For Immediate Release – The Diaspora Travels: Haiti 2015 Production Trip Talk Back

Photo by Vanissa Chan
Photo by Vanissa Chan

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Unit 2
163 STERLING ROAD, Toronto, Ontario
6pm

This year was our 2nd Project Trip to Haiti. We were able to continue to follow the Haitian Diaspora to the Ground in Haiti and follow grassroots reconstruction efforts after the Earthquake.

We landed in Haiti February 4th and were able to stay there with your support till April 27th. We were in Port au Prince doing follow up interviews from our last trip had our office and continue to build with Maurice Sixto (MOY). The Maurice Foundations promotes Education and Haitian Culture, and has campaigns against the Restavek system, and has a community school for rescued children in Port au Prince. Their School is still being restoration from the destruction from the Earthquake.

A restavek (or restavec) is a child in Haiti who is sent by his or her parents to work for a host household as a domestic servant because the parents lack the resources required to support the child.

We also went to Melissa’s Hope Foundation is an orphanage, school, and camp in Haiti. Our mission is to give hope and love to the future. Melissa’s Hope symbolizes, which is run by former Diaspora Haitian who returned to Haiti, Pascal Bain, because he spoke English he was able to advocate for alot of Haitians around him in gaining resources, after the Earthquake.

We also returned to FONDASYON FELICITEE and did a follow up interview with Haitian Historian Bayinnah Bello, who does monthy free educationally workships in Port au Prince. http://www.fondasyonfelicitee.org/

In Jacmel we were following the efforts of Earthship Haiti which coordinated a build of Amphitheatre and Community School called Sa-K-La-K-Wel. We will be speaking with the lead Builders of the Site this year. (Robert Negron, Oja Vincent, and Marita Marisine) as well as Denise Rodriguez who was an International Volunteer on the Build.

We had the opportunity to meet Reginal Turnier (Diaspora who moved back in 2002 to convert an alley full of Garbage into an Art Gallery, Bar Restaurant Vatican, in downtown Jacmel, which was our production office, we are also continuing to build towards an ongoing partnership in an interactive project called Musse Mobile.

We travelled all the way to Anse d’hainault to see the start of a Permaculture Centre called Opapam.org. We will speak with the founder Nadine Dominique who will speak about the importance of developping Permaculture and localized agriculture in Haiti.

We are speaking with Kara Lightburn part of Social Tap, Inchttp://www.socialtap.org/, The Haiti Initiative.

COMMUNITY ASSET MAPPING, CAPACITY BUILDING, & DEVELOPMENT
Our approach in this core initiative is born out of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach that Social Tap Inc. was founded on. We believe that community development is most sustainable when the change is facilitated by community partners who have a real stake in the community.

Through partnering with local organizations, we seek to recognize and connect the various strengths within the community to build a strong capacity for change and empowerment. This approach also emphasizes facilitating groups who wish to come to Haiti and help by partnering them with the appropriate organizations, institutions, groups, and individuals.

Kara was recently in Anse-a-Pitre which is located in the South East Department of Haiti right on the border with the Dominican Republic. A reported 31,175 Haitian/Dominicans have ‘voluntarily deported’ themselves according to Dominican Immigration services since June 17th traveling across the border to Haiti. Those who arrived in this region from the #DRhave been setting up camp in Parc de Cadot right outside of Anse-A-Pitre on the #Haiti side…. It is a desert waste land that has been designated for these #stateless individuals and families.

WE CONDEMN the Actions of the Dominican Republic government, and ongoing violence that Haitians face in the Dominican Republic.

Come and hear about the 2015 Production Trip.

We continue to build long term relationships and strengthening Diaspora networks that reach directly to the ground and the people of Haiti, and go beyond barriers that Haitians have to face in their daily lives.

The Diaspora Travels: Haiti Crew.

Facebook Event: Link

This event will be recorded and streamed.

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For Immediate Release: The Diaspora Travels: Haiti Pitch for your Support

Monday, February 16th, 2015
 
Diaspora Travels returns to Haiti four years later, to continue to their working in exploring Haitian and Haitian Diasporic driven initiatives after the Earthquake, we are here for the second time. Our first trip was in February 2011, and now we are back doing follow up interviews in Port au Prince as well spending most of our time in Jacmel following the Earthship inspired build Community Centre, Amphitheatre and School Build called Sa-K-la-ka-Wel (means: If you survive it, you will see it) in the Oban, Community in Jacmel, Haiti. Our full story.

The Diaspora Travels: Haiti The aim of the feature documentary film and digital interactive project is to explore Haitian and Haitian Diasporic reconstructions projects after the Earthquake (January 12th, 2010) to counter the mainstream media’s portrayal of Haiti which often leaves out the local story and omits the rebuilding efforts of Haitians are doing themselves to rebuild. The film explores Haitian Resilience and asks the question how do your rebuild when 300,000 people die in a moment. For full back ground on the project please go to https://thediasporatravelshaiti.wordpress.com

Diaspora Travels in is a collaborative project between a docuvixen film (Malinda Francis), Alliance of Conscious Documentarians (ACD Media) (Oja Vincent), and Anaconda Motion Pictures (Michel Dessources Jr), just joining the team is Shana McCalla is Salem Script Productions as another producer.  As well as Vanissa Chan also apart of (ACD Media) in the Production Office as well as Photographer/Illustrator.

Since January 12, 2010 Earthquake, which was the biggest show of international support ever in history globally we have since seen the majority of billion dollars of foreign aid has  evaporated into the non-profit industrial complex. This is how Haiti has become know as the “the Nation of NGOs.”

The movement for sustainable living has become ever more urgent. Here in Haiti they say Haitians pay to be in darkness, the average being 5 hours a day or every other day, as well a gas prices have been going up, probably the only place in this Hemisphere, making life for Haitians very hard.  This makes movement towards Environmental and Social Justice one in the the same. This lack of access to energy for Haitians makes solar and sustainable energy very urgent.

The majority of the 13 billion dollars of foreign aid has evaporated by the non-profit industrial complex and haven’t made it to the ground, so all the grassroots organizations we work with there are no salaries given to Foreign Workers this is done strategically to prevent corruption.  All money is spent locally all resources are brought directly to the ground, if there is foreign participation, usually though paid volunteer positions which then is funnelled back into the local economy.

In Haiti they say Haitians pay to be in darkness, the average is having power 5 hours of day, to every other day for the average Haitian, which makes solar energy every more crucial to be made accessible to Haitians. This makes the movement towards Environmental Justice and Social Justice one and the same.  This movement it is direct challenge to “Disaster Capitalism” (illustrated by author Naomi Klein) directly on the ground in Haiti. Earthship Biotecture  Humanitarian builds, including the one here in Haiti works through participatory construction gives training directly to Haitians, and breaks conventional notions of who can build.

The Community Build of Sa-k-la-k-wel  is in the Oban, Jacmel Community that is taking place is collaboration between Sa-K-la-k-Wel http://sa-k-la-k-wel.org/ ,Indy Convergence Haiti http://www.indyconvergence.org/haiti/ and Ayiti Ini/Haiti Uni/United Haiti http://www.ayitiini.wordpress.com/. The collaborations work on the principal (If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because you liberation is bound up with up was mine, then let us work together.”LW).

Sa-K-La-K-Wel lost their rented space so the Earthship inspired Build is a space where collaboration and space to skill share between Haitian and International artists, coaching and educators. There has been english and music classes, along with a Football (soccer) team and dojo. Dieudonne Cyprien the Executive Director of the school, a Haitian who donated his families’ land and Robert Negron who is the International Liaison for Artist Collaborations both say that it is urgent for the Amphitheatre and School get constructed so hat collaborations can begin agin.  In Feb-March of 2014 the crew laid the foundation down and this year Feb-March 2015 the second stage of the build where the Amphitheatre, seating and on class room is going up.

Diaspora Travels is also seeking support for their portion of the Build as well as supplies, such a tools, boots for volunteers. To donate directly please go to our Go Fund Me and give directly to the work done on the ground.

 (http://www.gofundme.com/thediaporatravels)

You can give also to the production of the feature documentary, The Diaspora Travels: Haiti the film, and our ongoing work in and Haiti with the digital interactive project which is an ongoing mapping of Haitian and Haitian Diasporic Restruction Projects, please go to IndieGoGo (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-diaspora-travels-haiti-2nd-trip).

Here is our Video Pitch for your support: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn79Kf0qSL0
Don’t hesitate to ask for more information on how to get involved and other ways you can support. If you have any media inquiries, please contact: Shana McCalla at thediasporatravelshaiti@gmail.com, or salemscriptproductions@gmail.com.
Sincerely
The Diaspora Travels: Haiti Crew
Malinda Francis (Producer, Co-Director, Camera, Editor)