Education Corner

BPS teams up with non-profit for summer programs

Summer session: Engligh High-based program is mainly composed of Haitian-Americans. Photo by Davidson LouissaintSummer session: Engligh High-based program is mainly composed of Haitian-Americans. Photo by Davidson Louissaint

Superintendent Carol Johnson deserves credit for once again collaborating with a Haitian-American non-profit to provide innovative summer programming this summer.

Boston Public Schools teamed up with Youth and Family Enrichment Services (YOFES) to run a very successful Youth Builders program this summer based at English High School. The 12 year-old program provides much-needed enrichment activities and remedial support to a predominantly Haitian and Haitian-American student population. Read more

Health conference at BU to focus on care for the disabled

“I still remember my 10th birthday, “ says Jermen, who was born without arms. “It was on that day I was told that my parents had abandoned me. I knew then why I was here.”

Sadly, this is the fate of most children with disabilities in Haiti. A 2009 BBC News article entitled “Haiti’s Abandoned Children,” details the plight of Jermen and other children like her. Read more

Sant Belvi serves the needs of Haitian retirees

November edition of the ReporterNovember edition of the Reporter
“We’re like a family.” That’s how the staff at Sant Belvi, (Good Life Center, in English,) describes their relationship with their clients. Some might say that the Dorchester-based center sometimes does a better job caring for their clients than their real families. The organization is also known as the Haitian Adult Day Health Center. Through the center, clients receive individualized services that meet their social, emotional and medical needs in a caring, dignified and respectful manner. Cultural responsiveness is at the heart of all interactions, activities and programs. Indeed, the spacious gathering area is warmly decorated with beautiful Haitian arts and crafts.

Seated at a desk at the entrance of the lobby, Lourdes Almonacy, one of the program assistants, greets visitors with a warm, welcoming smile. Most of the men and women are seated comfortably in armchairs and sofas watching a Haitian news program. Read more

Boston–based project to improve kids’ literacy in Haiti

Haitian children living in the United States are fortunate to be able to go to a library or bookstore and find children’s books. Children in Haiti are not that lucky.

Whether or not their parents can afford to buy them, it’s difficult to find children’s books. That’s why the pediatric literacy project, Timoun Annou Li (Haitian Creole for ‘Children, Let’s Read), is a godsend for kids in Haiti. Read more

Haitian-American nurse shares tale of compassion, heartache

Nurse Dana Bordenave with CNNs Dr. Sanjay GuptaNurse Dana Bordenave with CNNs Dr. Sanjay Gupta“January 12, 2010 will always be with me,” says Dana Bordenave, a Haitian-American registered nurse who recently returned from Haiti after helping earthquake survivors. She shared her experiences last month at a fundraiser in Randolph organized by Georja Joseph, owner of Tete-a-Tete Beauty Salon. Bordenave went to Port-au-Prince with the Haitian-American Nurses Association ten days after the earthquake hit the island nation.
“I wasn’t prepared for what I encountered. The magnitude of the problem is beyond words,” said Bordenave, who works at Rhode Island Hospital. She last visited Haiti in 1989. Upon her arrival this time, she had to wait at the airport for five hours before being taken to the General Hospital, where her group set up shop. Read more

Helping kids cope during crisis: What do we tell them?

“Will we have an earthquake in Cambridge?”
That’s one of the questions my students asked during a discussion about the earthquake. You can bet that in numerous schools and households throughout the country, the same question is being asked. It’s important that adults address children’s concerns during this difficult time. Here are some suggestions from Dr. David Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in Vermont.
As adults, we are traumatized by the events unfolding in Haiti. It’s even more traumatizing to children. To begin with, he reminds adults that a catastrophe such as an earthquake is very scary to kids. Talking to kids decreases their fear. They might also get incorrect information from friends. So it’s important to give them the facts. If your child is not comfortable talking to you, find an individual that the child likes talking to. Read more

Eyewitness account from Port-au-Prince: 'Let's keep praying'

Eyewitness account from Elizabeth Moise of events in Port-au-Prince received on January 14, 2010.
Translated by Yolette Ibokette

"I’ve just returned to my house. What I saw is UNIMAGINABLE, UNTHINKABLE….Port-au-Prince is destroyed, in ruins…People everywhere in the streets don’t know what to do…tears, screams, cement and metal, dust…L’Ecole des Soeurs du Sacre Coeur (School of the Sacred Heart) is in ruins: the classrooms, the chapel, the sisters’ residences. L’Eglise du Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart Church) and the rectory, Pax Villa, L’Eglise St. Louis Roi de France, Sodec, St. Jean l’Evangeliste, College Marie Anne, College du Canape Vert, Mikaline Kindergarten, Canado, Chez Gourgue, IHECE, Citibank, DGI, L’University de Port-au-Prince…you name it. Everything down, collapsed. It seems to me that every structure that was more than 3 or 4 floors collapsed like a deck of cards. I didn’t have the courage to take photos…It’s too painful. Read more

Five candidates seek public office across Eastern Mass

Candidates 2009: Five candidates for public office have emerged for seats in four different communities in Massachusetts this year. From left to right: Fred Fontaine, Ricardo Bonachy Telemaque, Nekita Lamour, Jean-Claude Sanon and Marc Lucas.Candidates 2009: Five candidates for public office have emerged for seats in four different communities in Massachusetts this year. From left to right: Fred Fontaine, Ricardo Bonachy Telemaque, Nekita Lamour, Jean-Claude Sanon and Marc Lucas.Four Haitian-American candidates running for office greeted a largely Haitian-American audience during a unique gathering in Dorchester last month. The forum at Sant Belvi Senior Center was organized by one of the candidates, Jean-Claude Sanon, in order to introduce the candidates, who collectively form the largest field of Haitians running for seats at one time in the state. All of the candidates with Haitian roots who are running this year are first-time candidates. Two — Fred Fontaine and Marc Lucas— are running for at-large seats on the Brockton City Council. Read more

Brockton-based health outfit celebrates 11 years of success

“We will work with anyone, regardless of their beliefs, if it will benefit the community,” says Frantz A. Louizia, Executive Director of Massachusetts Community Health Services, Inc., (MCHS). It’s this philosophy that is likely at the root of the Brockton-based organization’s success.
Last month, the organization celebrated its eleventh year of providing health education services to the Haitian community of Brockton and the surrounding areas. This is pleasantly surprising considering how MCHS came into existence. Read more