***If you're already familiar with the campaign and mission please skip to the bottom of the screen to view my "Wish List" or look to your right and DONATE now!
For those of you who are not familiar, my campaign is called A Staffelbach in Haiti: 3000 for 3000. First off, my name is Peter Staffelbach and I’ll be working in Southern Haiti on behalf of an extraordinary non-profit organization called Little Footprints, Big Steps (LFBS). I’ll explain the 3000 for 3000 later, but I bet a lot of you already have a good idea what it means. The short history of the founder Morgan Weinberg and her organization is deeply inspiring. Morgan Weinberg founded LFBS to rescue children from abuse, slavery, homelessness and neglect. LFBS cares for Haiti's most vulnerable children, and supports sustainable development and strong families in her poorest communities. I have volunteered to work full time for LFBS without pay for them, starting in late August. That's roughly 3000 hours of service. I'm asking you to help us reach our goal: 1 dollar for every hour of service. This Campaign ends Labor Day, September 1st. The day I hope to be flying to Haiti. *If you’d like to skip to the bottom to read about what exactly I'll be doing please feel free to do so. It's # 3.
1) This is not your father's developing world aid organization! Now, before we jump into the other pieces of the project. I want you to imagine a few things. Initially, when the words “non-profit organization” are seen within the context of foreign aid in the developing world, one imagines big white SUVs packed full with fresh university graduates rolling in from their base of operations into the slums and rolling back out after a day’s work. When they get back they eat fresh food, sleep in comfortable beds, and speak their native language. LFBS is not that organization. Now let's adjust our mental image. Picture a quiet, slender, and fatigued 22 year old Canadian woman working 14 hours a day, every-day. Her mode of transportation is a 1980’s motorcycle, delivering medicine, checking on the condition of freshly reunited families, directing her Haitian staff, paying tuition for the 70 some students that her organization sends to school, returning home to sleep an in non-air-conditioned grey cement house with one elderly cook and nine adolescent boys, and speaking Haitian Creole fluently all the while.
At Little Footprints Big Steps they are dedicated to collaborating with locals in protecting and healing children victimized by abuse, neglect, exploitation and homelessness. They also aim for prevention of child abandonment and abuse in Haiti by helping build strong families and communities. We have developed an outreach program in which we have reunited vulnerable children with their families and continue to work personally with them.
Despite the relative lack of resources, LFBS has made astonishing progress in Southern Haiti. LFBS prides itself on the absolute minimum for overhead in everything it does, enabling it to be amazingly successful with very little resources. Morgan and Little Footprints has rescued over 80 children and reunited them with their families. Over 130 children now are going to school. Families and youth have shelter, self-sufficiency livelihood and vocational training opportunities.
2) Where does Peter Staffelbach come in?
Essentially I’ll be another member on the ground. As many of you reading this know, I lived in Les Cayes, Haiti and taught as a professor of English and entrepreneurship at the Bishop Tharp Institute for a semester starting in January of 2014 and ending the following May. It was during this time that I was introduced to Morgan and the work she has been doing. I was blown away by her selflessness and the selflessness of her Haitian staff. Within a couple of weeks, while spending my extra time teaching at her safe-house, I decided that I wanted to be more involved. So I volunteered 1 year of free service. I’ll be working full time 7 days a week. That’s about 3000 volunteer hours. If I can raise $1 for each hour I plan on working, I can afford to sustain myself in Haiti. How? I’ll be spending money on the basic necessities only: food from the local market, rent for a room at a local family’s home, and gas for motorcycle transportation. Furthermore, in order to make a little money and because I enjoy it, I’ll be continuing to teach two classes at the Bishop Tharp Institute, and, during the school months, that will bring in $300 a month. With that money, the $3000, and extremely efficient living, I’ll be able to live in Haiti for one year.
I encourage you to explore the rest of the information on the page and to then make an immediate donation. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking a small donation won’t be appreciated! Donating even a few dollars will make a difference.
3) My Duties in More detail: As another Member on the ground I’ll be able to take on projects and responsibilities that simply will not get done if I am not there:
a) Daily basic English and computer classes for the LFBS Haitian staff: Instead of continually trying to recruit foreign staff members LFBS is committed to training and improving the ability of the local work force. Furthermore this training gives them the ability to be more independent in their communication with the LFBS board of directors.
b) Training the staff in child development: We’ll be working through, discussing, and implementing child development techniques from the Facts for Life manual: techniques developed and structured by UNICEF and The World Health Organization.
c) One on one social and work skills mentoring for children in the house: there are young men who have shown potential and interest in the running of the organization. I will take some on as “interns” one at a time in order to help them understand responsibility, technical skills, and work culture. There are others boys who are not assimilating to living at the houses as quickly as others. I’ll be spending extra time one on one with these young men in order to help them become more emotionally comfortable.
d) Teaching English at the children’s School: Most of the children who are currently in the boy’s safe house attend the same school. I would volunteer teach Basic English at the school 3 times a week. Having the ability to speak even the most basic English at a young age gives the children a much higher chance of improving even more and eventually being able to find a job that otherwise would not have been accessible to them
e) Social outreach: This involves checking in on newly reunited families, accessing their needs, and implementing initiatives to stabilize those families in a way that enables them to be independent.
f) Creating a more feasible system for storing and tracking non-monetary donations and receipts: Essentially I’ll be creating a donations depot and using Excel to keep track of all the donations, by whom they were donated, and to whom they were distributed.
g) Volunteer manager: LFBS is blessed in the sense that we are quite often in the position to host a few volunteers who have taken the initiative to get themselves to Haiti. However, Morgan does not often have the time to give these volunteers enough guidance to get the most out of their visit. I will be the liaison for those individuals. I will make sure that they get to Les Cayes, feel comfortable in the environment, have meaningful duties that can attend to, and any other needs that may arise.
h) LFBS Facebook and blog updates: The LFBS Facebook and blog page are essential for keeping our donors and all those interested in the organization up to date on the amazing advances the organization is making. I’ll will gather material and update these blogs during my time in Haiti.
i) Grant writing: I will be researching and writing proposals for grants that will enable LFBS to maintain their presence in the region and eventually expand.
j) Networking: I will be reaching out to other non-profits and NGO’s in the area to help ensure that we are using our resources and skills most economically and effectively. Sharing resources among organizations in critical to maintaining and growing our organization’s sphere of influence.
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