Tout Timoun Ladann!
This is in haitian creole the title of the campaign I will assist at Save the Children in Haiti as a Pulse volunteer.
My task will be to help promote the protection and education of children, and to fight against domestic work. The inventory was made by UNICEF in 2015: in Haiti 400 000 children from 5 to 17 years old do domestic work, and 207 000 in unacceptable conditions of exclusion, malnutrition and humiliation. The idea of Save the Children as a result of the UNICEF census is to raise awareness and imply a maximum of persons as part of a national campaign (Tout Timoun Ladann – Every Last Child): institutions, universities, youth groups and adults in cities and villages, to get these children out of their dramatic situations, and back to a normal life (going to school!) and towards their most legitimate dreams (“I want to go back and live with my parents”, “I don’t want to wake up at 4 AM any more”, “ I want to have time to learn and to play” they say).
I landed in Haiti on Tuesday at mid day (7 pm my time). Benoit and a Save the Children 4wd car was waiting for me and we went straight to the office. The traffic was dense and the street reminded me more of India than Cuba that I know well and is the nearest Caribbean island. Poverty hits. Many small vendors of any little thing on the streets, sitting on the floor. And many talented artists too. Others walking carrying big bucks of whatever on their heads. And this gigantic slum on the walls of the hill nearby. The city-in-the-sky. 45000 persons living with no running water.
Reaching Save the Children near Petionville. High walls and security at the entrance. I was really impressed by how organized was my first week already: Myrlande (Communication and Advocacy Manager) had planned carefully all my induction so we could be efficient together asap. I learnt a lot already and I think I can bring a little something too even though I’m only a chemist and all this environment is new to me. Being new eyes with knowledge of- or access to- good corporate tools and the will to help in a place where people are motivated and flexible can be just enough!
I could make this post much longer with more details and first impressions about the country and everyday life too, but I’ll keep some for later…
Promising first week, thank you Pulse and Save for taking me on board!!
Note: All comments and opinions written in this blog are entirely my own.