Celebrating the opening of CSAPH

Celebrating the opening of CSAPH

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Thank you all partners and donors of SOPUDEP who have made the dream of a new school and training center a reality.    We are extremely grateful to you all.   Below are some of the images from the opening event on April 15th 2017.  The new school and training center will be known as C-SAPH – “Centre Du Savoir Académique et Professionnel D’Haiti.”  Many of our friends and supporters in Haiti and overseas participated in the celebration.  However there were a number of people who could not attend, Sara Lee and Ans Kipping in particular have been a huge support to the new school project and to the SOPUDEP community.  We would also like to acknowledge the work of our sister Sokari Ekine who was also unable to make it to the celebration.

 

 

 

 

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm – Week 4 & 5

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm – Week 4 & 5

News

This weeks theatre and campaign was in the Bobin neighborhood of Peguy Ville, a high density community with a maze of narrow alleyways and a mix of permanent and informal housing. The neighborhood has a high level of domestic violence and this was evident from the moment we arrived and began to arrange our posters and banners. We were immediately challenged by a group of young men which set the tone for the next two hours. Many of the participants were intimidated by the level of hostility which was misogynist with the men insisting women were bad and therefore needed disciplining. Rea Dol and the Bobin community leader, Rosaline Fabre Derival,  did engage with the men prior and after the performance which was on sexual violence within the family.

We broke up into groups of 5 / 6 and spent an hour walking through the neighborhood handing out leaflets and talking mostly with women but some of us did approach men. Again the majority of men were hostile to us and we had a sense that the women in the community were intimidated. One man actually told us he was going to beat his wife that evening just because he felt like it.

The performance itself drew a much larger crowd than in Jalousie partly because we had a traffic free space.  However we were unable to engage in a Q&A afterwards as once again a small group of hostile men argued with our organizers for over an hour. We did encounter two young men who were positive and thankful for our visit but none of the women engaged with us at the time. This is something we will reflect on and consider how to approach communities with a high level of hostility and a culture of violence.

We had an additional mid-week performance on March 8th where we invited some 200 women of different ages to attend an afternoon of theatre and discussion. The women were drawn from  SOPUDEP partner organizations which includes about 15% men. The two plays were on domestic and sexual violence and each lasted 20 minutes. We then spent time discussing violence with many of the women standing up and giving testimony about their own experience and also about their organizations and how they have been a great support. We served 204 high protein meals and drinks to the visitors and our group members.

Some of the audience responses to the theatre might be difficult for non Haitians to understand for example laughter during scenes of violence. However for residents of Bobin, violence is an everyday reality and as such the street theatre performances were familiar and it is in this context that the audience sometimes respond with a ‘knowing’.  We were also pleased to note that 50 + Bobin women did attend despite the risk to them personally. If each one had a positive experience which we believe they did then they will discuss their experiences with other women who did not attend.  In this way we will continue to reach an ever-growing number of people.

 

The campaign is just beginning but from the response we have had we are confident we have begun to make the  necessary impact which is why it is crucial that we are able to continue the program. Women have come up to us personally requesting more training, on VAW, fathers have come to us and asked please can their daughters join the program and to thank us for highlighting the issue of domestic and sexual violence.

It has also been a learning process for the students involved both in terms of understanding sexual and physical violence but also in organizing a campaign and working together as a group. IT has not always been easy as students wake between 4.30 and 5am and we have had to practice into the late afternoon.  Finally this has been an opportunity to commune together, have fun, consider serious issues and not only eat good nourishing food but also share that with family members and friends.

 

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm – Week 3

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm – Week 3

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This week we performed our first street drama in Jalouszie neighborhood of Petion-Ville. The hillside neighborhood is home to some 200,000 people with a high level of sexual violence. The neighborhood has no clinic and relies on a few resident nurses and midwives to provide health services for residents. The pharmacy belonging to FASA member Fleurantin Marie Enise acts as one central point for health services where she and a few local nurses provide residents with advice and non-prescription drugs. There is only one narrow road running through Jalouzi with market traders parked on either side. The small patch of concrete outside the pharmacy therefore provided us with a small space in which to perform our play and allow for space for an audience to watch.

Prior to the play we made announcements and members of FASA and SOPU Fanm Pou Fanm, sang and danced to encourage passers by to stay and watch the play. Altogether we counted 38 people at various times. We had hoped for more but the location was a difficult one. The play lasted about 15 minutes and centered on the issue of Restavek children who come from poor homes usually in the countryside to work for middle and upper class Haitians. There is a history of physical, psychological and sexual abuse of Restevek children which was highlighted in the play. After the play there were some more songs around VAW and we were pleased that we did have questions from the audience.

The event lasted about 90 minutes and we want to congratulate all the participants, including Jalouzi residents for bringing the play together and the performance. We hope as time goes by we will improve but this was an excellent beginning.

Working on the princeip of “you don’t have to be a slave in order to eat, if you are hungry you should be able to eat” [Selma James] we have made it a priority to feed ourselves, to nourish our spirits and bodies.  Many of the students are food insecure and even where there is daily food it is invariably solely carbohydrates. We therefore choose to provide a more balanced diet which includes protein and carbohydrates other than rice such as sweet potato, yam and plantains.   We also believe it is important to feed  those who work with us and help make the project a success such as our chauffeurs and school guardians.

Next Saturday we will perform in the Bobin area of Puggy Ville also in Petion-Ville.

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm – Introduction

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm – Introduction

News

Ann Konbat Vyolans Kap Fet Sou Fanm is a six week media and street theatre campaign against all forms of violence against women and children run by a group of 20 SOPUDEP students and ex students. The main components of the campaign are performing two street plays; engaging with the general public especially other youth on the streets using banners and other publicity material made my the students; a radio interview with some of the students.

The first task was to select 20 SOPUDEP students and ex students [15 girls/young women and 5 boys/young men]. We started with student leader Nylogue Cantav and asked her to suggest names based on their involvement in student life at the school, willingness to participate and engage with each other and the public and for the young men, sensitivity to gender based violence.

We then held two preparatory meetings to explain the project to the students and enlist their feedback and ideas on what they would like to see happen. We also asked them to think about what they hope to gain from the project and any issues they have and if necessary these could be discussed in private the project leaders. Finally each student was asked to fill out a confidential Q&A on their direct and indirect experiences of gendered violence and what they hope to gain from the project.

The first sessions on 12/13 February were spent listening to the students to ascertain their understanding and experiences of VAW, the different forms of violence, how widespread and the social, economic, cultural factors that facilitated VAW and GBV. The group spent considerable time discussing different forms of gender based violence and thinking about ways in which they could begin to bring about change.  Finally the group discussed themes for the two plays and experimented with a couple of ideas.

The project is co organized by Rea Dol and Sokari Ekine with funding from AmplyFy Change

SOPUDEP: SODA CAN TAB RECYCLING AND HANDICRAFT ACTIVITY

SOPUDEP: SODA CAN TAB RECYCLING AND HANDICRAFT ACTIVITY

News

Haiti is a country with difficult living conditions, particularly for the youth, who seek activities for social integration, and the creation of items that are useful to them, their families and their communities.

The following students are participating in a new initiative that SOPUDEP has launched, that a Rotary Club Member in Canada (Barrie, Ontario), Carol Forde, is supporting. 3 SOPUDEP students and 2 female community members were trained in the usage of Pop Can waste (particularly the opening tab on top of the can), as a raw material. With the aluminum soda pop can tabs, the initiative makes purses, sandals, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, other ornaments / decorations.

This is yet one more tool that SODUPEP youth (Wesly Misère, Nalogue Cantave, and Mackendy Dorvil), currently in Philo (last year of secondary school), have in order to be productive. They can have that tool in their path to earn an income that can be part of their financial plan to attend university, beginning in September, 2016.

SOPUDEP’s goals are that a) the items that these and other youth produce be marketed, and b) in April, 2016, SOPUDEP a fair is held, where other handicraft items will be shown, and other entities will be invited, to see how the youth are initiated in these activities.

We invite the public to purchase the purses made with recycled soda can materials, created by these talented young stars of tomorrow. A call is launched for our partners to think about these young talented leaders of tomorrow. The proceeds go toward continuing their future education. The profile of the students involved in the project are posted below.

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WESLY MISERE, born Dec. 6, 1996..  

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Wesly Misère is from a 9-person female-headed household at Delmas 60. His mother is raising 7 children and 1 niece. Wesly’s intelligence and talent is one of the few gifts and assets that the stressed family has to draw on, given the mother’s meager / practically absent income. Wesly has artistic gifts (handicraft, painting), but has had little previous formal training. One of SOPUDEP’s projects is for Wesly to further cultivate his talent, while moving toward finishing secondary school and furthering his training at L’Ecole des Arts, in Port-au-Prince, on a multi-year work schedule. Furthering his artistic training would help him be more productive, to help his family.

Analogue CANTAVE, born Feb. 22, 1997..

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Nalogue Cantave is from a 4-person female-headed household. Her mother is from Cornillon, one of the poorest and most isolated and difficult-access communes of

Haiti. Coming to the capital, she faced great hardship to raise her children. Nalogue’s family came into contact with SOPUDEP’s founder when Nalogue was very young. Nalogue has been one of the success stories of the program, rising out of great challenges to succeed in her studies. It is SOPUDEP’s pleasure to participate and contribute in Nalogue’s upbringing and educational growth and development. The purse-making handicraft activity is one of the productive activities that Nalogue has been a part of. Nalogue wants to study Management and Business Administration, at Quisqueya University.

Mackendy DORVIL, born Jan 17, 1994

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Mackendy is from a 7-person household in Port-au-Prince, both parents facing health challenges. Mackendy Dorvil wants to study administrative sciences at the University of Port-au-Prince, and is participating in the handicraft program as a means of his artistic creation / expression, as well as to further the viability of his dream to continue his education at a university level.

bags for sopudep

If you are interested in purchasing any of the recycled products please contact us via our contact form for prices and delivery to the US and Canada. Thank you for supporting SOPUDEP youth.