(written by Beth)

2011 has brought new adventures to Waveplace and we’re not wasting any time to get them started!

On January 27th, a little over a year after the earthquake, the Waveplace team will be heading back to Haiti to begin another five pilots in the Port-au-Prince area. Two of those pilots are with our friends, Haiti Partners, who we collaborated with in Léogâne last spring. This year we’ll be bringing laptops to the Cité Soleil Community School as well as the Wozo Youth Choir, which function under Haiti Partners’ wing.

We’re also pleased to introduce three new partner organizations, with whom we will hold our three remaining pilots: AMURT, an international organization that has been doing work in Haiti since 1988 (and who is generously offering their beautiful facilities for our workshop); Restavek Freedom, which works to advocate for slave or restavek children and provide them an education; and JP/HRO, founded by actor Sean Penn after the 2010 earthquake.

Here’s my favorite part: In order to foster long term, in-country growth, we’re bringing two of our Haitian mentors from the spring 2010 pilots in order to complete the Waveplace team. These mentors, Evens Thèlèmaque from Petite Rivière des Nippes (site of our partners, the American Haitian Foundation), and Elisabeth Demosthene from Léogâne (Haiti Partners), will travel with us for two weeks in order to help train new mentors in a way that we are simply unable to, given the language barrier. This is a major step for Waveplace. It has always been our goal to ultimately make ourselves unnecessary by providing the tools people need to improve their own communities and showing them how to use these tools. Having our mentors travel with us is an incredible step in a process that allows them to connect directly with other Haitians and provide support on a local level. This is not to mention the incredible benefit that our initial pilots will see with more training and expertise coming back to them after the January workshop.
It’s the start of a great year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the dedication of our partners and mentors. They are what truly keep our classes going strong and we can’t imagine success without them!

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