Start Your #GivingTuesday with SNDHaiti!

As we reflect on this past year, we at Sons and Daughters of Haiti (SNDHaiti) are overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support we have received from our donors, friends, family and well-wishers. We realize that this is what the creed of our flag, “L’union fait la force,” is all about. In unity, everyone combined his or her time, talent, money and energy to help reach a common goal—to make our beloved Haiti a better place. This is no small feat and we’ve only gotten started! Living in America, we have much to be grateful for, and this is why we are so passionate about helping our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Thank you for joining us on our mission.

In 2017, we had the opportunity to host a 5K Run/Walk in Florida, travel to Haiti for SNDHaiti’s inaugural health and wellness mission trip and host a Haitian Family Comedy Night in Chicago, IL. We would like to give special thanks to our board and prominent individuals in the Haitian community who helped make all of our efforts a success.

As we look to the future, we realize that although some work has been done there is much more ahead of us.  It will take unwavering commitment and determination to improve the country’s infrastructure, quality of education and health care system.  We know that people like you can help unlock the doors of opportunity to help us power our mission to create impactful change.

In the spirit of the global day of generosity, #GivingTuesday, we urge you to remember our cause and support our efforts. What better way to kick off this charitable season than to make a donation toward our non-profit, Sons and Daughters of Haiti? Your contributions can help stop the bleeding and influence small acts of kindness. Spread the news, tell all your co-workers, friends and family about it—SNDHaiti is doing great things and anyone can be a part of it. Learn more about it here.

 

SNDHaiti’s Medical Mission Trip

Giving back to Haiti is a cause that we deeply care about at Sons and Daughters of Haiti, which is why we are passionate about making a real, lasting difference in the country. With a successful turnout at our inaugural 5K Run/Walk back in May and an outpour of donations, we were able to organize a medical mission trip to Haiti. We were excited about the opportunity to execute the first of our many initiatives—to improve the quality of life for Haitians, particularly where health care is concerned.

This summer, our team arrived to Cap-Haitian on a warm and bright Monday morning and drove to Pignon for a challenging and rewarding experience. After settling down and preparing for the days ahead, we were able to witness firsthand the conditions of the country and the needs of the people. Friends, there’s still more work to be done!

On Tuesday morning, our team met with the administrative staff of L’hopital Bienfaissance de Pignon, where we were warmly welcomed. Our team’s physician, Dr. Laveaux worked alongside the hospital’s obstetrician to perform a cesarean section. Ensuring the successful surgical operation, Dr. Laveaux and SND’s president, Aly Laveaux got a tour of the facility and met with several of the patients.

We also got an opportunity to discuss and lay down some concrete plans for future mission trips with the hospital staff. The meeting proved to be successful as we are confident that we will see more of a direct impact at our next health clinic. We anticipate partnering with more hospitals throughout the rural parts of the country.

We spent our Wednesday with the youth in the village, most of whom were attending Vacation Bible School at a nearby campsite. We assisted in coaching the children in a variety of sports and taught them the fundamentals of good sportsmanship. The children were excited and their smiles gave our team hope and strength—a much needed impetus to see our vision realized.

On Thursday, we returned to L’hopital Bienfaissance de Pignon to conduct insightful lectures for the medical staff. Dr. Laveaux discussed abnormal bleeding and uterine fibroids, two health conditions that are quite common within the country’s female population.  Our goals were to impart some medical knowledge and help reinforce a solid foundation for the staff’s ongoing careers. Based on their participation and feedback, the staff was appreciative of the information we shared.

We took advantage of our leisure time by hiking and strolling through Cormier Beach. Our biggest take away from our mission trip is that no effort is too small. We look forward to doing more, one journey at a time.  We are grateful to Brother’s Brother Foundation for donating the medication and medical supplies, and are excited to get back to work. Learn how you can help us here.

 

Celebrating Haitian Heritage Month!

It is one thing to show Haitian pride, but it’s a different story when it comes to seeking opportunities to help the country of Haiti. Sons and Daughters of Haiti is dedicated to a combination of both honor and advocacy, especially during Haitian Heritage Month, which commenced on May 1st.

Saturday May 13, we observed the patriotic custom with our inaugural 5K Walk/Run at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek. The event drew a large number of participants, including up and coming Haitian artist, Saskya Sky, who sang the Haitian National Anthem. We were grateful for the turnout, especially the chance to engage in this fitness activity, and celebrate our native country’s history and culture.

Remembering Haiti’s significant contributions to world history inspires us to make an impact on its present economic state, especially when so many leaders and organizations have neglected the people’s needs. Our objective is to use our skills and resources to improve health and infrastructure, one community at a time.

We aspire to host these 5K Walk/Runs annually in an effort to raise funds for health fairs/clinics in Haiti.  We hope that you will join us in our endeavors and invest in our visions. Discover the initiatives we are taking by clicking here!! Together We Rise.

Is Haiti on Your Christmas List?

Christmas is upon us…yet again. The weather (for you upstate folks), decorations and advertisement assure us of that! For many of us fortunate enough to live in the land of opportunity and resources, and ambitious enough to pursue and seize careers that come with a sizable or decent income, this is an exciting time for shopping and celebrating! But with all the commercialism that surrounds this holiday, this can easily become a selfish occasion for us as well.

A few months ago, several organizations, Sons and Daughters of Haiti being one of them, made up of men and women of Haitian descent got together to donate their money, time and essential items to the people in Haiti who had been impacted by Hurricane Matthew. There were no complaints in that hot and stuffy warehouse in North Miami, where hundreds of people worked around the clock to pack boxes with medication, clothes, shoes and toys.

Instead, there was a sense of pride, patience and cooperation combined with camaraderie and gratitude as the donations poured in from anonymous sources online and walk-ins referred to the cause by friends and co-workers. That week of unpaid work and dedication was the perfect portrayal of generosity…and the epitome of the true Christmas story.

Before God’s miracle unfolded in Bethlehem, He saw a need that spanned about 800 years and that would continue to affect generations throughout the earth up until our present day. He saw a people who were poor in spirit and lacking hope. He saw a people hungry for something more solid than food. He saw a people in need of a Savior. He didn’t just see Israel; He saw Haiti.

So He gave us His Son wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. This was not exactly the sort of welcome you’d expect for a King, but Jesus’ birth was never meant to be a symbol of wealth and status; it was an expression of love. God gave because He loved. And that is what he requires from us.

Sure, it’s nice to get together with family and friends, and exchange wonderful gifts. But nothing beats being God’s hands and feet in the lives of people who feel forgotten and unseen, especially during a season inspired by God’s generosity. How will you make an impact this Christmas? Let Sons and Daughters of Haiti inspire you!

By Ifonia Jean

Athletic Training and Recreation Park Project 2017 Video

The purpose of this park is two- fold…
Athletic training: With the completion of the 2016 Olympic Games in which Haiti continued with its 84-year long drought (with no medal), Haiti’s dire need for a center where the Haitian athletes can train has been magnified. Unlike many other Caribbean islands that have affiliations with developed nations allowing them access to superior training facilities and personnel, Haiti does not have any such affiliation and unfortunately lacks a national facility or center where the Haitian athletes are able to train. We want to change this! … We want to be a center that provides a world class training facility to the hard working and dedicated athletes in Haiti who have committed their lives to excellence in their sport.
Recreational Park: As technology advances and invades every facet of our lives we need to make every effort to ensure that we and our children spend time outside. It is our responsibility to live active and healthy lives so that we can teach our children the importance of this. Also, what better way to encourage the youth to aspire to greatness; playing side by side with training athletes will hopefully serve this purpose.

What does it mean to be called sons and daughters of God?

And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)

What does it mean to be called sons and daughters of God? It means we are set apart, belong to His family and have a place in His home. We have the right to be confident and unashamed of our spiritual roots.
Similarly, we are afforded the same privilege as Haitian-born children. We are a part of Haiti and have a place there that we call home. Our country’s history and culture give us a reason to stand tall and be proud. Our bloodline runs deep—we are part of a resilient people.
Just like the saints in the Bible who defeated their enemies, we have conquered many adversities in defense of our freedom. And just like those saints who charted unknown territories to pursue their God-given purpose, we have all embarked on journeys that forced us to leave our comfort zone in search for better opportunities.
Simply put, we have left the country of our childhood (or we were raised by parents who did) and have settled as pilgrims, constantly having to reinvent ourselves through a new way of life. But if we learn anything about the story of Moses, it should be one, we were born to stand out, and two, we should always take advantage of every opportunity to help our fellow Haitians.
An Egyptian woman discovered Moses after his mother put him in a basket and set him on the Nile River. He was raised like an Egyptian, but he knew he was Hebrew—he never got too comfortable. When he was old enough, he left Egypt. But God sent him back to help his fellow Israelites, his brothers and sisters in the faith, who were being oppressed. God wanted Moses to lead the people out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. Not everyone got to settle in the land of milk and honey, but they all got to experience freedom, amongst many other blessings from God.
When it comes to Haiti, we must do our due diligence to lead our fellow Haitians to their proverbial Promised Land. Simply put, we must help advance and strengthen the country’s economic development so that people can enjoy three meals a day, a good education and quality health care. After all, we can’t lead them all to the US where they can take advantage of the countless breaks that so many people here take for granted.
We need to put our goals in perspective. Each one of us need to be less about “me” and more about “we” from this day forward. We cannot forget where we come from or the people who are still there. God blessed Moses so he could be a blessing to God’s other sons and daughters. And so it is with us! Let’s not forget we are all sons and daughters of God…and Haiti! We need each other.

Give us a call today to learn more about our initiatives and how you can partner with Sons and Daughters of Haiti!

By Ifonia Jean

Education May Help Eradicate Poverty in Haiti

They say if you want to improve the quality of life in a country, you have to educate the people. For Haiti, that is a challenging feat. Although most Haitians find it offensive when the island is regarded as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” they humbly agree that Haiti could use an economic upgrade, especially its education sector.

It’s no secret that the country was once as prosperous as its neighbor, the Dominican Republic, even after being indebted to France from 1825 to 1879. Tourism was bustling and many of Haiti’s families could afford more than one meal a day. Now most of the island is poverty-stricken, the cholera epidemic still runs rampant and crime is steadily on the rise. Even worse, the government is as non-existent as clean water and the nation’s assets are still missing.

The misuses of public funds, including millions of dollars in U.S. aid that have all been unaccounted for (by big organizations like the Red Cross), have resulted in poor quality of health, housing and education services. Political corruptions have severed any possibility for private investment, both domestic and foreign.

Although, efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure began six years ago after the devastating 2010 earthquake weakened it, the progress has been noticeably slow. A generation of youth has had to suffer the consequences because many of them have not been able to go back to school since the natural disaster ruined opportunities for their parents to make and save money.

Even the children who are able to attend school are at a disadvantage. Funding, teacher training and an improved curricula are seriously lacking in the country’s education system, putting students at risk of not receiving the basic knowledge needed to excel in the labor force. Haitians who have emigrated to the U.S., including Haitian-Americans can help remedy this issue by researching the schools in Haiti that could use some resources—school supplies, textbooks, and computers—and making donations through non-profit organizations like Sons and Daughters of Haiti. Big corporations and organizations headed by individuals with no significant ties have already proven to be faulty. It is up to the Haitians who have been afforded an education and a promising career to give the poor children in Haiti the same opportunities.

If you’re already making a difference, please share what you’re doing and how effective you’ve been. We’d love to hear from you!

By Ifonia Jean