Mar 10, 2017

Yes, we CAN Rise to the Challenge!

Learning and Growing...Financial Literacy Training
Learning and Growing...Financial Literacy Training

The co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations, Morgan Wienberg, a fitness enthusiast when she gets the chance, recently reflected that “Life is like a workout: When you accept a challenge - try something difficult, or new, or heavier than you're used to handling - that is when you grow. That is when you learn that you're stronger than you thought!” In the short months since the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, the examples of our children, families, staff and communities rising to the challenges are everywhere! New skills are being learned with lots of opportunity to practice, stronger teams and new capacity to achieve is being realized. 

Homes have, and are, being built and repaired in Hurricane aftermath, led by LFBS staff and workers including the family members as well as LFBS youth as skills training for components of home building. Having a basic shelter is a huge step forward - and being part of the team that makes that happen...priceless! (photos)

Other specific training workshops were underway through the past months to build the capacity, confidence and knowledge-base of our staff and partners - and the youth whose leadership and energy is rising quickly! Multi-day training sessions included: Informed Trauma Care training workshops, with UNICEF for training in the identification and referencing protocol for malnourished children, Gender Based Violence with OXFAM(photo). The youth involved in the Ocean Marine Training Institute also attended a special Personal Finance Management workshop. (photo)A special multiday workshop to begin building practical skills toward a possible career as an Esthetician was provided to those currently staying at the Girls Safehouse as well as those young women that have been reunited with their families in the Les Cayes area. Fun and informative for all involved! (photo)

Outreach and Advocacy - Medical and Agriculture. Our Outreach Medical team continues to provide consultations and care to children and families in both Les Cayes area and the communities of the southern peninsula. Agriculture training and replanting continues under the expertise of LFBS’s local Agronomists and specially trained Youth Leaders. Replanting crops and trees – all of which were destroyed, during harvest time, in the hurricane, will mean not only food security, but provide opportunity for income as well. Re-establishing crops, nurseries, and grassland is also a critical aspect to support the ecosystem and environmental recovery. (photo)

Even after all of the trauma and loss over the past few months, the chlidren and youth were proud and excited to help spread the message during Karnival – wearing t-shirts bearing the same message and logos of the large banner they carried – joined in the parade down the main streets! "Pwoteje timoun yo se Konstwi yon demen miyo! Protecting children is building a better tomorrow!" (photo)

Many thanks to each and every one of you for the support you have provided to meet the unimaginable challenges, and to not only survive and work toward recovery from October devastation...but to RISE UP! Along with photos, you will find a link below to our Annual Report. 

YOU helped this to happen <3

Newly planted crops beginning to grow once again
Newly planted crops beginning to grow once again
New homes. New skills. Rising to the challenges
New homes. New skills. Rising to the challenges
Informed Trauma Care training workshop
Informed Trauma Care training workshop
Esthetics Training session - pedicure practice
Esthetics Training session - pedicure practice
Protecting Children is Building a Better Tomorrow
Protecting Children is Building a Better Tomorrow

Links:

Mar 10, 2017

We CAN Rise to the Challenge

New Homes, New Skills, Rising Up to the Challenges
New Homes, New Skills, Rising Up to the Challenges

The amazing co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations, Morgan Wienberg, a fitness enthusiast when she gets the chance, recently reflected that “Life is like a workout: When you accept a challenge - try something difficult, or new, or heavier than you're used to handling - that is when you grow. That is when you learn that you're stronger than you thought!” In the short months since the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, the examples of our children, families, staff and communities rising to the challenges are everywhere! 

Homes have, and are, being built and repaired in Hurricane aftermath, led by LFBS staff and workers including the family members as well as LFBS youth as skills training for components of home building. Having a basic shelter is a huge step forward! (photos)

A New Year and back to the important work of learning...it's school time! Uniforms, shoes, books, school supplies lost in Hurricane Matthew’s devastating path have been remade or repurchased thanks to your support. (photo) Schools have been repaired and reopened.  School also begins for the boy, Wubinson. who in October - was laying abandoned at the hospital, with two bullets in his head and, following the surgery to remove a bullet and his eye, he remained in LFBS care at our Safehouse until he was well enough to be reunited with his family.Well, here he is, a happy student! (photo)

Our outstanding staff team have participated in numerous training sessions, building their capacity, confidence and knowledge-base: Informed Trauma Care training workshops, with UNICEF for training in the identification and referencing protocol for malnourished children, Gender Based Violence with OXFAM, (photos)

Outreach and Advocacy - Medical and Agriculture. Our Outreach Medical team continues to provide consultations and care to children and families in both Les Cayes area and the communities of the southern peninsula. Our medical team has also facilitated medical clinics in vulnerable orphanages, resulting in reports of concern to the Haitian Social Services staff that we work along side. This includes abandoned babies in the general hospital. Agriculture training and replanting continues under the expertise of LFBS’s local Agronomists. Replanting crops and trees – all of which were destroyed, during harvest time, in the hurricane, will mean not only food security, but provide opportunity for income as well. Re-establishing crops, nurseries, and grassland is also a critical aspect to support the ecosystem and environmental recovery. (photos)

Proud and excited to help spread the message during Karnival – our children, wearing t-shirts bearing the same message and logos of the large banner they carried – joined in the parade down the main streets! "Pwoteje timoun yo se Konstwi yon demen miyo! Protecting children is building a better tomorrow!" (photo)

Many thanks to each and every one of you for the support you have provided for each child, family member and staff to meet the recent, unimaginable challenges, and to not only survive and work toward recovery from October devastation...but to RISE UP! Along with photos, you will find a link below to our Annual Report. 

YOU helped this to happen <3

Wubinson, missing an eye, but an eager learner!
Wubinson, missing an eye, but an eager learner!
Children across the south return to school
Children across the south return to school
LFBS staff undertaking special learning as well
LFBS staff undertaking special learning as well
Outreach Medical Clinics and Replanting Assistance
Outreach Medical Clinics and Replanting Assistance
Protecting Children is Building a Better Tomorrow
Protecting Children is Building a Better Tomorrow

Links:

Dec 16, 2016

Restoring, Revitalizing...and Gaining Strength!

Grand Anse...after the Hurricane
Grand Anse...after the Hurricane

Entering our SIXTH YEAR, and following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and the ensuing floods in Haiti’s southern peninsula that I updated you on in October, we are able to provide you with news of the brilliant resilience of the Haitian people and of Little Footprints Big Steps work and progress that you are making possible.

Due to the deep connections and relationships with local leaders and Haitian Government, and as respected members of the Groupe du Travail pour la Protection des Enfants and Civil Protection Committee, we continue to make a marked impact on the present and future of the 250 plus children and their families that we have reunited over the past five years. Those families live in 23 communities across Haiti, most in the affected area. Because of these working collaborations, Little Footprints Big Steps staff were able to complete thorough needs assessments and evaluations on all of the children and families in our programs across the southern peninsula within days. Through these partnerships and the additional, temporary, professional staff we have hired, we are able to ensure aid is provided effectively and in a culturally sensitive and suitable manner and providing assistance to prevent abandonment of children and including initiatives that continue to support LFBS core mandate of sustainability and independence such as education, agriculture re-stabilization, outreach medical clinics and workshops, etc.  Our Youth Leaders, rescued and reunited with their families over the past years and being immersed in education and leadership opportunities since then, have also been provide training and follow-up in their communities, assist with documentation and with tutoring others!! Sustainable capacity development, confidence building and mentorship in action. Photos attached. 

 Although many school supplies, uniforms, etc. were destroyed and had to be replaced...and although many schools were badly damaged or no longer standing, we do have many children back in school today! A number of children, even when their homes were being torn apart, reached for their precious school books and carried them over their heads while wading through flooded rivers and villages. SO proud of Tafayou, currently at the Girl’s Safehouse, who previously struggled with reading and wasn't able to pass in school... this year she's been tutored and just passed with a 94.6% average! Photo attached. YOU make this kind of amazing possible!

During a recent Outreach visit to the children who we have rescued and reunited with their families in the central Haiti – unaffected locations – it was incredible to have time with Stanley at the special School for the Deaf (Centre d’Etude Chretienne pour les Sourd) that he attends. Six years ago, Stanley was a six year old in a corrupt orphanage, who was continuously beaten and spent his days crying. He is deaf and was unable to understand or communicate. And he is the first child Little Footprints Big Steps was able to rescue. TODAY, he lives with his grandmother, excels in Math and is an eager participant at his school! Photo attached. Another special visit with Robnel and his family - following a rocky start in school last year following his reunification with his family, he is now an enthusiastic and consistent learner. Photo attached.

Key and strategic in our work and partnerships is to ensure mistakes made following 2010 earthquake are not made once again. This is critical with regards to provision and distribution of aid intervention to avoid building dependency. We must pro-actively provide the tools and supplies for livelihood and food security, while also providing emergency support.  Haitians must be involved in rebuilding efforts - utilizing local networks and requesting input from families about their needs to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of support provided. “Haitians need to be treated not just as victims or survivors but experts and leaders.”, a quote from author and educator, Mark Schuller. Keeping families together and monitoring orphanages to prevent abandonment of children into orphanages or Restavek situations is critical and we are collaborating with our new partners in LUMOS Organization to ensure this does not occur. Focus on community development will also prevent centralization and encourage self-sufficiency and sustainability.

A Princeton TV interview, featuring Morgan and the Vice Consul at the Haitian Consulate in New York provides some insights into Haiti’s culture and socio-economics, shows how clearly Little Footprints Big Steps work and objectives are respected. Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJOiVaaOrr0&feature=youtu.be

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU3aRoCqjlE&feature=youtu.be

Ensuring students and public had the opportunity to hear a first-hand account of the actual situation before, during and after the hurricane, Little Footprint’s co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations, Morgan Wienberg, traveled briefly out of Haiti to provide accurate and inspiring in-person accounts and media interviews. Continuing the learning and sharing, she was also recently an invited delegate to Belfast, Ireland speaking at and attending a learning event with new partners LUMOS Organization (founded by J.K. Rowling).

This is just a quick peek into what YOU have made possible! THANK you for being such an amazing catalyst … for both survival and for a future! <3

Youth Leader providing training in his village
Youth Leader providing training in his village
Youth Leader tutoring at Transitional Safehouse
Youth Leader tutoring at Transitional Safehouse
Tafayou and her special coloring for her sponsor
Tafayou and her special coloring for her sponsor
Stanley, exceling at the School for the Deaf
Stanley, exceling at the School for the Deaf
Robnel, enthused to be in school!
Robnel, enthused to be in school!

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.