My Trip to Haiti

It has been a while since I have written a blog post on here, and for those that keep up with my line I would first like to apologize for the stagnancy. I have recently been working on revamping my line so that I could create more of a focus on why I started my line in the first place. Following my creative passions while helping those in need.

About a month ago I went to Haiti for about five days with my mom and long time friend, Francis Mitra, and I for one can say that visiting the country of my parents and ancestors was a very humbling and life changing experience.

It took me a while to formulate my thoughts and how I felt about my experience because I was so overwhelmed by everything that I saw and I tried to absorb as much as possible in such a short period of time. However, I believe that I am finally able to put into words my Haiti experience.

My first visit to Haiti was as child, and although I remember visualizing a country filled with such beauty and vibrancy, I vividly remember the great amount of poverty that existed within the country. This second time around I still saw those same things but this particular visit solidified the fact that Haiti is “beautifully broken”. On my visit to Haiti I witnessed a country that was naturally beautiful from the nature to the people, but broken due to the ongoing economic and political problems that’s occurred within the Haitian government.

It is a country filled with so much natural beauty, from the clear blue oceanic waters and the vibrant green palm trees, to the resilient Haitian natives that have to work so hard day in and day out but still find the time to pray every night and thank God for their existence.

On my second day in Haiti I visited two different people that all had very different stories but were still connected because of their passion to help rebuild Haiti.

First I met with Molly who is the Toddler House Director for God’s Little Angels (GLA) – Haitian Baby Ministry, which is a Haitian orphanage in the mountains of Haiti, above Petion-Ville. It has ministered to the children of Haiti since 1994, and has been involved in international adoptions since 1997. God’s Little Angels has two orphanages, one for babies, and another for children ages three and up. When I went to visit God’s Little Angels last month, Molly explained to me that no child leaves the orphanage without getting adopted into a family in Canada, Europe, or the USA. The orphanage usually has about 60 children, but currently has 74 children that are waiting to get adopted because of the closings of other orphanages in the area. When I first saw all of the children at GLA my heart melted and I just wanted to take all of those beautiful children home with me, but of coarse I couldn’t. However, after walking around the orphanage I did realize that these children are truly in good hands, they had plenty of helpers there that mentored, bathed, clothed, fed, and even combed the children’s hair. GLA also had a computer lab and classrooms that teach the children Haitian Creole, French, and English.

After visiting GLA, we met with Clemson Saint-fleur who is the field coordinator and deputy director of an amazing organization entitled Join The Journey. Join The Journey is a Christian based organization that is working very hard to help rebuild the lives of many people in Haiti. One project that Join The Journey is working on in particular has been the Capvva IDP Camp, which is located on the outskirts of Cite Soleil. Close to 300 families still remain homeless in Capvva since the tragic earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. Aside from needing basic necessities such as clean water, food, medicine, and clothing, these families need employment. When visiting the camp one Capvva resident said that she appreciates the items that other organizations donate from time to time, but what the people of Capvva need are jobs so that they can provide for themselves and their families. As the Chinese proverb goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

Visiting Capvva had the greatest affect on me because those living conditions were some of the worst that I have ever seen. Families of 3-5 were living in small tents that one or two people usually use to go camping with. Although those tents are better than not having anywhere to live at all, it still breaks my heart to see innocent human beings having to live in those conditions because of their financial situation.

Join The Journey is working with various organizations and the mayor of Cite Soleil (the Capvva camp is located on his property) to relocate these 300 families, but of-coarse this is going to take a great deal of time and money. In the meantime, Join The Journey is working to get the families of Capvva basic necesities like food, clothing, clean water, medication, and medical assistance. They are also in the process of getting Micro loans to help families begin to facilitate businesses of their own. They are currently working closely with a national bank called MUCI, and have already provided loans worth an amount of $300 to 6 familes so that they could start a businees in their convenient area.

Thus far Join The Journey is still looking for assistance to help more of the families at Capvva, and with that being said I am going to help out in my own way by intertwining my line, ilia by Tatiana Ilia, with Join The Journey’s Capvva relief efforts. I have plenty in store but I don’t want to ruin the surprise just yet so please stay tuned for what I have in store.

If you feel moved by any of what I shared with you please check out the Join The Journey website to see how you can help.

Also, for more pictures and information on Capvva please check out the piece that photographer, Francis Mitra, did on his website –