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President Obama Should Visit Haiti – #First2First

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Message, Trip, Uncategorized     Comments No comments
May
20

Let me start off with this. If president Obama, the first black president of the United States of America. The first black president of the free world, finished his two consecutive terms and did not visit the First Black independent nation in the western half of the world, the birth place of the first and only successful slave revolt, it would be a shame, a real shame.

Though I am not sure who the shame would be on, Obama or us, the one thing I know for sure is that, it would be very disappointing for History to be written that way. It would be a real blow to know that from 1804 to 1862,The United States refused to recognize Haiti’s independence, for no reason other than that it was a group of black people who wanted freedom, a group of black people who believed in equality; and now, fast forward to 2008 to 2016…. for the first BLACK president of these same United States of America not to even acknowledge or recognize Haiti’s contribution to the fight for freedom in the world, would be another slap in the face for black people everywhere. And it always stings a little more when it’s your own people hurting you. I know that history repeats itself but that repetition is one I can’t stomach and I hope we can avoid it.

Ok. now that I have gotten this off my chest. Let me, talk a little bit to some of you who may not be sure about the idea or perhaps not see the importance of a SITTING President Obama’s visit to Haiti. You may say; visiting Haiti… right now is not the time. Look we don’t even have a legit government. We couldn’t organize elections. Who will Mr. Obama meet with anyway?

Those are all fair questions. But, there are a couple of things I would like for you to think about… you know, as President Obama is nearing the end of his final term, he’s in what people call, legacy building stage, to not consider a visit to the first black republic as something of historical significance has to make us wonder. It should push us to at least look in the mirror and ask the question, have we  (and by we I don’t mean just Haitian politicians) have we rendered our powerful and amazing history and legacy worthless?

Or perhaps should the shame be on Mr. Obama for failing to realize the importance of Haiti’s history and to understand that not only would his legacy be missing something of value, but he would also be judged by history for ignoring that.

Take the "I Stand With Haiti Pledge"

Take the “I Stand With Haiti Pledge”

Listen, Haiti has always been in the national media mainly for unflattering or depressing reasons, like a disaster or a coup. These things have kept many Americans from learning about the people of Haiti, including our own black brothers and sisters. Our dysfunctional relationship with the Black American community stems from that.

They have very little opportunity to learn simple facts about who we are. Things like how in the 1820s Haiti facilitated the migration of thousands of Black Americans seeking refuge from racial oppression. So many black Americans, young and old, are simply unaware of our history together as a people. A visit from the president could help introduce them to Haiti’s history instead of its misery and that could be the start of much better relationships with our black brothers and sisters in America.

And for those who may be prideful and say; we don’t need Obama to tell the world of our history or Obama has not done anything for Haiti, well, that…, can be said of many of us. and I am not sure if he owes us anything but he should at the very least acknowledge this important milestone in black history. And another thing, while some of us Haitians here in the US have enough pride to fill a bucket, don’t you think the people of Haiti can use a little pick me up?

A small reminder that they matter, matter enough for a visit from the president of the United States not because there’s been a coup and he is bringing back the ousted president, or because there has been a disaster of epic proportion and people have pity on them but because America’s leader respects their history.

I see the presence of the First Black President of the United States in Haiti as a MUST. Just imagine what this could do for the youth. It would bring 1804 to the present, and inspire true hope to our youth ..both at home and abroad.

Mr. President,…After the 2010 earthquake, you promised the Haitian people that they would not be forgotten or forsaken. One critical way to fulfill this promise is by traveling to Haiti this year. Haiti, at one point in History was a beacon of Hope, the people of Haiti provided Hope to all blacks and helped to liberate many. Your presence in the country, in my opinion will provide to our young people, something that no measure of foreign aid can accomplish. It would start restoring dignity, confidence and hope. This is an opportunity to acknowledge the people who have fought so hard for the very same causes you champion; liberty, equality, and hope.

Going to Haiti may not be the political thing to do, but it’s certainly the right thing to do. I know Haiti is like a diamond in the rough,I have to admit, it even looks senseless at times. But I believe President Obama should go and pay his respects to the people of Haiti who are still paying the price for Having had the AUDACITY to want to be free.

Back to School Drive in Haiti

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Education, Events, News, Program, Trip, Uncategorized     Comments No comments
Oct
18

Back-to-school-drive

Throughout the year Color of Hope supports schools, students, teachers and parents with different initiatives, however the back to school drive is one that has proven to be crucial for a successful academic year. 

Many parents struggled to come up with tuition fees and uniforms which means there is no money for school supplies. While some schools will not allow children to attend without adequate school supplies, many children will attend school without the basics (backpack, notebooks, pens, pencils etc…) One of the students we helped was threatened to be sent back home because he did not have socks. 

back-to-school-drive1

This year with the support of Waste Management, One Love-One Community and LESS Institute, we were able to help more children to start the school year properly equipped.

back-to-school-drive2

Knowing the importance of education in building a better Haiti, we couldn’t be more grateful to all those who make what we do possible. Special thanks to: Mayor Triolo of the City of Lake Worth, Ellen Smith, Barbara Haider, Former State Rep. Mack Bernard, Lisa Turdo, Commissioner McVoy, Renel Coutelien, Alex Augustin and Mary Greydanus.
back-to-school-drive3
The back to School Drive was filled with activities, including a movie viewing. “Providing those materials to students in Haiti is priceless” said Hope Ambassador Marli Lalanne. Click HERE to view more pictures from the event on our facebook page.

 

Hope Team USA is back from Haiti

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Events, News, Program, Technology, Trip     Comments No comments
Aug
15
Hope Team USA is back from Haiti. We did everything we set out to do AND had a little time to go to the beach.
Teacher-training-Haiti
During our trip, we hosted the seminar for teachers and schools at our Technology Center PLUS another week long seminar for teachers in La Gonave as well.
Kids-tech_Haiti
We did activities for youth including movie night. We also got the ball rolling on our biggest initiative yet “Ayiti Li” (an initiative to promote reading in Haiti’s schools, groups, organizations and in homes.) We did many other wonderful things with groups and communities we partner with –
Ayiti_Li
We took just a little time to relax at the beach but it was back to work the next day to empower our people
beach
Movie Night – With no movie theater in Haiti and very limited power we made a way.
Movie-time-in-Haiti
We took the time to invest in teachers so they can help prepare the next generation of leaders that Haiti needs
teacher-training-LaGonave
The kids just love the Ipad in La Gonave.
Kids-LaGonave_Color-of-Hope
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Teacher Training in Haiti

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Education, Events, Program, Trip     Comments No comments
Aug
30

Our professional development training for teachers and schools in Haiti this year has been a huge success. Over two hundred and fifty participants from all over the country. “This was the best training I have ever had” said one of the participants. Our strategy to positively impact the next generation in Haiti starts with the people who are educating them. We are making the RIGHT investment in teachers to help them empower their students. Click here to view more pictures

COH_teacher-training-Haiti

Our Teacher Training program provides professional development training that addresses both pedagogical and subject area skills at the early childhood education, primary, and secondary levels. These training are designed to meet the guidelines and standards of the Ministry of Education.  Currently in Haiti, at the early childhood education level, there are 20,000 teachers, but only 42% are qualified to teach at that level. And the situation is even worse at the primary level, where only 22% of the 60,000 teachers are qualified to teach. Given the enormous challenge of the lack of qualified teachers in Haiti we take this program on the road.  We travel outside of our center to regroup and train educators in remote areas of the country in addition to hosting regular trainings at our location.

Teacher-Training_Lagonave_Haiti

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This Note Belongs to You

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Education, Events, News, Program, Technology, Trip, Uncategorized     Comments No comments
Jun
9

This note belongs to you, we couldn’t have done any of it without your support. THANK YOU! Dieumela at our Community Technology Center Dear Color of Hope, The students from La Providence de Delmas 53 had a great innovative day at your Tech Center on May 28 2014. We would like to thank Marli Lalanne, Frensisca Danastor and the whole staff on behalf of all the students. Once again, thank you for enlighten the kids about technology. They had a blast. They will cherish that experience for the rest of their lives. Dieumela Aid Team Haiti School at our Community Technology Center People like you make what we do possible. We have touched so many lives, but knowing that there are so many left untouched makes it hard for us to rest. We are looking forward to touching many more young lives with your support. Haiti School at our Community Technology Center

My Trip to Haiti

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Column, Events, Haiti Hope Ambassador, Opinion, Trip     Comments No comments
May
6

Ambassador Marli In Aquin HaitiThis past week, I traveled with fellow hope agents and ambassadors to Haiti. Right out of the airport we hopped into a taptap immersing ourselves into the Port-au-Prince experience, ready to work. Day one, we visited the center (currently under construction) and fully appreciated walking the rough steep inclines treaded regularly by our team mates in Haiti.

We met the construction workers, assessed and discussed what needed to get done and set hard goals. In the midst of all that, I managed to get a personal fashion show, click here to check it out. I also expanded my Creole vocabulary and learned what a “gren 5” is. Day two greeted me with the earsplitting choral of roosters who set the tone for the short nights and pre-dawn rises that awaited us for the rest of our stay. Every day after that brought unforgettable encounters and experiences.

I spent time with one of the most beautiful and incredible women in our team heart to heart and I’m now so proud to call her my friend. I was embraced by joyous children who spoke their mind and once again demonstrated to me how much all children, no matter where they are born are the same, pure, precious and wonderful. It reinforced my belief that given proper nurturing and opportunity our Haitian children will thrive and lead not only in the prosperity of their country but in that of the world.

Hope Agent Jean Yves and others at work

During this trip, I felt a warmth and comfort I had never before felt in Haiti. There was a fraternity that allowed our group in Haiti to express their gratitude for the knowledge we were passing on without any stifling pride or resentment. I saw how open minded our US team was and how much respect and appreciation they expressed. I saw capable Haitians from various walks of life working together and we all came out wiser and closer to one another. That completely blew me away.

Ambassador Marli at work building the Hope & Innovation Center

We are building a center for the things that are at the center of all of our hearts, our future and our children. We want our children to know what they are worth and we won’t stop until we revive our fanm ak gason vayan.

Hope Agent Suze and LounaTo the hope team who made this trip so special, Thank you! Thank you for the hard work, thank you for the courage, thank you for the love. I give it back to you ten times over as we continue on this journey of hope.

View more photos from the trip at the links below:

Hope Team in Aquin

Working Together

Building Together

Celebrate Together

 

Learn more about Hope Ambassador Marli 

 

 

Solar Lights Distribution in Haiti

Posted Posted by Color of Hope in Events, Program, Trip     Comments No comments
May
4

The Hope Team USA  just arrived in Haiti ready to roll up our sleeves and help our brothers & sisters. We are heading to our first meeting with the community of Jacket where we are looking to establish our  pilot project for  our  Empowerment Center

Update:
At first glance the country has changed, not for the better. But on the positive side, there is some improvement at the airport and construction looks very slow. Today we have a few meetings with different community organizations to know the needs and of course provide the solar lights.

Hope Ambassador Ed Shakespierre speaking with youth leaders in Haiti

Update:
Our meeting just ended, we had many  young women participants which is one of our focus area, women and children. We also had many young men. Pictures will be posted on our facebook page later.

Update from Hope Team USA on 2nd day in Haiti: 
We just visited a few organizations and communities to distribute the solar lights, things went very well. We will post pictures later. Having Konbit For Haiti as our partner has really helped us achieve more. Thanks for believing in “L’union fait la force”

Hope Team Solar Light Distribution in Haiti Day 2

“Update from Hope Team USA on 3rd day in Haiti:
Today we visited communities in Saint Marc, Jean Denis, Kafou Tibwa etc… This was heart breaking to see the living conditions of many of our brothers and sisters but we are very happy that tonight many of them will be able to see during the night hours. Thank you for helping us to make a difference.”

Update:
At many of the communities we visited we repeatedly heard this; “It is so refreshing to see young Haitians living abroad come back to work with us, it makes us feel like we can do more.” We have also heard that, our presence alone do more good than we think.” We have done more than what we set out to do so far. We are very proud of the young Haitians who have stepped up for Haiti. Hope Agents let’s go!”

Hope Team USA delivers solar lights to children in Haiti day 3


Update from Hope Team USA trip to Haiti day 4:

“Good morning to you all and the rest of the Hope Team in the US. It is a good morning so far, we are scheduled to visit a few more communities today. We also have a special meeting schedule with Hope Team Haiti to assess our work so far and fine tuning the roadmap for the future.

Update
The Hope Team USA solar lights distribution continues. The kids are extremely grateful and happy. Thanks to everyone who contributed and those who continue to support this very important and needed project. Many communities that we visited have no electricity. You’ve allowed us to serve the needy in our country and we’re doing it gracefully. Thank you!

Hope Team delivers solar lights to schools in Haiti day 5

“Update from Hope Team USA trip to Haiti day 5:
Today we started the day with a meeting with our partner Konbit for Haiti, discussing the situation in Haiti. We then headed out to Kafou where we visited a few communities there. We met with members of VISPAH and distribute solar lights to children in the area.

We ended the day with a special meeting with Hope Team Haiti to assess our work so far and fine tuning the roadmap for the future. We surprised them all with a solar light. We are so grateful for them, many of them are going through tough times as well and through it all still have the will to help others. THANK YOU Hope Team Haiti.”

Hope Team Haiti meeting with Hope Team USA

Update:
Hope Team Haiti is ready to work, they desperately need our support.
“Our brothers and sisters in Haiti can’t do it by themselves, they need us” Hope Agent Salusa Basquin

Hope Team USA trip to Haiti update day 6:
Solar lights distribution continues. We have 5 schools we hope to visit and provide solar lights to today. We will be in these areas; Kenskof, Kanaran, Delmas 75, Boucan Carre and Fort Jacques and possibly Delmas 32.

Hope Team delivers solar lights to communities in Haiti day 6

Update
One more meeting at 2PM and we’re done. Thank you so much to everyone of you for your help and support. We just had a conversation with someone from the Foreign Minister’s Office and they were very happy of our efforts.

Update
Today was a very busy, productive and long day. We have been to Kenskof, Kanaran, Boucan Carre, Fort Jacques and Delmas 32. Huge thanks to David for driving us everywhere to distribute the solar lights. We can without a shadow of a doubt say; “Mission Accomplished!” We have just a couple of meetings tomorrow and we should be on our way back soon. Thanks to all who have made this wonderful endeavor possible. THANK YOU!”

Hope Team USA trip to Haiti update day 7:
Hope Team USA is on the way back from Haiti. This was an amazing trip and time spent with our beloved Haiti.”

A warm welcome for Hope Team USA from Haiti

Hope Team USA Received a warm welcome by Hope Agent Portia. We are very proud of our team and our partner Konbit for Haiti.

Thank you to everyone who purchased a Unity T-shirt to support the the Light Up Haiti Project. Your contribution make it possible for the Hope Team to distribute solar lights to schools and communities throughout  Haiti. THANK YOU

View pictures from the trip here: