Donate to the LEKOL Cause!
Thank you to everyone who attended last Saturday’s event, “Lekol”, at the legendary Yippie Museum/Cafe in Manhattan: Thank you for contributing your voices, your attention, your spirit, for paying $10 to participate. It was an amazing evening of dialogue, art and networking as we began to look at the current situation for Haitians in Haiti since the earthquake, started to work on deconstructing & decolonizing the history, and witnessed some of the amazing things that are happening via the diaspora working hand in hand with Haitians that still reside on the island. There were Haitians who were born in Haiti who are doing amazing work for the people of the island, those of us born here and in other countries, and members of our global community representing in strength with solidarity: an inspiration for us all. Speakers throughout the evening professed about how Haiti’s resistance and struggle, how it has empowered so many others in the world to strive for self-determination through conducting the first truly universal revolution, and how that struggle is one that continues to this day. Even with what was accomplished that night, the beginning of recounting Haiti’s contributions, looking at the past, present and future, and sharing our spirits through art and dialog, we have still only touched the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”. This is work that will continue. There will be news of updates and next events coming soon.
As far as the money that was raised for the young men that we are working to send back to school while we unlearn, re-educate and work towards building new schools (both figuratively and literally*), unfortunately there was less than $50 earned after our heavy expenses (the venue, the staff, security, additional equipment, food, art prints, frames, transport, etc.).
So I am asking that you (those who attended and those who could not) to contribute anything that you can, whether it be one dollar or one thousand dollars via PayPal to send Peterson Nogais and Schneither Nogais of the Delmas 75 area of Port au Prince back to school.
Like so many Haitians who survived the catastrophe of January 12th, 2010, these two biological brothers have been facing hardship since then. As is, most Haitians in Haiti do not have jobs, those that do work usually are working for assembly factories (aka corporate sweatshops) making far less than minimum wage with no unions or have followed the NGO/501-C3/ non-profit rule of volunteering for an unnamed amount of time before being hired at half of what foreigners get paid to work for an organization, then end up being the first ones to get fired. All the young people in Haiti want to do is get a job and finish school.
The public school system in Haiti is heavily privatized. It costs the equivalent of $150 to register for school, then about $40 per month after that. If someone doesn’t go to school for a month, even if it is because they cannot afford it, they must pay the registration fee again once they return. Presently, Peterson is back in school for half the month, a fee paid by his father who worked as hard as he could to send that money to Peterson, but Schneither has not been in school since his school collapsed on him and he barely escaped death while the majority of his classmates were not so lucky. At this cost, we are looking at roughly 2,000 USD as the cost of paying for both brothers to finish high school.
Right now we would be happy being able to sending anything more substantial than $50 so that these young people can see that our community is really about building with them to create the possibility of self-determination for us all. Thanks for your time. We look forward to returning from a trip to Haiti in the spring with messages (via audio, stills and video) from these two brothers to share with everyone and to keep building.
Please write me back with any thoughts/reflections about our first event. If you were not able to attend, we still welcome your input and inquiries: you are a part of this movement, ultimately one to change the situation for the majority of humankind, something that our survival on this planet depends on.
Peace & Respect.
*for more information about the schools, orphanages and community centers of the future, please check the “Haiti Projects” section of our webpage, and reach out to us for more information.
Many thanks to Ludger Balan of Urban Divers for the slideshow of the event!