Monthly Archives: April 2012

Event at the Fairmont

 

Here is a selection of images I photographed at the Fairmont in Pittsburgh last weekend for an amazing couple.  It was wonderful capturing such a special occasion for them that was filled with lots of love and appreciation.

 

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Posted in Blog

Haiti – A Nations Persistence

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Recently I received a grant from Shippensburg University to be a visiting speaker this month and exhibit my photography from Haiti.  I spoke to several classes both graduate and undergraduate about my experiences in the country. While speaking to classes I had the opportunity to talk about the moments I documented and about some of the events and pressing issues the country has faced.  I also spoke in depth about the NGO world in Haiti and government funded organizations like USAID that work there. 


There are more NGOs per capita in Haiti then any other county in the world.  NGOs and federally funded organizations like USAID have been present in Haiti for the last 30 years.  A good question to ask is why Haiti remains to be one of the poorest countries in the world when they appear to be receiving so much assistance?


In my experience many large NGOs I have encountered have a very limited to no community involvement and waste a large a lot of resources.  Another unfortunate truth is that there are many powerful organizations that are supporting their own economic and ideological agendas and not the interest of the Haitian people.


While living in Haiti I met many people who I am blessed to know.  People who inspire me with their actions, people who have fully invested their lives to creating change and improving their country regardless of the seemly insurmountable obstacles they face.


People like my friend Fritz Desulme who has planted over 875,000 trees in his country to combat the problem of deforestation.  And my friend Natacha Marseille – Her parents were unable to take care of her when she was young so she grew up in an orphanage.  She now runs her own orphanage and manages a school that consist of 200 kindergarten and primary children in a poor area or Port au Prince.


What I have learned in Haiti is that the solutions to the problems in Haiti can only come from within, from people like my friends.  What I have learned is that real change can only happen on the community level, when there is full community investment and involvement.


My recommendation to anyone interested in donating to help Haiti is to find a non-profit that deeply knows its community and works alongside the Haitian people.


Here is a list of organization I would recommend donating to.


Partners in Health www.pih.org

VivTimoun www.vivtimoun.org

Trees for Life  www.treesforlife.org/haiti

All Hands Volunteers  www.hands.org



The grant was supported by The Communication/Journalism Department, in collaboration with the Lehman Library, the Modern Language Department and the Women’s and Gender Studies Minor.


Here are the selection of photographs that are on display at the Lehman Gallery on the Shippensburg University campus.  They will be hanging from April 2 – 27.

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