Luminous children, full of stories.
With the holiday season upon us, we want to express our deep gratitude to you, our generous friends. We carry you with us wherever we travel. Last month a delegation of LitWorld staff and board members traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to launch our newest LitClubs. This is an important place for LitWorld to be right now. With the help or our community and phenomenal local partners, we will invest in the future of the children of Haiti, who will seize these opportunities, and change our worlds too.
During our trip we had the honor of training 20 incredible young women, and future LitClub leaders, from the TOYA Foundation. The TOYA Foundation mentors young women who are hoping to accomplish personal goals and realize their dreams, and also trains businesses and organizations on women's issues and best practices to promote the development of an equitable and stable society.
Our training was full of songs in both English and Creole/French, and each song turned into a beautiful chorus of voices coming together in different languages. We danced and held hands... we even had a congo line! The singing paved the way for an outpouring of sharing, laughing, and growing together. At the end of our time together, we presented LitClub Facilitator Certificates to the young women who will lead our movement in Haiti.
We also had the opportunity to scout a potential location to serve as a home base for LitWorld in Haiti. Rather than "home base" we call this space, and our similar spaces around the world, LitWorld Innovation Hubs. The space that we visited is located behind a school, and high enough in the mountains to give a view of the hills. We walked in and immediately fell in love. There was light, light, light everywhere. It will be a literacy sanctuary, a place full of joy where children can gather and grow.
On our final day in Port-au-Prince we met with another local organization, the Children of Haiti Project. Dominique, the incredible founder of this organization, took us to the nearby tent city where many children who attend her program live. Dominique took us to one of her student's homes. The little girl's name is Givelove. She lives with her mother and father in a tent the size of a standard two person sleeping tent pitched on three sticks over gravel -- no floor. They sleep, cook and live in this tent. There is no door, there is a wall missing on one side.
These children and families are living in conditions that are not fit for any living being to live in, but they have been for more than three years now. It is unfathomable and yet it exists. There is much sorrow in Haiti, and yet so much hope, and so many wonderful people working so tirelessly to bring the joy of learning to the forefront. We are there to support this crucial work of rebuilding.
Our Innovation Hubs around the world represent our collaboration with partners on the ground who can bring LitWorld methodologies to life and convey this vision to many others in their local communities and countries. We are building reading cultures with their collaboration, and your support.
You help us to build and empower our Innovation Hubs, from Kibera to Port-au-Prince to Manila to Harlem. Every child matters. Let us together make the world more loving for children.
A joy-filled training session.
Women of TOYA Foundation, future LitClub leaders.
Magical children of Haiti.