A group of us traveled to Haiti to visit a UNICEF-supported project called Art in a Bag. This program provides art supplies and training to 92 organizations and community-based partners that UNICEF works with, and is being used in child-friendly spaces and community centers around the country. Over 500 child-friendly spaces will benefit from the Art in a Bag program, reaching over 120,000 children. The project, which was generously funded by The Charles Engelhard Foundation, uses art as a means of therapy to enable children to express themselves, engage positively with their communities, and cope with the stress of the earthquake, poverty, and living in the camps.
Tag Archives for "Haiti"
I was in Haiti with an amazing UNICEF team to see the effects of the earthquake and the UNICEF programs that are helping children and their communities with the long-term recovery efforts. The power of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti hit home as we arrived in Champs de Mars, the center of Port-au-Prince. In the first days of my trip seeing the effects of the earthquake on the city and the people, it all seemed so overwhelming, an impossible situation. How could you help? Where would you even begin? However, as the days go by, a little light starts to glimmer through. Bit by bit, UNICEF is making progress.
The resounding message I heard while visiting Haiti last week was that “We are survivors, not victims.” Old and young alike affirmed to me their eagerness to build Haiti back stronger, to play a role in its future and lift its people out of poverty.
Not only did I hear this message, I saw it in action at the Qui Croit nutrition center in Kenscoff, a mountainous region outside of Port- au- Prince.
Emergency relief helps people survive immediate, life-threatening hardships. On-going development support helps people get the information and tools to take charge of their own lives and futures. True change takes effort and time. There will be setbacks and frustrations. The people I met in Haiti are prepared to persevere in spite of what may come.
There is more to share from my visit but for now, I’d like to say “thank you” on behalf of the courageous people I met – for your immediate support when the earthquake hit and for your on-going support that helping Haitian’s take charge of their lives once again
Next week, I will report to you from Haiti. It will be an emotional trip, as I have not been to Haiti since late 2010 when Haitians were still trying to come to terms with the devastation around them. I am looking forward to meeting the children UNICEF is helping, thanks to your generosity post-earthquake.
As always, I plan on giving and receiving lots of hugs and kisses next week, which is the greatest reward anyone who works in service to children could hope for. I will be sharing updates from Haiti at @carylstern on Twitter.
Children stand and watch as volunteers unload large, black plastic boxes from a UNICEF truck at the Child Friendly Space where they come each day to play, learn, and just be kids.
Two years after most of them lost their homes and some, their families, the delivery of these supplies marks the launch of Art in a Bag or ‘bwat Atis’ in Creole – a new art therapy program created by UNICEF to provide displaced and impoverished children with a creative way of healing.
The tropical storm watch for Haiti has been upgraded to a tropical storm warning. Tropical Storm Emily is reportedly moving at 70 km/h in a westward direction across the Caribbean Sea and is expected to reach Port-au-Prince in the early morning of Thursday, 4 August (late Wednesday night).