Action

Global Seva Challenge 2011: Haiti

The Challenge

The Seva Challenge 2011 was focused on relief and reconstruction in Haiti.

The Results

65 fundraisers collectively raised $376,000 and generated awareness about the challenges of chronic poverty and natural disaster worldwide. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Two years after the 2010 earthquake, there were still over 1 million refugees living in tents without access to water, food and health care.

Trip Participants

Adrienne White, Anne Lenhart, Abby Weiss (Breathe Yoga), Caroline Gronowski, Christina Sabatini, Ella Isakov, Gina Pachkowski, Jennifer Usherr, Kim Bauman, Kristin Adair, Lisa Rueff, Pei-Ru Ko, Rebecca Rogers, Robin Borrud, Tim Thill

Partners and Projects

Funds raised during the 2011 Global Seva Challenge supported 7 organizations in Haiti.  Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC) is a non-profit arts organization created for education and personal growth of children in need in Jacmel, Haiti. Association of the Peasants of Fondwa (APF) is a grassroots organization that has worked hand in hand with the peasants of Fondwa since 1988. Jacmel Children's Center is a collaborative effort – between community leaders of Jacmel, a Haitain construction school for teenagers, and US caring citizens – to construct an eco-efficient center for children in Jacmel Haiti. J/P HRO Haitian Relief Organization's mission is to save lives and bring sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively.

During the trip, participants engaged in the following activities:

-Learned about the history of Haiti and microfinance models, met loan recipients as well as small businesses being sponsored through these loans
-Assisted in the creation of a mosaic art wall
-Assisted in the building of a community center
-Helped with reconstruction of community projects
-Planted 1,000 trees
-Installed a water filtration system in an orphanage and school
-Constructed an eco-efficient center for children
-Assisted in the construction of a dental clinic and chicken coop
-Removed rubble in order to clear out space in one of the largest tent cities in Port-au-Prince
-Installed solar panels for light and electricity in tent cities to help prevent rape and violence against women
-Daily yoga and leadership development with Seane and Suzanne

Testimonials

I am most empowered by being a mirror for others around me, helping them to realize and explore their own traumas and inner beauty. And this works both ways. I have seen myself doing what I do not like in others. I am inspired by the idea that there is beauty in trauma and beauty in acknowledging how we are all one and the same. We can choose to be angry, ignorant, and selfish. We can choose to blame others for our discomfort. Or we can choose to learn from all that is being mirrored back to us.” – Kim Bauman, San Diego, CA

The action of connecting seed to soil for the purpose of growth and development reflects the kind of sustainable work that Off the Mat supports. These funded projects in Fondwa will greatly aid a grassroots movement to encourage others to believe in the strength and positive impact of a lasting and prosperous rural Haiti.” – Christina Sabatini, Los Angeles, CA

“The empowerment and emotion behind the facts are what really make the work of Fonkoze and Zafen so big. The happiness of these women to have control of their lives is evident in their bright smiles and the welcoming songs that they sing. These are women who used to support themselves through panhandling or prostitution. Now they have businesses and are responsible for large sums of money. They borrow, they spend, they save, they smile, they sing. They are beautiful. You can feel their pride and sense of self-worth.” – Adrienne White, Stevensville, MI

®2009 Off The Mat Into The World design: Amir Image development and ui: Carrie Santi