Wyoming Haiti Relief Continues For The Holidays
Wyoming Haiti relief continues for the holidays with a special arts program for kids that looks to inspire and meet needs beyond that of food, water and shelter. Ktwo Radio's Karen Snyder has more...
An interpreter from Cheyenne will make a trip to Haiti over the holidays. Paula Egan-Wright is a language teacher and a Peace Core volunteer who traveled with Wyoming Haiti Relief last February as part of that groups earthquake relief efforts.
"When I first went down to Haiti it was in February and I worked with lots of clinics and mobile clinics and on the last three days I was in the country and I connected with a pastor who wanted some help because he had some orphans, a hundred and eighty kids, who'd come down the road from Port-au-Prince to a town called Les Cayes."
Egan-Wright decided she wanted to help with those orphans and went back in the summer, this time bringing a successful educational language and arts program-something that's been offered at Casper College for many years- to children in Haiti called "Key Camp". Jill Ramaker-Hendricks for Wyoming Haiti Relief says that initial summer offering went well. "She went down and did a camp very successfully in June with that group of kids. Then we were able to get sponsors for those kids so they could attend school this year. We raised money for their tuition and their uniforms, because there's no such thing as public education in Haiti."
On Friday Egan-Wright returns to Haiti for another week where she'll offer again this arts program for children.
"So now Paula will be down over Christmas and she's going to do a camp for the kids, again a fine art based camp during their Christmas vacation. So they'll do lots of theater, drama kinds of activities, art activities, and then she'll do each morning three hours of training for teachers. The Haitian education system is very antiquated. If you think about in our country, our education system during the time of maybe Laura Ingalls Wilder, its a very rote memorization system with very few resources. So she's trying to help the teachers to learn to work with the kids in a way of self discovery and self expression utilizing art, music, and drama."
Up to 200 children will likely participate in the program. Egan-Wright is paying for her own travel costs. She's raised almost all the funds for the program through the sale of her own art work and greeting cards much of it Haitian inspired. Some of the costs will be covered from money raised by the sale of Haitian artwork at the 'Art of Determination' sale that happened at the Corridor gallery in Casper last month.