August 03

Tags

The light at the end: ready to “play in the major league”

I’ve been back from Haiti for 6 months now, but it still seems yesterday. The time scale expands or shrinks depending on the phases and feelings I’m going through. Looks like a funny game of the brain memory section, cortex vs hippocampus! It is quite strange I have to say, but a proof that a Pulse experience has a deep impact on the volunteer.

I feel I have to close my blog, as I left it desolated just after Matthew… but I discovered more resilience in me that kept me going until the end of my assignment, and I finished on an optimistic note I have to share with you!!..IMG_2736  As I never got involved in the emergency response after Matthew, I kept working on the “Every Last Child” communication campaign. It is true that during disasters such as hurricanes, children become more vulnerable as their families get into deeper and deeper difficulties. Back in September we had the idea to ask popular haitian figures to be our partner in the campaign, to get higher impact amongst the population and the youth of the country. Gertrude Séjour one of our collaborator from a small local organisation doing tremendous work (www.fondationmauricesixto.org) provided us with the contacts she had within the artists community, and 3 of them with established ethics and reputation were very responsive, as already engaged for the children of their country: BIC, Belo and Tifane. After meetings with them and their managers, agreement on a collaboration contract and signatures, by the beginning of January we were ready to act! BIC was the first to accept a 1 day busy agenda:

7:00 AM Pick-up at his place in PAP / 9:00 Marchand-Dessalines Save the Children Office: breakfast and briefing with the local team / 10:00 Primary school activity: raise awareness on child rights, participative activity with the kids for them to express their experience, opinions and ideas  / 12:00 Youth Club activity using our new Tout Timoun Ladann campaign communication kit / 2:00 PM BIC mini concert Child Rights oriented / 3:00 pm lunch at the office and departure for PAP / arrival 6:00 PM depending on the traffic…

   It was a fabulous day. BIC and his agent were super motivated, the Save the Children team at Marchand-Dessalines was very well prepared, the children we met at the school were aware and responsive and had really good interventions, the feet well on the ground of their tough country, not much room to dream of castles and princesses in Haiti, at no age! The older ones at the next session (we used my full new “Campaign Kit”, yepee!..) showed a real maturity too, ready to “play in the major league” and keeping a watchful eye on their younger sisters and brothers and future generations, and last but not least I could finally sample the joy and energy of Haitian people singing along “Alekile” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSKy_dDQoks) and other songs about haitian traditions, childhood, mothers, beauty, or tragic memories of 2010 earthquake when BIC gave his free concert at the little town hall, chanting all together at the end our slogan “Tout  Timoun Ladann”. It was the last week of my assignment, I got quite – or very – emotional I have to say (but tried to hide it as much as possible!), and also could finally feel and touch the meaning of my little contribution. I am really grateful for the experience. After all only the good memories remain, and I will surely drop back in some day somehow…