AYITI CHERI: EMPOWERING GIRLS THROUGH EDUCATION IN HAITI (LYCÉE JEAN-BAPTISTE POINTE DU SABLE)
JANVIER 2014 | 7 PORTRAITS
Proposal: We are three teachers, one in Saint-Marc, Haiti and two in New York City, USA, who are dedicated to the education of young girls in Haiti. We would like to raise awareness of the need to educate girls in Haiti. We plan to paste the posters on outdoor walls in Saint-Marc, Haiti.
The title of our project, "Ayiti Cheri", is Haitian Creole for "Haïti Chérie". We wanted the name of the project to be in Haitian Creole, because it is the first language of the children we teach. Children are expected to learn French and English in school, but are not always educated in Haitian Creole. We believe Haitian Creole should be valued in education. We believe that we not only own our images, but also our native language, and our culture.
Participation: When we arrived in Haiti, we realized that pasting posters in Saint-Marc would be difficult due to time constraints and the crowds at Carnival. We, therefore, decided to post the posters on the hurricane blinds at the school, The Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable. After pasting the posters to the blinds, we cut them so that as each slat of the blinds moved, so did the image. (For example, the eyes can be closed or open.) The images are like moving sculptures.
While hanging the posters, we met a lot of people, ranging from gardeners, cooks, security guards, teachers, staff, etc., who wanted to know what we were doing. This created much dialogue about education. People then brought us supplies, including exacto knives, paste, and brushes. People began to ask us questions, such as "Why weren't there posters of boys?", "Can you extend the project?" We even saw people taking "selifes" on their cell phones in front of the posters. Many teachers wanted posters on their blinds or in their classrooms. At a faculty meeting the teachers in Haiti asked if we could submit a proposal to extend the project to include all of the people at the school. That is now in the works.
The school is a great place to exhibit the work, because many visitors, including the children, their families, workers, security, staff, and even President Michel Martelly have been to the school. The school is becoming a model of world class education in Haiti.
Future Action: To help the teachers at the school realize their dream of covering all of the blinds of images of all people who work at the school.
Thank You to The InsideOut Project and to the people in New York and in Haiti for helping us and for becoming part of the project.
In closing, we offer our condolences to Haiti during its current three days of mourning following the tragedy at the Carnival festivities in Port-au-Prince.
Genevieve, Gretchen, and Young
* The Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable offers free education to children in Saint-Marc, Haiti.