Thursday, November 26, 2009

Food, Water, Exams, Supplies Cap-Haitien Haiti, and Thanksgiving

Hello, Everyone!

Here's our news about the food, water, and supplies on this day of Thanksgiving in the USA. In a few short weeks it will be Christmas, the students will have written their exams, and the web comic will have posted its final pages. A busy time for us all!

Web Comic
To Daniel, thanks and congratulations on your wonderful web comic

For those of you who haven't had a chance to read it, do try to find the time, and feel free to post a comment to Dan and pass on the link to friends, colleagues and family.

Dan is not only receiving positive peer reviews on his amazing talent, but also educating people about life in Haiti and raising funds for our students in post-secondary.
Food, Water, Proba

Auguste, our director of education, writes that many students in both Sen Rafayel and Cap-Haitien have malaria, and that hunger is again a major problem.

Although we really don't have funds for rice, beans, oil and charcoal, we are doing what we can to help feed these kids:

Thanks to Mme Cindy who has been sending us protein powder, we have begun distributing it in zip lock bags, along with plastic glasses and spoons.

Normally we distribute a container of our own home made peanut butter mixed with protein powder (Proba).

However, we do not have any jars (bokal yo) in which to put the Proba mixture, so we are doing the next best thing by distributing the powder, spoons and glasses.

We are distributing potable water daily, as well as distributing peanuts and hard boiled eggs, which Carmene prepares Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Exams, Students Updates
Exams will be taking place over the next couple of weeks so study space at Lakay is at a premium. We hope to have an update on all our post secondary students at the Christmas break in a few weeks.

Marlene, our student in Santiago, Dominican Republic, was in hospital with a severe infection, so she missed a week of classes. Now she is being treated for dental infections. Hopefully she is able to find better dental care than we have in Cap-Haitien.

Auguste has wired extra funds to cover these unexpected expenses. However, she is still alone, and ill in a strange country.

Supplies, Brailler, etc.

Some supplies are arriving at the centre in Cap-Haitien. Boxes from Pennsylvania have arrived, as have the back packs Daniel sent in July.

We are still waiting for Kayla's supplies as well as the house supplies I sent in September (this post).

Communication to and within Haiti continues to be a challenge. Claudy and Auguste have been attempting to contact our blind student, Guilene, to find out how the machines provided by Don and the folks at the PA Lions club are holding up.

As Guilene is back at school in Potoprens (Port-au-Prince) and we have no address, phone number, school name, it will probably be Christmas break before we have news. I'll let you know as soon as I hear from her.

Thank You!
Thanks again to the folks on the UN committee in Boulder, Colorado! The fund raiser which I attended in September has reaped more benefits, so our potable water program is in very good shape.

Thanks again to Mme Cindy for all the support from her and her 'helpers'.

Thanks, too, to Teena in Australia, who is also raising funds through her artful scarves!

On a Personal Note
On Nov. 11 my wonderful, courageous, high spirited mother, Betty Anderson, died of post op complications after emergency surgery.

Unfortunately I have been experiencing post op complications myself and had landed back in hospital the day she died. I was unable to travel to the funeral, but had spoken with her daily.

My sister who was so instrumental in my air lift to Canada from Haiti last fall, once again guided the family through another life changing transition. Thanks, Boo! You are the best!

Thanks so much to all who sent emails and cards, or phoned. This journey with the destructive E coli has again challenged me physically. Although the reversal has been successful so far, my doctor says he'll review my condition in about 6 months, and that one more surgery will be necessary.

I will be able to return to Cap-Haitien before then, although the current complications are slowing recovery.

Wishing  our friends in the States a joyful Thanksgiving!

Beni-w Sharon

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Starthrower in Haiti Webcomic Fundraiser For Education Program Launched

Starthrower Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of a unique fundraiser to raise funds for the Education Program in Haiti.

Starthrower in Haiti is a web comic, an online version of a graphic novel, created by Dan Lafrance that tells in picture form the story of Starthrower Foundation and Sharon Gaskell's work in Cap-Haitien and Sen Rafayel, Haiti, to sponsor Haitian youth in school.

Begin with the Starthrower in Haiti Welcome page  and the Prologue, which tells the story of Loren Eiseley's The Starthrower in picture form. Follow the Next links to read the full story. The story of daily life in Haiti begins with Home Visits. Use the Next or Previous buttons to read ahead or go back in the story.

New Pages
New pages will be posted Tuesdays and Thursdays from now until Christmas. You can use the Email sign up box on the web comic site to have new pages delivered to your inbox as they are posted. This is done automatically, so your email is not divulged to anyone.

Backgrounder Starthrower in Haiti Webcomic
Dan Lafrance is a Toronto, Canada-based professional storyboard artist who has been working in animation for more than 24 years. Last March, Daniel contacted Starthrower Foundation with his unique fundraising idea to tell its story in a graphic novel format.

Daniel wanted to reach a wider audience and a totally different demographic to tell the story of life in Haiti, and to raise funds to help our students get an education.

After months of meetings and phone and email discussions with Sharon to make sure the graphic novel portrayed Starthrower Foundation as accurately as possible, Daniel began drawing his wonderful pictures.

He enlisted the help of Cassi Fuertez, a talented colorist, for the prologue and the webcomic banner.

How Webcomics Work
The practical business-minded will be asking, "How do webcomics raise funds?" In the webcomic community, creators are shown appreciation by the inclusion of a Tip Jar - a Donate button on the comic pages.

Why not have the webcomic Tip Jar/ Donate button go directly to Starthrower Foundation's Canada Helps page, Dan thought, so all tips would go directly to the Education and Food Distribution programs.

The donate link is on the web comic site, and at the bottom of the web comic email updates.

More Than a Fundraiser
But Starthrower in Haiti is much more than a fundraiser in novel format with lovely images: It is also a fantastic resource for educators everywhere who are looking for ways to teach units about Haiti, charities, and social justice.

If you are a teacher, or know someone who is, send them the link to the web comic. The graphic novel format is appropriate for all ages, and many levels of reading skills.

How You Can Help Raise Awareness
If you enjoy the web comic and appreciate the incredible amount of time and work that has gone into its creation and development, then help spread the word.

Send the web comic link to your contacts that would enjoy reading about life in Haiti. Post the link on your Facebook status and your Twitter feeds and MySpace pages.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Starthrower in Haiti speaks volumes. And though the web comic is scheduled at this time to run for a few short months, the content is evergreen and will be an ongoing, online global resource.

What Next?
Daniel is currently looking for ways to publish Starthrower in Haiti in print form. If you can help, please contact him through the web comic site.

To Daniel and all who supported this project, a big Thank You from Starthrower Foundation!

As much as fundraisers are urgently needed to keep our university students in school after Christmas, and as urgently as funds are needed to re-establish the Food Distribution program, this web comic will be invaluable for helping others understand life in Haiti, and the difference between Charity and Social Justice.

Like It? Comments?
Please take a minute to leave a comment on the web comic site, to show your support or to ask questions or make a comment about a particular issue.

Start Reading
Here's the Welcome Page. Working together, we CAN make a difference!



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