Tomorrow we leave for Haiti to implement our pilot program for Trauma Relief in the Wharf Jeremie neighbohood of Cite Soleil, the worst slum of Port au Prince. We’re filled with both hope and apprehension; hope and excitement that we can make a difference in this community, apprehension as we received yet another Travel Advsiory from the US State Department, declaring Haiti a Red Alert due to unrest.
On Monday, August 8th Aid Still Required, in conjunction with our local partners, the nouvelle vie branch of The International Association of Human Values and WeAdvance Women’s Clinic with special contributions from Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation and The Clinton Foundation will inaugurate a trauma relief program in the Cite Soleil nieghborhood of Port au Prince, Haiti’s capital. We are also bringing gift bags filled with donated personal care items such as shampoos, lotions, toothbrushes and toothpaste, organic soaps, and hand sanitizers which are small luxuries for the women. Thank you to the local Los Angeles businesses and many Art of Living and First Tuesday members in Los Angeles who contributed.
Aid Still Required saw the power of bringing the Trauma Relief technique to this neighborhood and instigated the Wharf Jeremie program.
We Advance is a small medical clinic serving Wharf Jeremie and co-founded by our friend Alison Thompson whom we met working on issues surrounding the SouthEast Asian tsunami. We Advance will be our liaison to the community. The International Association of Human Values teaches the Art of Living trauma relief technique and has been working with young Haitian adults for four years. Through the creation of their own organization nouvelle vie, the young people are learning sustainable agriculture in addition to being mentored and gaining leadership training.
The progam utilzes special breathing mediation and yoga practices to facilitate the healing and empowerment of women and girls who are victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and or rape. The program has shown demonstrable results in other high stress araeas such as Kosovo and Iraq in reducing phsyical and emotiioal stress in the face of upheaval.
Whille in Haiti, ASR will visit also ASR beneficiary The Academy for Peace and Justice secondary school, three orphanages, a reforestation project, several tent camps, and meet with local community organiztions and NGOs to see where we can bestmake a difference.