A visual journey through the impact of the earthquakes that hit Haiti in January 2010 and Japan on March 2011, the joint response and sustainable recovery efforts. (more...)
Bicycle ride from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince, New York and Boston. Bringing together the TEDx communities on these cities and raising awareness on the challenges and opportunities of innovation and collaboration. (more...)
This mission was different than others. Our local partners informed us well in advance that they were all pretty busy the weekend of Fri. Nov. 18 - Sun. Nov. 20, but we decided to come anyway and fulfill the commitment of Port-au-Prince participating in the global celebration of TEDxYouth day. So we cleared with our local partners our intention to go forward and host a more modest event with other common friends and moved forward with the plan.
As expected, often more modest, humble endeavors bring us the greatest surprises and most amazing results. Compared to the full house crowd which attended TEDxPortauPrince on September 29, 2011, TEDxYouth@PortauPrince audience was rather small, but this smaller size gave us the gift of intimacy, enhanced engagement and more profound interaction.
Danel Georges, founder and coordinator of the Association des Volontaires MUCI AVM, a very active Haitian volunteer association, met us upon our arrival and introduced us to Mme. Emeline Dessert, who runs a community kitchen and a school of photography. Emeline agreed to host our modest event at her school and to motivate the local kids and youth in Lalue to join the event.
As usual and according to our philosophy of local enabling and empowerment, we left the rest of the coordination for the event in their hands.
We Have a Dream is a project started by Anne Kjær Riechert, a Rotary Peace Fellow from Denmark who has taken the initiative of motivating children to paint their dreams in paper to over a dozen countries in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. We met in Tokyo and agreed to collaborate with each other and to organize a dream painting workshop in Port-au-Prince at the same time Anne was hosting a parallel workshop at one of Living Dreams orphanages in Japan on November 20, 2011.
The "We Have a Dream" workshop was big success, although we only had a handful of kids, they embraced the activity of putting their dreams on paper with all of their heart and frantic enthusiasm. It was heartbreaking though to realize that most of their dreams involved a house, as most of them are still living in tents on the streets of Lalue, the neighbourhood where the activity took place. Other recurring themes in their dreams where Madame a L'Ecole (teacher), President (of Haiti, USA or Canada!), Singer and Dancer. Others dreamt of a community without garbage, with schools, police, hospitals, and of being engineers, lawyers, policemen, doctors and artists.
Our operation was swift. Coming in on Saturday Nov. 19, working the entire day Sunday Nov. 20 doing video interviews, preparing the event and then overseeing it and documenting it, and finally leaving the next day on Monday Nov. 21. Unfortunately, without the support of our usual local partners, our budget was higher than previous longer missions as we had to cover our lodging and transportation expenses this time (local partners usually provide a place to stay, food and transportation for our volunteer teams).