 40% of its value), astronomical fuel and food prices, further disregard for human rights, fragile political processes erupted into prolonged demonstrations and rioting in early February. Imagine if you made $2/day to look after your family’s needs, and it cost $12 to purchase just a gallon of cooking oil!

 And, you may have seen the media coverage of NGOs and volunteers fleeing the country. LFBS Head of Haiti Operations, remained steadfast in Haiti, leading her staff, planning for the future and providing stability and hope for the children and families that LFBS works with. Standing strong with determination and commitment sent a tremendously strong message to all and allowed us to be immediately impactful and responsive once it was safe to do so. Leadership and commitment looks like that. Here is a link to CBC TV National News interview: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1446119491894

Strengthening families means that parents also have learning sessions - on Child and Women's Rights, on health prevention, on family planning...AND for our small business start-up program! We collaborate with Haven Organization for the training portion of this initiative. Opportunity for empowerment and independance, setting examples for their children and community, and keeping families whole and healthy. To date, we have close to 100 participants in this life-changing program! 

YOU are the catalyst that mobilizes the constant determination and commitment from our staff, leaders, children and families into action! Thank you so much

Bridge construction on LFBS land - and jobs!
Bridge construction on LFBS land - and jobs!
English tutoring can mean job opportunities
English tutoring can mean job opportunities
MORE parents in Business StartUp training!
MORE parents in Business StartUp training!
When supplies arrive by sailboat!
When supplies arrive by sailboat!
LFBS is a leader in Anti-Trafficking Reform
LFBS is a leader in Anti-Trafficking Reform

Links:

Feb 5, 2019

The Lives You've Changed!

From Outcast on the streets to Apprentice!
From Outcast on the streets to Apprentice!

With a new year upon us, it is a terrific time to reflect on the tremendous impacts you have made possible. To see the tangible changes in the lives you have touched through your love and care and support. 

Because of you, today there are youth getting ready to go to vocational training classes. Because of you, they will have a chance to become self-sufficient. Because of you, they have pride and dignity. Because of you they will be leaders in their communities. Because of you they and their parents may have small businesses and they may live in a house with real walls. Because of you, their dream of having a good job, of having a future with promise, health and dignity, is an actual possibility. 

Please savor the 'Before and After' photos that are included in this report - they are just a small sample, but "a picture really is worth a thousand words", and you can see so clearly what you have made happen! The houses that you see built, have been built by many of the youth that have taken construction related training. They now have the tremendous satisfaction of being abale to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Our Business Start-Up training, in partnership with Haven International, continues to strengthen. Before the Christmas season, parents in this program who had demonstrated good management have their businesses reinforced - just in time for the busy holiday season! Youth who have been assisting their parents, are learning alongside them. 

The learning and life changes you make possible not only happen to the children that we rescue, or the families that we reunite. The lives of Little Footprints Big Steps staff and their families have been transformed. Each and every staff member (all Haitian) have tremendously busy and varied work – sometimes dangerous with critical situations arising, often exhausting physically and emotionally. All work long, long days. Some are new to the types of tasks and interactions that come along. To build their confidence, capacity and expertise, we continuously seek out options for training and team-building. And to acknowledge and celebrate their dedication and the achievements they are such an integral part of. In November we hosted a training session including Interpersonal Communication Skills, Conflict Resolution and Team-Building. We also held the 4th Annual Staff Appreciation Celebration. Much love, respect and gratitude to all of those who put care, diligence and determination into their work each and every day.

The impacts of your care resonate through Haiti's entire Southern Region.  During an interview with Shot in the Dark Productions, that was recently in Haiti to film the final footage for the upcoming full feature documentary, the Police’s Chief Inspector of the Child Protection Brigade of Southern Haiti (BPM) stated, “LFBS represents, for BPM, what the heart represents to the body. Without LFBS, there would be so many children in our office, in the streets, at risk for their lives. LFBS supports and works with BPM unconditionally like no other NGO." and “LFBS is a partner that is unconditional, exceptional, irreplaceable...like no other". Thank YOU for your support in making this unique and strong partnership possible!

As we work to complete plans to build permanent structures on the LFBS property, providing effective and efficient LFBS services and programs into the future, our agronomist has planted crops on the land. This is a teaching opportunity for local youth and allows us to harvest the seeds for community gardens, AND to harvest for LFBS Outreach families and use at the Transitional Safehouses – providing our own healthy food source! Many of the youth that have been able to undertake vocational training will have jobs helping build the various structures as the land development moves forward. We are beginning Phase 1 this year. Phase 2 will include a FULL vocational and trades training facility! 

Our Annual Report for 2017/18 is attached to this report and available on our website. We are so excited to share this with you, and to have you share it with friends and colleagues - a tribute to you and the impacts you have each day. 

From leaf walls and dirt floor to safe Home!
From leaf walls and dirt floor to safe Home!
From tin and sticks to a solid, secure Home!
From tin and sticks to a solid, secure Home!
Business Start-Up Training in session!
Business Start-Up Training in session!
LFBS Amazing Staff!
LFBS Amazing Staff!
Youth painting storage container on LFBS land
Youth painting storage container on LFBS land

Links:

Feb 5, 2019

The Lives You've Changed!

From outcast on the streets to Apprentice!
From outcast on the streets to Apprentice!

With a new year upon us, it is a terrific time to reflect on the tremendous impacts you have made possible. To see the tangible changes in the lives you have touched through your love and care and support. 

Because of you, today there are hundreds of children in 19 communities putting on school uniforms and socks and shoes. Because of you, they will put their books and papers and pencils in backpacks and go to school. Because of you, they will come home and be able to have a nutritious snack. Because of you they will have access to a tutor's help. Because of you their parents may have small businesses and they may live in a house with real walls. Because of you, their dream of having a good job, of having a future with promise, health and dignity, is an actual possibility. Because of you, some of these children will go on to University and have the chance to make significant impacts of their own. 

Please savor the 'Before and After' photos that are included in this report - they are just a small sample, but "a picture really is worth a thousand words", and you can see so clearly what you have made happen! 

The learning and life changes you make possible not only happen to the children that we rescue, or the families that we reunite. The lives of Little Footprints Big Steps staff and their families have been transformed. Each and every staff member (all Haitian) have tremendously busy and varied work – sometimes dangerous with critical situations arising, often exhausting physically and emotionally. All work long, long days. Some are new to the types of tasks and interactions that come along. To build their confidence, capacity and expertise, we continuously seek out options for training and team-building. And to acknowledge and celebrate their dedication and the achievements they are such an integral part of. In November we hosted a training session including Interpersonal Communication Skills, Conflict Resolution and Team-Building. We also held the 4th Annual Staff Appreciation Celebration. Much love, respect and gratitude to all of those who put care, diligence and determination into their work each and every day.

The impacts of your care resonate through Haiti's entire Southern Region.  During an interview with Shot in the Dark Productions, that was recently in Haiti to film the final footage for the upcoming full feature documentary, the Police’s Chief Inspector of the Child Protection Brigade of Southern Haiti (BPM) stated, “LFBS represents, for BPM, what the heart represents to the body. Without LFBS, there would be so many children in our office, in the streets, at risk for their lives. LFBS supports and works with BPM unconditionally like no other NGO." and “LFBS is a partner that is unconditional, exceptional, irreplaceable...like no other". Thank YOU for your support in making this unique and strong partnership possible!

As we work to complete plans to build permanent structures on the LFBS property, providing effective and efficient LFBS services and programs into the future, our agronomist has planted crops on the land. This is a teaching opportunity for local youth and allows us to harvest the seeds for community gardens, AND to harvest for LFBS Outreach families and use at the Transitional Safehouses – providing our own healthy food source! Many of the youth that have been able to undertake vocational training will have jobs helping build the various structures as the land development moves forward. 

Our Annual Report for 2017/18 is attached to this report and available on our website. We are so excited to share this with you, and to have you share it with friends and colleagues - a tribute to you and the impacts you have each day. 

From abandoned burn victim to happy student!
From abandoned burn victim to happy student!
From leaf walls and dirt floor to safe home!
From leaf walls and dirt floor to safe home!
From corrupt orphanage to a healthy future!
From corrupt orphanage to a healthy future!
From street living to 1st in Class!
From street living to 1st in Class!
LFBS Amazing Staff!
LFBS Amazing Staff!

Links:

 
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