I was in Haiti this fall and I am bringing back picture-proof of why I remain committed. It’s the hand-drawn, hand-colored thanks of the children I met. These children never showed signs of frustration, though if anyone has a right to be critical of their plight – it’s them.
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It’s been almost two months since the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Although it seems like there’s less urgency with the news coverage on the quake, there are long-term effects of the disaster. This past weekend, the New York Times published an article commenting on how the earthquake left not only the city in ruins, but the education system as well.
Hundreds of teachers, and thousands of students lost their lives in the quake. Many schools and colleges have been destroyed, or are considered too dangerous to resume classes. With less schools and less facilities to properly train more teachers, the education of Haiti’s children is in “limbo”.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl Stern visited Haiti last week. These are her notes from the field.
I woke up with the sun again and checked my watch
I woke up to the most amazing and inspirational breakfast I have ever experienced (the food wasn’t bad either ;). But I am referring to the company! Ten members of the Guatemalan Parliament of Childhood and Adolescence joined us for huevos, frijoles y platanos. Aged 11-19, they are all elected by their indigenous communities to be the voice of their peers. We broke the ice with a song and dance game called “cuchiera y paleta”. Tak tak!
This group speaks to the public and the government about issues that are affecting children in Guatemala (sexual abuse, HIV/AIDs, migration, violence, gangs, malnutrition). They also educate their peers on their rights and work with them to identify and speak out about their problems.They are the future leaders of Guatemala.