Research shows that the arts are among the most important and valuable ways we can improve learning and help people cope with life's challenges. That's why, when a Haitian community asked CEI to provide a music program, we agreed.
In 2014 we were asked by a rural community in Haiti to bring a music program to their children and adults. Two years later, we were able to meet their request, and began providing instruction two days per week. When Hurricane Matthew devastated the village we asked whether the community preferred us to divert funding to disaster response. “We need it now more than ever!” The program continues.
Why: Life in Haiti can be very stressful. Music plays an important role in stress reduction. But that’s not all. Research from Johns Hopkins shows that music can establish a positive learning state, energize learning activities, change brain wave states, focus concentration, increase attention, improve memory, release tension, enhance imagination, align groups, develop rapport, and more. In Haiti, as throughout the world, music is a vital aspect of daily life, and should be included in each child’s education.
What: CEI’s current program provides three music teachers for extra-curricular instruction to children and adults on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the school year. Haitian-led music camps are provided in the summer of 2017. Additional music classes will be added as funds become available.
Who: Music lessons, courses, and camps are all Haitian taught. Students of all ages are invited to participate in both programs. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact us. We are currently seeking additional instruments and other resources, including funding, to expand this successful program.
CEI has been asked to bring extra-curricular art education to underserved rural communities in Haiti. Art is important in daily lives of Haitians, as it is everywhere. In our mission to develop human potential, CEI wants to honor this request, by bringing talented Haitian artists to instruct students of all ages in much the same way as we are doing in our music program.
Why: Art has been shown to boost creativity; improve academic performance, motor skills, confidence, visual learning, decision-making, and perseverance. Budding artists need the opportunity to develop their talent just as much as everyone does.
What: CEI has worked with Haitian artists for several years, to bring their work to the attention of potential supporters in the United States. Now, we want to bring some of these Haitian artists to rural areas of their country, to share their talent and training with children and adults through extra-curricular training opportunities.
Who: Anyone can get involved, by contributing to this effort. Donors are currently needed to make this program a reality.
Haitians are eager to learn about themselves, their culture, heritage, and environment. In Haiti, there is almost no cinema and schools have little or no audio-visual references in their curriculum. Films can be a vehicle for socioeconomic development, conflict resolution, education and training, entertainment and more. Local storytelling can provide insights that outsider-produced stories cannot, and give formerly disempowered people a voice.
Why: In 2012, leaders a rural Haitian communities told us their students needed visual representation to better understand much of what they were learning in school. From there grew the idea of using films to bring training and entertainment to children and adults alike.
What: After exploring several options, options, CEI plans to implement a two-strand approach. Phase I will use existing films, in cooperation with Michael Sheridan of Community Supported Film and Laurence Magloire of mobiCINE, Fondation M WÈ M, and Fast Forward Haiti.
Community Supported Film integrates training in documentary filmmaking, social issue storytelling and awareness building, to provide essential insights into sustainable paths to a more equitable and peaceful world.
The mobiCINE team brings Haitian cultural and educational films to communities in a mobiBUS (with sound and visual projection and generator). Viewings include workshops that address themes such as health, citizenship, family planning, violence against women and children, history, heritage, environment, and society.*
Who: CEI has brought the mobiCINE team to the Paillant area in Haiti in a pilot and is now ready to expand that partnership. We are looking for people who want to contribute to this effort of making educational films available to the underserved in rural Haiti.
*In Phase II we will add filmmaking classes.
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CEI welcomes new ideas and resources to help improve our work in Haiti.