Haiti Soup Kitchen : ESW-RIT

Sebastien Selarque

Engineers for a Sustainable World at the Rochester Institute for Technology (ESW-RIT) is a group led by students who are passionate about developing sustainability technology and building resiliency in local and global communities.

A pillar of our mission is to build a global network of communities with a shared culture of sustainability. Therefore, this year we began work addressing sustainable economic development in Borgne, Haiti.

Most Haitians live in rural, decentralized communes that don’t have easy access to clean water, electricity, or medical care. Natural disasters, such as the magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010, and un-natural disasters, such as the Food Price Crisis of 2008, cause tremendous strain on these communities that already have very little. It was during this time that Sarah Brownell co-founded the Pen ak Pwason food program. Their mission is to provide food to the elderly and disabled. Providing security to those marginalized by a society that has experienced a very difficult history.

Your contribution works for the community twice. First, the money you donate will go directly to supporting Pen ak Pwason’s humanitarian mission. Second, the money is used to purchase food from local farmers, therefore stimulating the local economy and allowing other families to pursue other forms of betterment.

When it was founded Pen ak Pwason could provide food to 25 guests. Now the program supports 100 guests.

33221826_1543316625295200_r.jpegOriginal 25 Haitians enjoying a meal.

33221826_1543317076451988_r.jpegLegim, seafood and vegetable stew over rice, is ready to be served.

Led by director Somane Agustama and accompanied by cooks Marceline and Marivierge, Pen ak Pwason is an inviting, loving place that bolsters guests sense of community. The program just celebrated its 10th anniversary and we hope to help enable them to continue their great work.

33221826_1543317196662234_r.jpegFrom left, Marceline, Marivierge and Somane preparing breadfruit for a meal.

My team and I have found inspiration from the parable The Flight of the Hummingbird. Here, I paraphrase the story.

When the whole forest was on fire the animals watched in sorrow as their home burned. The resilient hummingbird alone flew to the river, took a drop of water, and tried to halt the fire. “What are you doing?!” cried the other animals. Without a pause the hummingbird responded, “I am doing what I can.”

From this we derive the symbol of our campaign. The hummingbird represents the value of our effort, big or small, to protect that which we cherish. The hummingbird is a reminder that the support of an individual is never negligible nor futile. There is profound merit in taking whatever action one can make.

33221826_1543317404316148_r.jpegThe design was kindly provided by Chloe Selarque of Jahier Studio.
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Sebastien Selarque 
Rochester, NY
St Josephs House of Hospitality of Rochester N Y Federal Station 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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