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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
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!

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Extreme flooding and mudslides
Extreme flooding and mudslides

We knew you would want some information as soon as possible about Little Footprints Big Steps as the much of our work, children and families are located directly in the eye of the horrendous Category 4 Hurricane Matthew. 

We are so proud of our amazing team. They worked tirelessly before, during and now, in the aftermath, Hurricane Matthew. The special training they received over the past months; the critical relationships they forged with Haitian Social Services and other non-government organizations; the tremendous devotion they have; and the tremendous support that you have shown us, are enabling Little Footprints Big Steps to play a pivotal and immediate role. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/morgan-wienberg-haiti-hurricane-matthew-aftermath-1.3792560

Here are some brief updates: At 4:30 this morning, we were able to send another truck of supplies, this time including critically needed medical supplies. We are working with a Dr. and two nurses that have traveled to Les Cayes with those supplies and will be working out of our main Safehouse. Message from Morgan: ANOTHER BOY I THOUGHT WAS DEAD, ERBY, SHOWED UP AT SAFEHOUSE BUT IS TRAUMATIZED AND CUT BY NAILS AND METAL. ONLY ONE HOUSE AND PART OF A SCHOOL EXIST IN HIS AREA NOW. HE SAW KIDS DIE AND MANY ARE DYING OF CHOLERA. HE WALKED THROUGH A RIVER TO GET HERE ALTHOUGH NAILS PUNCTURED HIS FEET.

 On Sunday, Morgan and two of our staff made it into Jeremie to bring what limited supplies they could, to our children and families there. This community is almost totally wiped out. http://www.maghaiti.net/ce-nest-pas-la-syrie-cest-la-ville-de-jeremie/ Morgan's  message: ALREADY SAW 2 KIDS, THEIR HOUSES BETTER THAN EXPECTED BUT NO TREES IN GRANDE ANSE, I DONT KNOW HOW PEOPLE WILL SURVIVE. THEY ARE THIRSTY...

The main road from the rest of Haiti, to bring desperately needed supplies and assistance, is slowly becoming usable for large trucks. Through donor support, our staff and partners based in Port au Prince have purchased supplies that Morgan has requested. That truck arrived safely to Morgan in Les Cayes late Saturday night! Here is Morgan's message on receiving those supplies"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU GOT EXACTLY WHAT WE ASKED FOR. I FEEL LESS HELPLESS AND OVERWHELMINGLY GRATEFUL. THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THROUGH. WE CAN DO THIS."

Along with the media links above showing photos of Les Cayes and Jeremie areas, I have attached photos from our main area of operations directly following the hurricane and of the first truck we were thrilled to be able to stock with supplies in Port au Prince, with the tremendous assistance and cooridation of friends and staff based in that unaffected city....and get through the trecherous roadways to Morgan and our team in the south. 

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Homes and communities destroyed
Homes and communities destroyed
Loading first supply truck
Loading first supply truck
Almost full, then on the way to Les Cayes
Almost full, then on the way to Les Cayes

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Our caring and dedicated staff
Our caring and dedicated staff

LOOK what you have made possible! We are excited to share a ‘snap shot’ of the wonderful activities and progress that these past couple of months have brought.

 Even as we begin the flurry for another exciting school year, it is astonishing to realize that we are just about to finish our 5th year of operation since the founding of Little Footprints Big Steps! The steps that have been taken toward true and lasting change for individuals, families and communities have been immense.

Through the relentless, determined efforts of Little Footprints leadership and Haitian staff (photo), as well as strong partnerships and collaborations they have forged with local and international organizations, we have led and participated in initiatives with widespread impacts. From educating communities on the rights of children and women; influencing the practice of institutionalization to be replaced with family reunification; building local capacity and expertise; to supporting and encouraging hundreds of children and youth to thrive in schools and skill based training. This is also part the legacy being realized from your support.

This summer, our Outreach work with the families that we have reunited children, located in 22 communities in Haiti, included us accompanying Mika, one of the girls rescued and reunited with her family to Port au Prince where she was interviewed by LUMOS Organization for a video they are making promoting family reunification. A photo is attached of this bright and articulate girl who, just a few years ago, was in an abusive orphanage with no options for the future. We rescued her and reunited her with her mother four years ago. She now is dedicated to her studies and hopes to become a doctor one day. 

Back in Les Cayes, a number of the youth that have experienced severe trauma undertook art therapy with an experienced volunteer. The Transitional Safehouse was transformed into a busy art studio(photo)! One of the results included a beautiful mural, where the group painted the beautiful background, then added a personal piece. A lasting reminder of the creativity and possibility within them all – and foremost in their minds was including ‘Ti Pye Gwo Pa’, Creole for ‘Little Feet Big Steps’ speaking to the significant impact on their lives (photo). Others were busy translating the art therapy manuals from English to Creole. An Environmental Awareness workshop ended up with the participants singing as they cleaned up the local beach and surrounding area.Yoga classes also are part of the holistic programming for Trauma Recovery. Other children were also immersed in Summer School activities – including Music School (photos)! There were numerous field trips to learn about their country, continued English tutoring, apprenticeships and sessions with the Agronomist building on agricultural skill and knowledge from last summer’s Our Garden Haiti training. It was also a time where children stayed at the Transitional Safehouses healing while they underwent various medical procedures, tests, surgeries.

Another key training and capacity building highlight that occurred this summer was a First Aid/CPR and Train-the-Trainer workshop.  It was attended by over 50 enthused participants, including a number of staff and youth from LFBS (photo). These skills not only build the ability and confidence of our staff and youth, but also will enable them to pass along this new critical knowledge to their families and communities.

 AND, now a new cycle of learning and growth will begin with registration, school supplies, uniforms, shoes, transportation arrangements all underway – for over 250 children. A generation that will have an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families…and lead the way out of the cycle of poverty and dependence. Thanks to YOU!

This newsletter has just a couple of the many stories from this summer’s endeavours, please visit our Blog for more stories and photo, https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/update-august-2016-summer/ ,and follow us on Facebook.

With much gratitude from all whose lives you touch so deeply.

Children and families of LFBS, Staff, Board of Directors

Mika, confident and articulate in an interview
Mika, confident and articulate in an interview
Art Therapy workshop at Transitional Safehouse
Art Therapy workshop at Transitional Safehouse
Finished 'Ti Pye Gwo Pa' mural!
Finished 'Ti Pye Gwo Pa' mural!
Summer Music Camp!
Summer Music Camp!
First Aid/CPR learning to be shared
First Aid/CPR learning to be shared

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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

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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

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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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