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 Education  Haiti Project #17201

Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year

by Little Footprints, Big Steps - IDO
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Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Send a Child to School in Haiti for a Year
Families belong together
Families belong together

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. 

 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 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. 

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

Backpacks and bicycles arrive by sailboat!
Backpacks and bicycles arrive by sailboat!
Practical applications for Agronomy student!
Practical applications for Agronomy student!
English tutoring session underway
English tutoring session underway
Training mothers for Business Start-Up program!
Training mothers for Business Start-Up program!
LFBS is a leader in Anti-Trafficking Reforms
LFBS is a leader in Anti-Trafficking Reforms

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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!

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Igniting the light
Igniting the light
Below is a powerful statement made by the Founder and Head of Haiti Operations of Little Footprints Big Steps Child Protection Organization...it is the truth of the children and youth whose lives YOU have impacted with the opportunity for education, to live and thrive with their families in their communities. YOU ignite the light in the eyes of a child through your support. THANK YOU for making true change possible, each and every day. 
"To the child who has been let down by every person you counted on;

To the child on the hospital bed who wanted to live, and to cuddle, and to fight for survival– but was left, weak and untouched, until it was too late.

To the child who’d been gang raped so many times that at age 14, you thought it was normal and gave your body up willingly. You even ran away to return to your abusers.

To the child who was so badly abused and neglected, you’d never learned that hurting others was wrong… after all, those who were meant to care for you had only hurt you. You followed their example.

To the child sleeping on a prison cell floor, unable to roll over 
because it’s so crowded. Perhaps you couldn’t handle the hunger anymore and were driven to desperate measures – or perhaps you’d joined the wrong group of friends, because they made you feel accepted in a world where you’d faced too much rejection.

To the child whose life experiences have taught you it’s better to be feared than to be fearful; who’s become the most violent person around so that others won’t attack you… Whose eyes are dark with what looks like anger, coldness and a lack of empathy – but what is truly a disguise for pain.

I see the window of vulnerability when our eyes meet.

I see that I get through to you when we speak alone – but as soon as you step back into your world I see negative influences draining your motivation and hope and self worth.

I see the genuine desire you have to live a different life, to break free and be yourself… I see through the years of pain, mistrust, and hopelessness that have built over your positivity and morale.

I see you.

I see all that you could have been if this world hadn’t let you down."

An exciting September unfolded once again, with many children experiencing their first day of new school year! LFBS Outreach staff were tremendously busy bringing school supplies, uniforms, backpacks to hundreds of children throughout Haiti's southwest - with truckloads going to the rural villages of Jeremie, Pestel and Chanta, Randell and Les Anglais! All students were registered for school.Our Haitian staff team are tremendously committed to the important work they're doing, and work tirelessly to ensure this is accomplished in a short period of time - and are so proud of the future they are instrumental in making possible. Our vehicles and staff don't seem to have the word 'tired' in their vocabulary! We are so grateful for all that our hardworking team, and dedicated supporters, allow us to accomplish each week!  (photos below) 

The school year also saw a new start for many that LFBS has supported for health recovery. This lovely, grateful student was deathly ill when we met her and had trouble breathing, so certainly couldn't go to school. After months of hospitalization...she has been thrilled that she's been able to return to school! Guerna, in the peach school uniform, was so badly burned she was unable to wear a shirt or dress. Now after operations and healing, and tutoring assistance, she is ready to embrace school days and learning with others!

Good nutrition is key to good learning. Our Agronomist not only works with rural families to ensure optimal crop growth, he has also planted crops on the land that LFBS has purchased, and he and our Youth Leader team have harvested corn, plantain and peanuts! Our Transitional Safehouse staff then shelled and roasted the peanuts, and ground them into fresh local peaunut butter that we have been able to distribute to families so that the children can have healthy snacks before and after school! 

Sharing awareness of the realities of the children we rescue and reunite with their families, and the unique programs, initiatives and partnerships that LFBS undertakes to ensure they can stay together, learn and thrive toward healthy self-sufficiency, is critical to continue building awareness and support. In October, LFBS Co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations traveled to Ontario, Canada and presented at numerous events, including the District 7010 Rotary Conference, “Dare to Dream” in Deer Lake; “An Evening with Morgan Wienberg” hosted by Windsor Rotary Club; and “International Project Celebration of LFBS”, hosted by Whitby Rotary. At that event, Morgan was presented with the prestigious Wilf Wilkinson Peace Award! This award recognizes “the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace”.

Recently, one of our local Haiti Government Department partners, IBESR (Haiti’s Social Services Department) did a thorough review of the ‘orphanages’ across the country. Of 754 orphanages visited and evaluated by local authorities, only 35 in the whole country are up to minimum standards! Several have been identified to have sexual abuse, and 302 have been identified to have physical abuse (likely figure is probably even higher). It is critical that international donors be vigilant about what their donations are going towards and that the education of local parents and support to reunify and strengthen families continues. THIS is why family reunification and strengthening toward healthy, safe and self-sufficient futures is so important! LFBS is so very proud, and grateful to YOU, for supporting our work over the past 7 years toward making it possible for us to do exactly that <3

Our 2017/18 Annual Report will be coming out soon. Please join us on Facebook (Little Footprints, Big Steps) and see your support unfolding. 

Please share the work and progress widely. Let others become catalysts for the kind ofr change that YOU make possible each and every day - igniting that light in the eyes of others! 

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your love, care and support. 

 

School supplies to rural communities
School supplies to rural communities
Healed, and ready for school!
Healed, and ready for school!
From youth harvesting to...
From youth harvesting to...
...fresh, nutritious peanut butter!
...fresh, nutritious peanut butter!
Rotary International Peace Award
Rotary International Peace Award

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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!

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Back-packs arrive via sailboat!
Back-packs arrive via sailboat!

 Although this school year will soon be drawing to a close and moving toward various Summer School pursuits and opportunities, we continue to gather supplies for next school year! Back-packs and other school supplies were gathered from numerous schools in Connecticut  and medical supplies from surrounding hospitals and medical clinics by the wonderful folks at Move to Matter Organization. From there they were all transported to a sailboat in Florida, and once conditions were good, were sailed to Haiti for LFBS to pick up! We try to purchase as much of our goods in Haiti but some costs and item availability doesn't allow that. And, there are very few ways to actually get supplies to Haiti, so the folks that volunteer the use of their sailboats as they travel the Caribbean is so very important! 

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.

The continued growth in the children and youth’s confidence, skills and abilities in so many areas was clearly evident during recent Haitian Flag Day celebrations. Our staff spent the holiday hosting a party for a group of nearly 50 children and youth. Youth were involved in all areas of the event - presenting poetry and speeches about their country, singing songs and performing cultural dances! 

Other clear signs of the growth and change underway was seeing some of our youth leaders joining in with the local Rotary Club reforestation efforts and others joining a girl’s soccer team. These are not pursuits they would have thought possible just a few years ago!

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.

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”.

A wonderful new partnership to assist with the nutritional needs has recently come from UBSuper Nutritonal products. These individual high protein and nutritionally supplemented packages are easy to transport and to use and can be distributed to our Outreach youth as well as used for our medical recovery support patients. We are excited about the difference this will make to the children and youth that we will be able to provide this to. Nutrition can make the difference not only between living and growing well, but also being able to learn well!

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!

 Thank you to our supporters 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. 

Medical Supplies arrive as well
Medical Supplies arrive as well
Reciting a poem at Haiti Flag Day celebrations
Reciting a poem at Haiti Flag Day celebrations
Staff team building <3
Staff team building <3
Inspiring high school students in Canada
Inspiring high school students in Canada
Delivering goats to rural families
Delivering goats to rural families

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Organization Information

Little Footprints, Big Steps - IDO

Location: Whitehorse, Yukon - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Little Footprints, Big Steps
Project Leader:
Karen Wienberg
Whitehorse, Yukon Canada
$66,047 raised of $90,000 goal
 
1,003 donations
$23,953 to go
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