February 2012

 

Hello!

 

This year there is no March Break Art Camp as I have been hired to teach arts workshops in Haiti with my long-time friend and colleague, Carmen Logie. Carmen has spent the past year working directly with local youth through the agency NEGES. NEGES runs a school and community development program and Carmen is partnering with them on a youth project as well as an HIV prevention project with women.

 

Carmen has seen first-hand the devastating circumstances that these youth face daily. In an effort to make real change, she has decided to sponsor a young woman named Beatrice who lives in a tent with her mother and her eight siblings. These bright and deserving young women have had to drop out of high school as they could not afford the school fees. School offers safety and security as well as daily meals. Currently the situation in Haiti is dire. Without school the girls may fall victim to sexual violence and each day they must choose between them who eats and who goes hungry. Carmen and I believe that the best way to help is to offer education; that education can really change young people’s lives, particularly those of young Haitian women.

 

I am establishing an education fund for Beatrice’s sisters. It costs $300 total to sponsor a child or youth for the school year which includes a uniform, books and meals. I can personally assure you that 100% of our donation will go toward their education fees. I am flying to Haiti on March 10 and my goal is arrive with the donation in hand.

 

If you are able to give and would like to have a hand in making a real difference, please donate by Friday March 9. Any amount is very much appreciated. Together we may change the lives of one or more of Beatrice’s sisters.

 

I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved in empowering these young women. I am excited to go and initiate change first-hand and I am privileged to represent our collective goal.

 

Thank you so much for your kindness and your support.

 

With love and hope,

Jeannette Lorito, M.A,

Arts Educator

www.theraiseanartistproject.com

 

**More about Carmen:

 

Carmen and I first met and worked together twenty years ago at a camp for at-risk, inner-city girls sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. From there, Carmen has gone on to complete a doctorate in Social Work and is a leader in her field. She has worked in five continents, published over 20 research articles, spoken at the international AIDS conferences and has been awarded over $4 million in grants. Carmen is unique in that she actively combines theoretical research with practical field research. She makes connections between people. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever known and her heart and her intentions are always pure. Carmen seeks to help empower and educate and she perseveres until she achieves this goal.

 

Carmen Logie, M.S.W., Ph.D.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow

Women and HIV Research Program

Women’s College Research Institute, Women’s College Hospital

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Thank you!

 

I am delighted to introduce you to Beatrice, her sisters: Sandra, Esther Joanne, Tania, Sherika Whitney, and her best friend Myriame.

 

While in Haiti, I had the pleasure of being invited to meet both Beatrice and Myriame’s families and spend some time at their homes. Beatrice lives in a tent with her mother Louise, her four sisters and two brothers. Their father was murdered six years ago.

 

Upon hearing that her daughters could return to school, Beatrice’s mother raised her arms to the sky and exclaimed, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” All of the girls were incredibly appreciative. This visit was so encouraging; what a difference we are making. I was inspired by the girls’ hope and perseverance in the face of adversity.

 

Together we raised $3900. This will see all five girls through to graduation. Thank you so much for your kindness and fine support. Education will change these girls’ lives.

 

Much love,

Jeannette