’15 Class Progress 2/18/14

The highlight today was a conference call with Christine Buchholz, the VP of the Board of Restavek Freedom Foundation! We developed our sustainable project ideas and got updates on the nonprofit.

We are continuing to explore the possibility of creating an endowed scholarship for Elon Academy. Elon University has been ruled out as a beneficial option for the kids of RFF. They are very open to the idea of our class visiting their transitional home and community learning center in Port Salud. We will most likely contribute to their English learning program by creating a week long camp that teaches the students some particular skill – camps in the past have included harmonica instructions and putting on a play. They’re open to us using whatever our particular skill sets allow us to do best! Our class is also looking into hosting Christine and/or other RFF representatives on campus this or next semester as well as a walk-through demonstration that gives you a glimpse into what it’s like to be a restavek.

The organization has had many improvements since our last discussion. The Songs for Freedom organization is in full swing with the Port au Prince finals coming up in the next few weeks! In this program, singer/songwriters compete by perform songs about restavek. It has gained a lot of attentions (with audiences between 5-8,000) and the contestants go on to be guests on radio shows – doubling as advocates for restavek awareness. Their radio program that aims to shift social attitudes towards the restavek issue by building relationships between the characters and listeners is also in full swing. RFF has partnered with a cell service provider that has offered free text messaging so that listeners may respond to the program. The show has been estimated to reach about a million listeners, and RFF hopes to gain more funding to extend the show beyond its original 87 episodes. They have also recently partnered with Kathy Crutcher and her nonprofit Shout Mouth Press. The organization works with disadvantaged youth who are falling behind in writing skills to write and publish their own children’s books. Kathy will be traveling to Port Salud to try to write books with RFF children! The books will also be translated into Creole, illustrated by local artists, and sold on Amazon. As RFF has continued their extensive research process regarding their participants, they have found that 72% of those who have been a participant have pass grade level exams! A HUGE accomplishment for children who would have otherwise had no access to education whatsoever.

As a class we also discussed goals for each committee, and Colby Halligan led a discussion regarding the disbursement of Haitian aid.



Did you know? Merchandise purchased from nonprofit organization is now susceptible to NC sales tax due to a bill passed by our governor Pat McCrory.

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