My name is Joni Zweig and I’m the president of AMURTEL USA . I want to introduce you to Julienne. She is just 8 and lives with her mother, father, and five brothers and sisters. When the modest house they shared was destroyed by the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on August 14th, Julienne and her family benefitted from one of the 700 strong tarps generously gifted by people like you and distributed by AMURT/EL. Your support has provided this family with an emergency shelter that is keeping them protected from the rains. Thank you.
Now the next step in rebuilding young lives like Julienne’s is to quickly set up "Child-Friendly Spaces” (CFS), where children benefit emotionally from games, music, dance, and yoga lead by our experienced team of AMURT/EL Haiti volunteers. They also also receive a simple, healthy hot meal of rice, beans, and vegetables every day.
Last year the local schools were closed due to civil unrest and the pandemic. Julienne and her brothers and sisters were eagerly looking forward to once again returning to school this September, but those hopes were crushed when the school building was destroyed by the earthquake. By attending the CFS, and spending time with the other children, not only will Julienne have the opportunity to continue learning, she will be able to manage the trauma she is living through - and the chance to regain some sense of normalcy and hope.
Participating in the CFS has already made a big difference for Julienne, who loves singing and dancing best, and gets up early to be one of the first to arrive. The hot meal she receives is the only warm food she will have all day.
Right now we have just enough money for two spaces, providing food to Julienne and almost 500 children for a few weeks. But every day more desperate families are begging us to allow their children to join. We urgently need to open up three more spaces to reach about 1200 children like Julienne in need.
Only your support can ensure that these life affirming safe spaces can continue and even expand. Our volunteers are running the CFS's in the open. Madame Alexis cooks rice and beans in big pots, but she urgently needs better cooking equipment and more food to cater for the numbers of children attending. Also, the children need proper tents and education materials to make their spaces not just safe but nurturing. Please help us ensure that Julienne and her friends have food to eat, a safe canvas shelter, and can enjoy some bright spots of laughter and hope.
Thank you all for your incredibly generous support, and know that you are making an important difference!
You can see more photos and news on our AMURTEL Facebook page .
* I change the names of minors to protect their identity
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