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Aug 16, 2018

Building Lives and Momentum!

Learning ceramic tile work
Learning ceramic tile work

Another full summer - school year ended and it was full steam ahead for vocational skills training, special training sessions for LFBS staff, youth leaders and parents ... new paths firmly undeway! 

Many of our youth undertook various vocational skills training through the summer months. Courses included window installation, masonry, sewing, pastry arts, cooking, hotel services, automotive repair, electricity installation, plumbing, ceramic tiling…we will be able to hire many when we begin construction on the land we have purchased! We have several new street children we’ve reunited with their families since June, who are doing very well. One boy who is now 15 but was in the streets since age 7 has been admitted to our Transitional Safehouse and has started to make drastic changes! He’s in literacy tutoring over the summer as well as an electricity course.

Below is a photo with members of our Youth Leadership group and LFBS staff ready to go to church together. We had special t-shirts made with LFBS logo on the front and “Jen se Developman msen kapab, ou kapab nou tout kapab” – “Youth are Development. I’m capable, you’re capable, we’re all capable”. A powerful message from youth to youth.

More parents entering LFBS small business set-up program! We now have 107 people involved in their own small businesses! Our staff members provide a training to participants (in groups of 10 - 15) regarding business management and the program. Following their initial training, we provide them with a business capital. They repay a portion of the funds each month. We store those funds for them in a bank account, and once they have fully repaid the business capital we give it back to them so they can reinforce and continue to grow their business. A partner organisation called Haven Partnership International also provides weekly training to groups on subjects including entrepreneurship, marketing, human rights, health, personal relations, self-esteem, etc. We continue to work with the individuals regularly and encourage networking amongst them to share successes, problem solve and build each other’s confidence and capacity. An example of the success of this program includes a single mother that sells dishes and laundry bins. She is on her second cycle of the program now and is able to care for all of her and her child’s needs. Another great collaborative situation is where one family’s business is to harvest salt in Haiti’s salt flats area in the Artibonite (east-central) Region, is a supplier to a LFBS entrepreneur in the southern peninsula!

LFBS staff assisted local Child Protection Authorities providing training workshops on Children's Rights and Violence Prevention in numerous local schools, including many rural communities. We also worked with MSPP (Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health) to provide a youth workshop on Personal Hygiene and STI. Knowledge has the power to change and save lives. Our collaboration with, and support for, local authorities in these awareness initiatives makes reaching many youth possible.

June 10 was the National "Day of the Child". Included in the series of activities leading up to that day, LFBS was invited to a special meeting with Haiti Government Departments working in the Social Services and Child Protection areas. Along with the Regional Directors of those Departments, a young girl among the panel of speakers! She was the "representative of children". Her speech was AMAZING! Congratulations to IBESR (Haiti Social Services) for prioritizing child participation. What a sound demonstration for all involved to recognize and honor the 'voice of a child'!

We were able to bring HAPPI (Healing Arts Peace Projects Organization) to Les Cayes. These highly skilled professionals provided training for our staff team in trauma informed care and arts therapy intervention, as well as holding arts therapy groups with a number of LFBS children and youth, and an outreach project with street children.

This year our Agronomist and Outreach Team have been focused on the families in rural communities devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Together with the family and community members, they have brought back the land and have developed gardens, reintroduced livestock and repaired or rebuilt homes. The family living in Grand Anse is shown with Morgan immediately following the Category 5 Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 with the ruins of their home and countryside in the background…and NOW (June 2018)!!  Thank YOU for your part in helping make this transformation happen!

With determination and perseverance, and overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles – and your love and support -anything really is possible! 

Thank you so much.

Hospitality training
Hospitality training
LFBS Youth Leaders
LFBS Youth Leaders
Youth Health and Hygiene workshop
Youth Health and Hygiene workshop
Immediately following Hurricane Matthew
Immediately following Hurricane Matthew
NOW - rebuilding and lush
NOW - rebuilding and lush

Links:

Aug 16, 2018

Building Lives and Momentum!

Graduation!
Graduation!

As the school year drew to a close, many students proudly completed their first year of school -ever! One of the children we reunited with his family last fall was one of them. His enthusiastic dedication to his opportunity to attend school resulted in him excelling in all subjects. As a special surprise to acknowledge his great work, we brought him (and his family) sheep – they live in a rural area and our agronomist has been working with them toward self-sufficiency.

Now, the new school year already approaches! Our team has already started with school preparations as time goes by so quickly and there is so much to be done. We have uniforms being sewn, schoolbooks being purchased and even some school payments being made. Along with the many children who experienced their very first schooling last year, it was amazing to see several students graduate from secondary school as well! Many are hoping to go to post-secondary school, and we will assist to make that possible where we are able.

LFBS staff assisted local Child Protection Authorities providing training workshops on Children's Rights and Violence Prevention in numerous local schools, including many rural communities. We also worked with MSPP (Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health) to provide a youth workshop on Personal Hygiene and STI. Knowledge has the power to change and save lives. Our collaboration with, and support for, local authorities in these awareness initiatives makes reaching many youth possible.

Photo below shows some of the members of our Youth Leadership group and LFBS staff ready to go to church together. We had special t-shirts made with LFBS logo on the front and “Jen se Developman msen kapab, ou kapab nou tout kapab” – “Youth are Development. I’m capable, you’re capable, we’re all capable”. A powerful message from youth to youth.

We were able to bring HAPPI (Healing Arts Peace Projects Organization) to Les Cayes. These highly skilled professionals provided training for our staff team in trauma informed care and arts therapy intervention, as well as holding arts therapy groups with a number of LFBS children and youth, and an outreach project with street children.

More parents entering LFBS small business set-up program! We now have 107 people involved in their own small businesses! Our staff members provide a training to participants (in groups of 10 - 15) regarding business management and the program. Following their initial training, we provide them with a business capital. They repay a portion of the funds each month. We store those funds for them in a bank account, and once they have fully repaid the business capital we give it back to them so they can reinforce and continue to grow their business. A partner organisation called Haven Partnership International also provides weekly training to groups on subjects including entrepreneurship, marketing, human rights, health, personal relations, self-esteem, etc. We continue to work with the individuals regularly and encourage networking amongst them to share successes, problem solve and build each other’s confidence and capacity. An example of the success of this program includes a single mother that sells dishes and laundry bins. She is on her second cycle of the program now and is able to care for all of her and her child’s needs. Another great collaborative situation is where one family’s business is to harvest salt in Haiti’s salt flats area in the Artibonite (east-central) Region, is a supplier to a LFBS entrepreneur in the southern peninsula!

So wonderful to so clearly see the difference that you have made in a child’s life – and to see the root of why Little Footprints Big Steps was founded. When Morgan first met this little fellow in 2011, he was an abused and traumatized 2 year old boy living in an abusive orphanage. He was beaten with fists and sticks; deprived of water, food and attention. This was the year LFBS was formed. Today he is a happy healthy boy, living with his family in his rural community. He attends school and the LFBS Agronomist works with his family growing their vegetable crops.

With determination and perseverance, and overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles – and your love and support - he and over 220 children have been rescued and reunited with their families.  YOU did this! Amazing!

Thank you so much.

First ever report card - outstanding work!
First ever report card - outstanding work!
LFBS Youth Leaders
LFBS Youth Leaders
Trauma Art Therapy
Trauma Art Therapy
2011 ... Before YOU!
2011 ... Before YOU!
Today...Thank YOU!
Today...Thank YOU!

Links:

May 21, 2018

Continued Growth, Change and Celebration!

New construction graduates shop for tools!
New construction graduates shop for tools!

As we move toward the end of another school year - and look forward to options of continued learning through Summer School and Summer Vocational training - we celebrate our most recent Vocational and Skills training graduates! It was exciting to shop for tools for three of our youth who graduated from vocational skills training program to work in specialized construction areas. We have also had a recent graduate with a diploma in ‘Windows for Computers’ - at his graduation ceremony, Juno’s teacher spoke to his work drive and wise temperament. Then Juno gave a speech to thank LFBS for supporting his progress through all of his learning!

A group of 8 youth that we've been encouraging and working with, were able to join alongside our construction team and help build a family a home! It is not only a learning experience for these young men but also an opportunity to help others. The homes are built where the family lives…even if that is up remote mountainsides and requires carrying all of the building materials, tools, ladders, cement, paint, etc up steep rocky trails! The confidence and new found self-esteem from learning what you can do, can change everything. 

New crops, new market business! Our agronomist has been working to make parents of children in our programs more self-sustainable. This former street child is now able to help his mother sell cabbage produced in their own garden! We are thrilled to see the parents in our business start up program having such success! This is definitely a program we need to continue to grow - most children are abandoned into orphanages or end up on the streets simply because their parents don't have the economic stability to care for them. So empowering that these parents can help protect their children!

Sustainable nutrition is also the focus of our Agronomist as he works with families across the southwest villages. With crops once again growing following the devistation of Hurricane Matthew, we have been able to reintroduce livestock to our families there. We are so grateful for our committed staff who worked long hours over weekends to ensure families in the Grande Anse region received pairs of goats and the children had their school fees paid for the remainder of this school year! In April, we were thrilled to provide several reunited families in Pestel region with sheep. Once the animals have babies, the youth who received them will share their livestock with other families!

Medical supplies arrived in time to restock our small pharmacy. Medical patients of all ages are supported through our Outreach program to pediatric wards of local general hospital, home visits from our medical team and LFBS Medical Outreach Clinics. Along with the children in the villages and those in our care, we have children referred to us by IBESR (Haiti Social Services), Terre des Hommes, Ministry for Women's Rights, foreign doctors volunteering in the hospital, etc.

 Ensuring continued team and capacity building, we undertook a brief trip to Ile a Vache for LFBS staff. We were able to visit, firsthand, the Business Start-up Program our partners Haven Organization have created on the island, and also had the chance to do some team bonding and appreciate mother nature's beauty of their country. Additionally, 7 LFBS staff members attended Train-the-Trainer Micro Finance workshop to further strengthen their capacity in the Outreach work they do for small business start-ups and family self-sufficiency and sustainability guidance. 

Always happy to share LFBS work and inspire others around the world, LFBS Head of Operations, Morgan, and one of our Haitian staff traveled to Canada in April. While in Whitehorse, in Canada’s far northern territory of the Yukon, they met with supporters, spoke at Rotary Club meetings and schools and the videography team that will be producing a full feature documentary. Then on to Vancouver, British Columbia where Morgan was a key note speaker at Rose International Conference. The conference theme was Maintaining Compassion in a Fractured World. Morgan also led two breakout sessions focused on Cultural Competency and Sustainable Empowerment. Morgan was then key note speaker at Rotary District Conference in Michigan, where the organizers of that event noted that “We’ve never seen a speaker touch so many hearts as Morgan did today in all the years we have been attending conferences”.

 Thank you, our supporters and team members, for making this possible! Whose lives will you touch and change through your support and care? Follow us on Facebook at 'Little Footprints, Big Steps' and on our website at www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com. 

Building homes up mountain trails
Building homes up mountain trails
New crops to market!
New crops to market!
Sheep to families in remote Pestel
Sheep to families in remote Pestel
What a team! <3
What a team! <3
Train-the-Trainer MicroFinace Workshop
Train-the-Trainer MicroFinace Workshop

Links:

 
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