As most of you may know, in January, 2013 I went to Cite Soleil, Haiti and visited the Capvva IDP Camp. At the time, the camp was filled with over 300 individuals that were living in small tents, had limited to no food, and the area did not even have a proper sewage system (yes, that means no toilets or running water). After visiting Capvva I was so moved by the living conditions of these people that I wanted to help in any which way that I could. With that being said, I began working with the nonprofit organization, Join The journey, on several initiatives.

On Saturday, June 22nd 2014, I held the Hope for Capvva Fundraiser, that helped bring a broader awareness for the people of Capvva. Through this fundraiser I was able to raise over $500 to donate to Join The Journey to assist in Capvva relief efforts.

After that time, I realized that I wanted to do more but I wasn’t sure how. In August, 2014 I decided to create an initiative through my line where for every $10 spent on ilia by Tatiana Ilia merchandise, $1 gets donated to Join The Journey to assist in their relief efforts for Capvva. This initiative has assisted in providing food, water, clothing, school uniforms, mobile health clinics, plus much more to the people of Capvva.

Also, in February, 2014 I began working very closely with the members of Capvva that were interested in making their own jewelry to sell in the United States. Through this jewelry program, natives created handmade woven bracelets, Join The Journey members then mailed them to me, and once the bracelets were received I sold them through my line. All of the proceeds from those Capvva bracelet profits went directly back to Join The Journey and their jewelry program.

Fast-forwarding to now, it is bittersweet for me to say that my work with the people of Capvva is now done. Although I do still plan to work very closely with Join The Journey, the IDP Camp that was once known as Capvva is now closed. All of the families that were living there for about 3-4 years have been relocated to other parts of Haiti, with the help of the UN and Join The Journey. Join The Journey still plans on assisting certain families by providing them with small grants that will help better their situations, but aside from that I am not sure what the next chapter has in store for us all.

With that being said, my “$10 Spent, $1 Donated” initiative with Capvva and Join The Journey has now come to an end. I do plan on reinstating this initiative again with another non-profit but I am putting it on hold until I am able to find another cause that I am sincerely passionate about, just like with Capvva.

Thank you to all that have supported this initiative, and those that have believed (and continue to believe) in my line, Capvva, Join The Journey, and all that we have tried to do to help in rebuilding Haiti. I sincerely appreciate every purchase, act of kindness, and overall support for what I do.



Blessings To All,

Tatiana Ilia

XOXO



FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JOIN THE JOURNEY VISIT: WWW.JTJOURNEY.ORG

I know that I have been very low key recently in regards to my line but I wanted to take this time to share with you one of the projects that I have in the works. I am currently working with the nonprofit organization Join The Journey on a jewelry project with the people of Capvva. These sample items are being sold right now on my website www.Tatianailia.com for a very limited time & ALL OF THE PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED to assist the people of Capvva in Cite Soleil, Haiti. These bracelets have been handmade by the people living at the Capvva IDP Camp in Cite Soleil, Haiti.

Please Share & Spread The Love! Our Help Is Needed! Xoxo



EVERY $10 SPENT ON ILIA BY TATIANA ILIA JEWELRY / ACCESSORIES, $1 WILL GET DONATED TO JOIN THE JOURNEY FOR THEIR CAPVVA RELIEF EFFORTS!

SHOP WWW.TATIANAILIA.COM

On Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 I held my first fundraiser for Haiti. Please see below for pictures from the event!
 




 

Below is A Video Created By A Member of Join The Journey, Nathan Lee. This Video Is Definitely Worth Watching.



Hope for Capvva Fundraiser Event @ MAGNET Lounge

Date & Time: Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 from 3PM – 7PM

Location: MAGNET Lounge, 241-05 Linden Blvd, Elmont, NY 11003

Admission: $10 – Sold at the door & on www.Tatianailia.com



The purpose of this fundraiser is to help a non-profit organization entitled Join the Journey, raise money to relocate, provide medical assistance, and employ the families living at an IDP Camp in Cite Soleil, Haiti called Capvva.

In January 2013 my friend (Francis Mitra) and I (Tatiana Ilia) took a trip to Haiti to get a better look at Haiti’s culture, environment, and long time poverty issues. During my trip I met with several individuals that are involved in different causes that are intended to help repair the lives of impoverished Haitian natives. One organization that stood out to me the most was Join The Journey, which is a Christian based organization that is currently helping several families in Haiti that are still living in tents after the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti in January, 2010. The campsite/community in which the families have been residing is called Capvva, which is located in Cite Soleil, Haiti. After visiting Capvva, I made a promise to myself, and the people there that I would try to help make a difference to the best of my capability. With that being said, I am organizing this fundraiser to instill a sense of hope into the lives of these distressed yet very resilient families.

Join The Journey’s Current Efforts for Capvva:
Join The Journey is currently working with several organizations, including a few financial institutions, to relocate the families of Capvva and provide them with rent grants, microloans, and transitional shelters.
Rent Grants: So far Join the Journey has given $500 to 7 Capvva residents so that they could get their own home.
Micro Loans: Microloans of about $300 have been given to 6 Capvva residents so far, which will allow them to start their own business and create a substantial income for themselves and their families.
Transitional Shelters: These shelters will be built in Titanyen, Haiti and each transitional shelter will provide housing for up to 8 individuals in a family. It is going to take about $1500 for each transitional shelter to be built.

The area in which the families of Capvva will be relocating to is called Titanyen, and Join the Journey is already working on bulldozing the land, and plans to revive the areas agriculture. Once the transitional shelters are built, families will be able to cultivate their own crops and provide food and a source of income for themselves and family members. Aside from reviving Titanyen’s agriculture and building the transitional shelters, Join the Journey is working diligently to build partnerships with individuals and organizations that would be willing to assist in teaching the families of Capvva different trades that could help those families become self sufficient.


Join the Journey is also working with several individuals within the medical field. The pictures below are from this past May when several doctors and nurses went to visit Capvva to provide medical assistance to the families there.





To Check Out Join The Journey’s Website Please Visit: www.JTJourney.org
Click Here To Check Out Join The Journey’s Facebook Page
To Check Out Photographer, Francis Mitra’s Article On Capvva Visit: www.FrancisMitra.com/capvva/
Click Here To Check Out Tatiana Ilia’s Blog Post On Her Visit to Capvva

If you are touched by Capvva’s story and would like to help out, please feel free to email me at Tatiana@Tatianailia.com



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 – www.francismitra.com/capvva


“Lesley (on far right) was a Vietnam Vet. Upon his return to the states, he knew he had to come back to Haiti and help the children in need. The original orphanage was in Port au Prince. During the earthquake, he lost 4 children & his foot was caught between the ceiling and the door frame for 13 hours. A Vietnamese volunteer was able to crank the ceiling off of his leg. He then moved the orphanage to his home.” – Maggie Guercy

After the massive Earthquake in 2010, individuals of all ages and ethnic backgrounds made the conscious effort to help the people of Haiti as much as they could by donating clothing, food, medical supplies, shoes, toys, and toiletries. I am writing this blog post to remind as many people as I possibly could that the people of Haiti still need assistance. Rebuilding an environment that underwent great turmoil does not occur overnight, it takes several years to see a dramatic improvement. With that being said, I am asking you to donate whatever items you can to the House of Hope Orphanage in Haiti.

My cousin and I will be collecting items for the next 2 weeks, new and lightly worn items in all sizes, including shoes, socks, under garments, and clothes will be greatly appreciated. Also, sheets, towels, mattress covers, toiletry items, non perishable food, medical supplies, and school supplies would be highly appreciated as well.

There will be drop off locations in NJ & NY, and I will get the addresses for you as soon as they are finalized.

I can also attempt to pick the items up from you, just send me an email at tatiana@tatianailia.com and let me know if you would like to help!



Thank you in advance!

Below are some pictures from when my cousin visited and brought items for the people at the House of Hope Orphanage in December, 2011.

Since the 1980’s Oprah has been known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. As she continued in her success with her show she in time came out with her own magazine, became the driving force behind many philanthropic efforts, and became a renowned role model for both females and males. After the ending of her talk show in May of 2011, Oprah began to focus on her television network entitled OWN TV. On this network she began a series entitled Oprah’s Next Chapter, throughout the series Oprah has met with several individuals and organizations, from Governer Chris Christie to former actor and founder of J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Sean Penn. Here are a few clips from two of her recent episodes of Oprah’s Next Chapter which focused on the rebuilding of Haiti, I am sure that you will find them to be as amazing and inspiration as I do.

Information on Oprah’s Next Chapter Episodes

Information on J/P Haitian Relief Organization



Being that I am of Haitian descent, I feel very passionate about reforming Haiti and making it into a more safe and self-sufficient country. I try my best to give back, but I have certainly not yet hit the pinnacles that I have planned to reach. As I continue to further myself in my career, I plan on creating tremendous changes within Haiti; from stimulating the Haitian economy, to helping employ and educate Haitian children, men, and women.

Last night I watched Common’s Dreams CNN documentary, which focused on the Restavek Freedom Foundation. This documentary is part of CNN’s Freedom Project, which focuses on the modern day forms of slavery that are occurring in Haiti. This documentary exposed the exploitation of Haitian children that are known as Restaveks. The term “Restaveks” means, “stay with” in Haitian Creole. A Restavek is a child in Haiti who is sent from the countryside to the city by their parents, with expectations of that child going to school in exchange for doing chores around the house. According to the documentary, many Restavek children are physically, verbally, and sexually abused. Restavek children are usually not sent to school to learn how to read and write, but left to cook, clean, and walk several miles each day to fetch water for their families.




It is extremely unfortunate that these young children have to work so hard at such a young age. They endure so much abuse, and are still deprived of their childhood, and the proper education that they deserve. The Restavek Freedom Foundation is helping to create a better life for young Restavek children, which is extremely admirable. These young children are the future of Haiti and if we do not try our best to help educate them now, then there may not be a positive future for Haiti.


For more information on the Restavek Freedom Foundation please visit: www.restavekfreedom.org

If you would like to help out and donate please visit: www.razoo.com/p/common-dreams-haiti

Being that I am of Haitian decent, I was ecstatic when I heard that Common (one of my favorite rappers) went to Haiti to shoot his new music video “Sweet”. That 1 minute and 50 second teaser already had me excited to see what the final video is going to look like.