Help us provide uniforms for 200 students in Haiti!

Students to receive uniforms

There are only 3 days left until our fundrasier ends and we need your help! Dresses for Haiti is raising money to provide 200 uniforms for students at 5 schools in Anse-a-Pitre, Haiti. Find out more here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-education-and-economic-sustainability-in-haiti While we are … Continue reading

Ruffle Dress Tutorial!


Click on any picture for the PDF version of the tutorial or click here

Summer Shirred Dress Tutorial


Every year, Dresses for Haiti donates unique, handcrafted shirred dresses to victims of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This tutorial is for those who would like to help our mission and make dresses for young girls in Haiti. While you make yourself or a loved one a gorgeous new dress, consider making one or a few for young girls in Haiti.
 This fun, versatile tube-dress is extremely easy to make and can be styled in many different ways.  Make a bold statement with bright polka dots, go girly with pink floral print, or stay classy-chic with some breezy white cotton. 
We’d love for you to join our effort and follow us in this simple tutorial as you create a stunning, one-of-a-kind sundress for a Haitian girl!

You can also check out the tutorial on PDF HERE

Step 1: Materials

1)  Fabric:  Lightweight, non-stretch cotton

  • Do not use stretch fabric!
  • I don’t recommend silk, satin, brocade, or anything slippery unless you feel comfortable working with these fabrics.
  •  Use any print you would like.
  •  Keep in mind that matching seams can be difficult with certain prints (plaid, stripes, etc.) so take this into consideration when picking your fabric.

 2) Sewing Machine

  • All sewing machines are not created equal. Our settings simply serve as guidelines; please     experiment with your own machine

3) Serger (optional)

If you do not have a serger, no problem! You will replace marrowed seams and edges with French seams (Figure A) and double folded hems (Figure B)

(Figure A)                            (Figure B)

 4) Thread to match your fabric

5) Elastic Thread  (Figure C)

 

6) Fabric Scissors 

7) Seam gauge /ruler

 8) Colored pencil/fabric marker

Step 2: Sizing 

The following chart gives a rough guide for sizing and fabric needed.  It’s okay if your measurements aren’t exact; we don’t know who we will be giving the dresses to yet so we will be able to utilize any sizes.

 Ages 3 months to 36 months

Ages (months) 3-6 6-9 9-12 12-18 18-24 24-36
Height (inches) 27 29 31 32.5 34 37
Chest (inches) 18 18.5 19.5 20 21 22
Recommended fabric length 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17 17-18 18-19
Recommended fabric width 36 37 39 40 42 44

 Ages 2-6  years old

Ages (years) 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6
Height (inches) 38.5 41 43 46.5
Chest (inches) 22 22.5 24 25
Recommended fabric length 19-20 20-21 21-22 23-24
Recommended fabric width 44 45 48 50

Ages 7-14 Years old

U.S. Standard Girl Sizes (7-14 years)
U.S. Size 7 8 10 12 14 16
Height (Inches) 51 – 52 53 – 54 55 – 57 58 – 59 60 – 62 63 – 64
chest (Inches) 26.5 27.5 29 30.5 32 33.5
Recommended Fabric Length 27-28 28-29 29-30 30-31 31-32 32-33
Recommended Fabric Width 53 55 58 61 64 67

If you want to make the dress for yourself, follow these guidelines:

Width: Measure your chest, just under your arms and multiply that number by 2.

Example: 30 inch bust…30 x 2 = 60 inch width

Length: Measure from the underarms down to the desired length, and then add 2 inches.

Example: Desired Length = 28 inches…28 + 2 = 30 inch length

Step 3: Lets Start Sewing!

1)  Overcast or zigzag stitch around all four edges of the fabric.  (Or use a serger.)

  • On the sewing machine: set both your stitch length and zigzag width at about 4.
  •  Adjust this according to your machine and/or your preferred stitch widths and lengths

  •  If your machine cannot zigzag stitch and you do not have a serger, do a double folded hem on the raw edges. Now you can either do this hem on the the top and bottom only or you can do it on all four edges. Either way is fine just remember which one for step 5 (See figure B: How to do a double edge hem).

(Figure B)

Step 4: Elastic Shirring

Now we are moving on the elastic shirring!

A) Begin to loosely hand-wind the bobbin with elastic thread.  Depending on the machine you have, you may be able to machine wind the elastic thread, but some machines may not be able to feed stretched-out elastic thread through the plates.  Experiment with your bobbins and the thread.

B) Load the bobbin normally.  Make sure you do not stretch the elastic thread while winding/loading,

***IMPORTANT***For Brother Sewing Machines only:  Brother sewing machines are notorious for NOT shirring with elastic thread.  Keep in mind that not all machines have the same capabilities, and Brother is the one machine that really requires a deal of experimenting and tampering. (I use the longest stitch length along with a tension of 6.) After much searching, I found a great video on a neat trick for shirring that doesn’t require tampering with the machine. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcELEGN9Rrk

C)    With the right side of your fabric facing up, begin measuring 5/8 inch down from the top end of the fabric.  Take your pencil/washable marker and mark a line 5/8 inch down—parallel to the top edge of the fabric.

  • Start from where your first line is drawn, and keep spacing lines 5/8 inches apart from each other all the way down.  You can also use smaller or larger spacing or even a combination of spacing (ie 1.4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/2 etc) for style.
  • I recommend drawing in at least 8 5/8-inch-wide lines, but you can use more/fewer depending on your size.

*If you feel comfortable sewing without the marker lines, feel free to skip that step.  Proceed to the step D, with a 5/8 seam, using a 5/8 seam allowance.

D) Put the both the stitch length and machine tension on the settings that work best for your machine (usually medium tension and the longest stitch length.)

Important: Experiment on a scrap piece of fabric before beginning stitching on the dress!

 E) With the right side of the fabric facing up, slowly stitch across each of the lines.

 (This is how your elastic rows should look)

Step 5: Finishing up!

At this point, you should have a piece of fabric with finished edges and the desired amount of shirred rows. (See below)

* This is a one seam dress.  Therefore, there are multiple ways to finish construction, depending on your sewing machine’s capabilities and supplies available.

IF YOU SERGED (ZIGZAG OR MARROW)  OR DOUBLED HEMMED (All four sides) 

1) Fold the fabric in half (along the width, hamburger style) with the right sides of your fabric together and the wrong side

 facing you. (see figure on right)

2) Match the top, bottom, and shirring-lines together.  Sew down from top to bottom with a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

3) Press the seam open with an iron.

 IF YOU DID A DOUBLE FOLD HEM (top and bottom edges only): French Seam

1) Fold the fabric in half (along the width) with the wrong sides of your fabric together and the right side of the fabric facing you (opposite of figure on the right) 

2) Sew a straight line from top to bottom, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

3) Trim the seam allowance in half to 1/8 inch width.2) Sew a straight line from top to bottom, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

4) Once the seam allowance is trimmed, you will once again fold the fabric along the seam and sew down

1/4 inch.

                                                                       Step 6: Shoulder Straps

Shoulder Straps are optional, but they really help secure the dress in place.  Here we have a few different ways that you can create the straps.  Also, the straps can be made with different material. You also can use trims/ribbon instead of fabric.

Option 1: Halter Style

1) Cut 2 pieces of fabric with the following dimensions:

  •  Length of strips = length of dress
  • Width of strip = 2.5 inches
  •  Example: Length of dress = 24 inches…cut two 24 in. X 2.5 in. strips

2) Hem the short sides of the strips with a 1/4 inch hem.

  •  Note: Zigzag stitching and/or double hemming is not necessary.

3) Fold the strips in half, right sides together.  Stitch along the long side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn the tubes inside out.

4) Measure the front top edge of the dress, and divide this number by 3.  Divide the dress vertically into thirds, and mark the edge.

  • Example: Width = 15…draw a dot on the top edge of the fabric at the 5-in. mark and the 10-in. mark.
  • These dots indicate where the straps will go.  Hand stitch them in place.

Option 2: Spaghetti Straps

1) Follow steps 1-3 in Option 1.

  •  However, your straps will be half the length of the dress.
  • Example: Length = 24…cut two pieces of 12 in. X 2.5 in. fabric

2)   Follow Step 4 in Option 1.  Repeat this step with the back of the dress.

 

Option 3: Shoulder Ties

1) Follow steps 1-3 in Option 1.

  •  However, you will need four pieces of fabric instead of two.  Your dimensions will remain the same.
  • Example: Length = 24…cut four pieces of 12 in. X 2.5 in. fabric

2)   Follow Step 4 in Option 2.  Sew a strap at each of the four dots.

 Step 7: You’re Finished! 

  • If desired, add your own trims, embellishments, fringes, or shoulder straps.
  • Go to dresses-for-haiti.tumblr.com and submit a picture of the dress you made – we will be featuring some of your amazing outfits on our Tumblr!
  •  If you would like to donate the dresses you just sewed to a young girl in Haiti, send an email to info@dressesforhaiti.org detailing how many dresses you will be donating.  We will email you some information, regarding the next steps.

 

Congratulations! You’ve just completed your Shirred Summer Sundress.  Stay tuned for more tutorials. Email 

ericalin.dressesforhaiti@gmail.com if you have any questions!

Progress and Resilience after the Earthquake: A Call to Action Two Years Later


Two years ago, on January 12th, 2010, a massive earthquake hit Haiti. The world watched in horror as millions of people felt the effects of this devastating catastrophre take it toll on one of the poorest countries of the world. The world stood up in solidarity and billions of dollars were donated to Haiti in an effort to help the Haitian people rebuild the buildings that fell and most importantly, try to regain normalcy in their lives.

Dresses for Haiti was established after the earthquake in order to raise awareness of a topic that was slowly vanishing out of the news headlines. Although we knew we could not give back the lives or help on the ground, we felt, along with thousands of other NGOs, we were doing a small part to help the Haitian people after the earthquake. Cecilia Millan, Oxfam’s country director in Haiti, said the two-year anniversary “must be a call to action” [i]

After countless telethons, fundraisers, and donated aid was made in the name of helping Haitians there is still much more that needs to be done. The US alone reportedly donated about $3.1 billion for Haiti since the January 12, 2010 quake.[ii] Although billions of dollars of aid have been given Haitian President Martelly demonstrated the reality: more than 8 million people live without electricity, 5 million are illiterate and 8 out of 10 Haitians live on less than $2 a day.[iii] The organization, MADRE, reported a staggering twenty-two percent of IDPs and two percent of general community members have been victims of sexual assault in Port-au-Prince. [iv] The problems facing Haiti are only further plagued by the scattered aid, corrupt government officials, and harsh US and international policy towards Haiti. The earthquake only perpetuated the persistent problems.

Today, thousands still are displaced in Haiti, the tent camps continue to exist two years later, approximately half of the $5 billion in aid has yet to be distributed, gender based violence continues, and millions still live in poverty. There is so much work that has to be accomplished.

I, along with the countless volunteers with Dresses for Haiti and other organizations, have take Millan’s call to action and so have you, but we must continue this call in order to help the Haitian people.

As you have read here, seen at one of our events, or read in a book, Haiti has amazing cultural, historical and artistic achievements. We here at Dresses for Haiti are taking our call to action not only to illuminate those achievements but to also bring light to the gender based violence taking place Haiti. Two years later we are still committed.

As one person so elegantly commented:

“Haiti needs nurses that can come down there for more than a week to 10 days. Doctors are needed. People who can swing hammers and clean up rubble. The cholera can be licked with renal lactate hydration solution (RL), and clean drinking water. Little girls can be clothed with dresses made from pillow cases. Shoes can be donated. School supplies can be collected as well as OTC medical supplies.”[v]

All of which rings true. Here at Dresses for Haiti we have recently started “Little Dresses for Haiti” in which we make little dresses and send them to Haiti for the young girls. Already, Christine Jamieson and her wonderful volunteers have donated little dresses. We are still looking for other volunteers to get together, have a sewing party, and make these little dresses for the young girls most affected by the earthquake.  Dresses for Haiti, along with our Haitian ambassador, will be making a trip to Haiti, mid February, to personally give the dresses to these girls.

Be apart of our call to action by volunteering or spreading the word. If you would like to be a part of our call to action email volunteer@dressesforhaiti.org

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Tragedy strikes Japan


On March 11, 2011 Japan was struck by a massive earthquake. Causing damage, fires, blackouts, and tsunamis. Many lives have been lost due to this unfortunate event. The earthquake caused two explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Leading to leakage of radioactive material. It is said that about 190 people have been exposed to radiation. Some but not all, may be exposed to a possibility of cancer. This all depends on the type of radioactive material that escaped. We give our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the people of Japan.

Although our main mission lies in Haiti, we know the aftereffects that can shock a nation after an earthquake and it is not the physical aftershocks but the emotional ones. A tragedy like so, exposes the fragility of mankind. What happens when government and politics are no longer relevant because food and resources are scarce? It is amazing to see the response from the international community but we must escape politics and bureaucracy in order to create real change. Clean up and restructuring is going to take several years, we must not waver in our support for a nation struck by such a damaging tragedy. Earthquakes are both physically and mentally traumatic and in this time we support the people of Japan effected by this tragedy, the people abroad effected by this tragedy and the people at home.

It is in these times of tragedy that notions of “otherness” become irrelevant. We are no longer divided by notions of the nation-state and political boarder lines. We need to create a bridge of commonality based on the label of humanity. We are all a part of the human race and we must help our people out of these tough time. We must stay away from blaming and pointing fingers. Let us realize that humans are suffering and we must do all we can to help and ease this suffering.

The goal of our organization is to ease this human suffering through awareness and knowledge. We understand the process of dealing with the aftereffects of an earthquake because we are relentless on our mission. Although the topic of Haiti may have escaped the minds of many we still continue our mission to never forget the the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti back in January 2010. Our goal is to help women and children of Haiti, by raising money with every dress that is made and sold.

You can help ease the suffering of our peoples of both Haiti and Japan at this websites.

You can help Japan by donating:

http://www.worldvision.org/worldvision/eappeal.nsf/donation-item?Open&amt=50&num=371&campaign=113655219&cmp=KNC-113655219

You can help Haiti by donating:

http://www.helphaitinow.org/

-Because Knowledge can start a revolution.


Haitians Cry in Letters: ‘Please — Do Something!’

Jake Price for The New York Times

Sandra Felicien dropping a letter seeking help into a collection box at the camp for displaced earthquake survivors where she lives.

By DEBORAH SONTAG
Published: September 19, 2010

    CORAIL-CESSELESSE, Haiti — It was after midnight in a remote annex of this isolated tent camp on a windswept gravel plain. Marjorie Saint Hilaire’s three boys were fast asleep, but her mind was racing.

    Multimedia

    sandra felicien

    Jake Price for The New York Times

    Ms. Felicien read one appeal for help as other camp residents listened. “It is like we are bobbing along on the waves of the ocean, waiting to be saved,” she said.

    The camp leader had proposed writing letters to the nongovernment authorities, and she had so much to say. She lighted a candle and summoned a gracious sentiment with which to begin.

    “To all the members of concerned organizations, I thank you first for feeling our pain,” she wrote slowly in pencil on what became an eraser-smudged page. “I note that you have taken on almost all our problems and some of our greatest needs.”

    Ms. Saint Hilaire, 33, then succinctly explained that she had lost her husband and her livelihood to the Jan. 12 earthquake and now found herself hungry, stressed and stranded in a camp annex without a school, a health clinic, a marketplace or any activity at all.

    “Please — do something!” she wrote from Tent J2, Block 7, Sector 3, her new address. “We don’t want to die of hunger and also we want to send our children to school. I give glory to God that I am still alive — but I would like to stay that way!”

    In the last couple of weeks, thousands of displaced Haitians have similarly vented their concerns, depositing impassioned pleas for help in new suggestion boxes at a hundred camps throughout the disaster zone. Taken together, the letters form a collective cri de coeur from a population that has felt increasingly impotent and ignored.

    With 1.3 million displaced people in 1,300 camps, homelessness is the new normal here. Two recent protest marches have sought to make the homeless a central issue in the coming presidential campaign. But the tent camp residents, miserable, weary and in many cases fighting eviction, do not seem to have the energy to become a vocal force.

    When the International Organization for Migration added suggestion boxes to its information kiosks in scores of camps, it did not expect to tap directly into a well of pent-up emotions. “I anticipated maybe a few cranky letters,” said Leonard Doyle, who handles communications for the organization in Haiti. “But to my absolute, blow-me-down surprise, we got 700 letters in three days from our first boxes — real individualized expressions of suffering that give a human face to this ongoing tragedy.”

    In some cases, the letters contain a breathless litany of miseries, a chain of woes strung together by commas: “I feel discouraged, I don’t sleep comfortably, I gave birth six months ago, the baby died, I have six other children, they don’t have a father, I don’t have work, my tarp is torn, the rain panics me, my house was crushed, I don’t have money to feed my family, I would really love it if you would help me,” wrote Marie Jean Jean.

    In others, despair is expressed formally, with remarkable restraint: “Living under a tent is not favorable neither to me nor to my children” or “We would appreciate your assistance in obtaining a future as one does not appear to be on our horizon.”

    Several writers sent terse wish lists on self-designed forms: “Name: Paul Wilbert. Camp: Boulos. Need: House. Demand: $1,250. Project: Build house. Thank you.”

    And some tweaked the truth. Ketteline Lebon, who lives in a camp in the slum area called Cité Soleil, cannot read or write. She dictated a letter to her cousin, who decided to alter Ms. Lebon’s story to say that her husband had died in the earthquake whereas he had really died in a car accident. “What does it matter?” Ms. Lebon said, shrugging. “I’m still a widow in a tent with four kids I cannot afford to send to school.”

    At this camp’s annex, Corail 3, Sandra Felicien, a regal woman whose black-and-white sundress looks as crisp as if it hangs in a closet, has become the epistolary queen. An earthquake widow whose husband was crushed to death in the school where he taught adult education courses, Ms. Felicien said she wrote letters almost daily because doing so made her feel as if she were taking action. “We are so powerless,” she said. “It is like we are bobbing along on the waves of the ocean, waiting to be saved.”

    THE CHILDREN STILL SUFFER


    Children recently orphaned by Haiti's earthquake could be targeted for organ trafficking, Haiti's prime minister says.

     

    (CNN) — Trafficking of children and human organs is occurring in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated parts of Haiti, killed more than 150,000 people, and left many children orphans, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Wednesday.

    “There is organ trafficking for children and other persons also, because they need all types of organs,” Bellerive said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

    He did not give specifics, but asked by Amanpour if there is trafficking of children, Bellerive said, “The reports I received say yes.”

    Haiti is trying to locate displaced children and register them so they can either be reunited with other family members or put up for adoption, Bellerive said.

    But, he said, illegal child trafficking is “one of the biggest problems that we have.”

    Many groups appear to be legitimate, “but a lot of organizations — they come and they say there were children on the streets. They’re going to bring them to the [United] States,” he said.

    Bellerive said he’s trying to work with embassies in Port-au-Prince to protect Haiti’s children from traffickers.

    Video: Child trafficking in Haiti

    “Any child that is leaving the country has to be validated by the embassy under a list that they give me, with all the reports,” he said.

    Speaking at his temporary headquarters in a police station near the Port-au-Prince Airport, Bellerive said the first thing Haitian officials seek to confirm is whether the children have adoption papers before they leave the country.

    In Washington, the State Department said Wednesday it is moving cautiously on the issue of adoptions from Haiti.

    “We want to be sure that when a child has been identified, that due diligence has been done to make sure that this is truly an orphan child and not a child that actually has family,” said State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley. “Sometimes if you push too hard, too fast there can be unintended consequences. So we are being very, very careful.”

    “We respect the sovereignty of Haiti and their right to control the departure of Haitian children. So we think the system that has been established is working effectively. I know there is a perception out there of ‘cut through the red tape.’ But there are very good reasons we want to make sure this process works well,” Crowley said.

    On the broader issue of Haitian children, Bellerive told Amanpour the government will reopen schools Monday in most of the country.

    He said there were particular problems in Port-au-Prince.

    “We cannot open one school and not the other. But some of the schools want to operate right now. They say if there are tents — if there are facilities and we can help them — they are willing to open very rapidly.”

    Bellerive also highlighted the critical importance of getting enough tents and shelters to Haiti before the rainy season begins in May. He said he didn’t know where all the tents promised by aid agencies and governments are.

    “We have reports that they’ve already sent 20,000 tents maybe, and 20,000 more are on the way. But yesterday, when we didn’t see the tents and we didn’t see any action to organize the shelters, the president himself asked to see the storage place and we only counted 3,500 tents.”

    Bellerive said President Rene Preval asked for 200,000 tents to house between 400,000 and 500,000 people. “We are very preoccupied about the consequences of all those people on the street, if it starts to rain.”

    The prime minister also rejected criticism from within Haiti and overseas that his government needs to be more visible to the Haitian people.

    “We are in charge. Frankly I don’t understand what that position is that we are not visible,” he said. “I almost feel that I spend more time talking to radio, television, than I am working.”

    “I know it’s part of my job and I have to communicate. But I really feel that I have spent too much time doing that.”

    Bellerive also said he does not believe it’s necessary to relocate the capital to another part of Haiti.

    “I have to wait for technical and scientific evaluation, but from what I’ve heard until now, Port-au-Prince will stay there.”

    “Tokyo is still there, Los Angeles is still there. We just have to prepare a better constructed Port-au-Prince, a safer Port-au-Prince,” he said.

    He also acknowledged the need for more transparency and new procedures to prevent corruption in Haiti. But he said 70 to 80 percent of the aid coming to the country right now does not go through the Haitian government.

    Bellerive said about 90 percent of American aid, for example, goes through non-governmental organizations. “They are accountable to the American government, but not to the Haitian government,” he said.

    The prime minister told Amanpour that he does not believe people overseas are helping Haiti out of a moral obligation.

    “I believe it’s a more pragmatic responsibility,” he said. “I believe Haiti could be an interesting market in the midterm. We are 10 million [people] here and it’s a market.”

     

    Through The Eyes of a Haitian Child


    Miami photographer Boris Vazquez traveled to Haiti on June of 2010, his first trip to Haiti.  he went there with an idea, to see things through the eyes of children.  He taught 500 Haitian children to use 250 disposable cameras to capture the lives of children 5-13 years old, through art and photographs.  To be part of an photography and Art exhibit titled “Through the eyes of a Haitian child” in North Miami, Florida MOCA.

    Along with 1st Presbyterian International Christian school, art teachers and principal Ines Lozano, who led the mission with 250 disposable cameras and 7 boxes of donated art.  In the past Ines Lozano has helped the country, as her students are required to take course titled “community”where they learn global issues and raise money for non-profit organizations like “Friends of Orphans” who also run several other orphanages such as “Angels of Light” which provide food and education to children currently living in Tent City located in Port-au Prince.

    By Rodolfo Roman

    special to Miami Herald

    Empowering & Protecting Adolescent Girls in Haiti


    Empowering & Protecting Adolescent Girls in Haiti

    AmeriCares, Population Council and a consortium of aid organizations working together to help break cycle of poverty and violence for adolescent girls

    NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Haiti Adolescent Girls Network, a coalition of humanitarian organizations cofounded by AmeriCares and the Population Council, today received high level recognition for its efforts to reduce girls’ risks of poverty, violence and rape. The Network’s exemplary collaboration and commitment to empower and protect Haitian girls was featured during the opening plenary session of the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting held in New York City.

    The innovative program was launched with leadership support from Nike Foundation, Abundance Foundation, NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Partridge Trust.

    The earthquake that shattered Haiti in last January left more than 3.7 million Haitians in need of humanitarian assistance. The quake not only leveled buildings, but damaged already weak institutions and exacerbated the acute challenges facing women and children stemming from decades of political insecurity and recurrent natural disasters in that country. The earthquake orphaned thousands of children and separated thousands more from their parents.

    Prior to the earthquake, 42% of girls in urban areas aged 10-14 years old lived without parents. The numbers have increased since January leaving girls as young as 10 to provide for their younger siblings.

    With so much responsibility thrust upon them at such a young age, the girls are at risk of not finishing school and being caught in the cycle of poverty. Even worse, living in displacement camps and slums, girls are now especially vulnerable to violence.

    A recent survey conducted by INURED, a local Haitian research organization, reported that 14% of the residents of Port-au-Prince’s largest shantytown, Cite Soleil, witnessed or experienced violence, including beatings and rape. The study also reported that it is common for girls living in relief camps to resort to trading sex for food and shelter.

    The Haiti Adolescent Girls Network is spearheading a movement to bring groups of at-risk girls together at least weekly in dedicated girls-only, safe spaces.  “We are empowering adolescent girls to secure their rights and health, receive psychological support, continue their education and find safe and productive livelihoods. As their future is reconfigured so are the families they support and the communities in which they live,” said Judith Bruce, Senior Associate and Policy Analyst at the Population Council.

    The Haiti Adolescent Girls Network was founded on the possibility that even in times of violence and tragedy, the most extraordinary results can be achieved through collaboration and a common vision. The organizations in the Network are committed to increasing awareness among humanitarian responders and service providers about the distinctive and critical needs of adolescent girls in the post-earthquake Haiti.

    “Having a diverse group of local and international organizations come together with a shared vision is incredibly powerful. We invite others to join this collaborative effort. Together we can reduce risk and create opportunity for girls, and put them at the forefront of building back a better Haiti,” Curt Welling, President and CEO of AmeriCares, said.

    Haiti Adolescent Girls Network Members
    Co-Founders
    AmeriCares
    Population Council
    Partners
    Abundance Foundation
    APROSIFA
    BRAC USA
    EarthSpark International
    International Medical Corps
    International Rescue Committee
    International Planned  Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere
    Making Cents International
    Nike Foundation
    NoVo Foundation
    Partridge Trust
    Profamil
    Save the Children
    St. Boniface Haiti Foundation
    United Nations Foundation

    About AmeriCares

    AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States.  Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $9 billion in humanitarian aid to 147 countries.  For more information, log onto www.AmeriCares.org/haitigirls

    About the Population Council

    The Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental research organization that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Council conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Established in 1952, the Council is governed by an international board of trustees. Its New York headquarters supports a global network of regional and country offices.

    www.Popcouncil.org

    About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)

    Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,700 commitments valued at $57 billion, which have already improved the lives of 220 million people in more than 170 countries. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org

    Contact:  Peggy Atherlay, AmeriCares
    203-658-9626
    Contact: Diane Rubino, Population Council
    212-339-0617

    SOURCE AmeriCares

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    http://www.americares.org

    Poem Of the Day


    A Prayer for Haiti
      
     
    Today, our friends from Haiti weigh heavy on my mind…
    An impoverished country where life has often been unkind.
    Shanty houses, little food, civil unrest for years.
    All of God’s people, with all their mighty fears.
     
    A 7 point earthquake today rattled this place…
    Shook it at the very core, did not miss a trace.
    Innocents buried in the rumble, death toll not yet known.
    Please pray for the hearts of the world to be shown.
     
    Let’s get rescuers, food, and water swiftly to their aid.
    Let’s bring them help so they don’t have to be afraid.
    Families torn apart, innocent children left alone.
    Bodies lying in the streets of this destroyed zone.
     
    Offer our hands in friendship to aid in their plight…
    Bring hope in the wake of their dark, dreary night.
    Sometimes I think God says ” You know what to do…”
    When we open our hearts, they will know it too.
     
     
     
    This poem is so touching to me and I think it really shows the pain that everyone felt the day the earth shook in Haiti. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do. You can check out this poem and many others at http://www.writers-network.com/index.cgi?view=90064