Category Archives: Special Sections

Creedible to be reporting from Haiti

Ten months ago I traveled to Carrefour, Haiti to report on Ecole Le Bon Samaritain, an elementary school operated by the Millien family from Greenwich. For the next four days I’ll be there again, working on a follow-up story.

The school was founded in 1997 by Rev. Jean Ellie Millien and his wife, Mona – both Haitian Americans. Jean Ellie is a retired Episcopal priest from Stamford. They now live in Greenwich, though they travel to Haiti regularly. Through the school the Milliens have been able to provide a K-5 education and a hot meal along with basic health care and hygiene to children in Waney, a community in Carrefour,  where most children are at risk. It’s important to note that in Haiti school is not public, and only 50 percent of children are able to enroll in school.

Ecole Le Bon Samaritain did not collapse during the earthquake, but the first level was severely damaged and the second level was being held up by broken columns. Since the quake, the school has been knocked down and is being re-built. The students have been attending classes in a tent. The school had 180 students, but immediately after the earthquake they only knew the whereabouts of 25 of those students. They were also missing several teachers.

Read full post here.

Bringing Christmas to Carrefour

Creedible editor, Tracy Simmons, hands a toy to a child in Haiti/Rebecca Newman - Creedible

Above my desk I have a picture of a Haitian toddler playing with what looks like an old Sunkist container. This child has no shoes or pants, just underwear and white t-shirt. If you look closely at the picture, you can see flies resting on his long eyelashes. That dirt road is his home. He plays contently with the container while his mother sits in the shade, watching.

She smiles as I squat down to the child's level and try to hand him a real toy, a clean one. My pockets are full of small, plastic red firemen and I extend one to him. He looks at his mother, unsure. She takes it and hands it to him for me, and I'm glad to know that at least for now, he doesn't have to play with garbage.

I grew up as an only child and my G.I. Joes and Hot Wheels kept me company for hours. But I took them for granted. On Christmas morning new toys would be waiting under the tree for me, even though the toys I already had piled up in my bedroom were more than enough to keep me entertained. One year I got the Starship Enterprise and with the push of a button could make the aircraft sound like it was shooting lasers at enemy planets. Another year I got a hot pink bike, and complained about the color.

I never would have played with a Sunkist container, and if I had my mom would have slapped my hand and exclaimed, “That’s dirty!”

Read full post here.

Help us buy a water purification system for Haitian school

Haiti needs our help. They need food, money, clothing, school supplies, medicine and gobs of other everyday things that we take for granted. Perhaps what they need most, though, is water.

On Dec. 13 I’m going back to Haiti to report on Ecole Le Bon Samaritain, an elementary school that was severely damaged in the Jan. 12 earthquake. The family that runs the school lives in Greenwich. When I go back, I want to bring more than just a notepad and camera. I want to bring a water purification system.

To date, more than 700 people in Haiti have died from cholera, which is a disease transmitted by contaminated food and water. The UN has warned that 400,000 people could be infected by the disease in the next six months. According to NBC, cholera is a severe diarrheal illness transmitted through fecal contamination that is especially dangerous among children and the elderly. Those infected can become too quickly dehydrated, go into shock, and die within hours.

Read full post here.

Struggles for Victory: Talking Haiti

Haiti is already forgotten. The earthquake was nearly a year ago and the media only seems to remember Haiti when a hurricane floods the land, or when cholera sweeps through the tent cities. They get their headlines, and leave.

Not Creedible.

We went in February, have reported on the nation since then and, perhaps more importantly, have stayed committed to the families I met there. Ribert. Vialine. Darline. Jerry. Christopher. The Milliens.  We text. We speak on the phone. We pray for each other. I send money when I can. And thanks to Ted Harge, I get to remind Connecticut about these people tonight at 8 p.m. EST on the Struggles to Victory radio program.

Read full post here.

Remembering our time in Haiti

Luc Louisgene receives award at Haiti relief banquet/Tracy Simmons - CreedibleGREENWICH — I can never forget Haiti. I traveled there about eight months ago, five weeks after the earthquake, and the things I saw and the people I met still make an impression on me today. I remember the crazy things, like Rev. Jean Ellie Millien, a quiet and humble man, holding down the horn of his Toyota pickup as he went in the opposite lane to pass slow moving traffic. That turned out to be the norm in Haiti. I remember the roosters crowing at 4 a.m. everyday and the stray dogs howling as they ran up and down the streets at night.

These are the stories we laugh at now. I’m ready to go back to Haiti and I actually miss those noises. The quietness, sometimes, makes me sad because I know the friends I’ve made in Carrefour don’t have the luxury of silence.
At the volunteer thank you dinner, a slideshow played at the front of the room, showing images of each team’s time in Haiti. To see the clinic again, the neighborhood, brought us all back I think. But the best part of the evening was seeing the volunteers that made it all happen. Dozens of the volunteers I never met, but I felt connected to them somehow. Five official teams went to Haiti as part of the Good Samaritan Rebuilding Fund, and still several volunteers traveled down throughout the summer to help with the school (the school was badly damaged in the earthquake and has since been demolished).

Read full post here.

Help raise money for Haiti

WATERBURY — In February Creedible traveled to Haiti with the Good Samaritain Rebuilding Fund to help a hurting community in Carrefour. My photographer and I were there for 10 days, working as pharmicists by day and journalists by night. I can't forget the faces of the people I met there, nor do I want to.  Since we've been back, Creedible has been committed to giving 10 percent of its earnings to some of those individuals. Every week or so I logon to Western Union's site and send money to either 27-year-old Ribert Pierre, or 25-year-old Darline Guerre. They help distribute the money to 14-year-old Christopher and 15-year-old Jerry, whose families have become homeless (see video).

It's been seven months since the earthquake destroyed so much of Haiti. Seven months, sadly, is long enough for people to forget. It takes more than seven months to rebuild a country. It takes more than seven month for people to put their lives back together, especially when there's no jobs, no food, no water and no shelter.

On Jan. 12, 2011 you'll hear about Haiti again. The newspapers and TV programs will remind us that it's been one year and will deliver a progrress report. More donations will come in then. But what about right now? One U.S. dollar goes a very long way in Haiti.

File PhotoNow's your chance to help, and I truly hope that you will.

On. Sept. 26 the East End Community Club of Waterbury is hosting its second annual Ziti Dinner. Some of the proceeds will go to the community club, and the rest will go to the Haitiain families Creedible has been supporting, and will continue to support. Tickets aren't expensive. They are on sale for $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 9. I have the tickets here in my office and would be more than happy to get them to you. Call me at (203) 278-4214 or write me at tsimmons@creedible.com if you want to help these families.

The event is from 12 to 3 p.m. at St. Leo the Great Church Hall Guild, 14 Bentwood Drive in Waterbury. The dinner is catered by Fazo's Deli.

CREC Metropolitan Learning Center festival to feature Haiti

This Creedible photo will be on display this week in Bloomfield/Rebecca Newman - CreedibleWith the support of the Bezos Family Foundation, the CREC Metropolitan Learning Center, 1551 Blue Hills Ave. in Bloomfield is pleased to present its Third Annual Global Ideas Festival.  The festival is a week of performances, exhibits, workshops, films and speakers designed to inform and inspire and to raise funds that will assist in rebuilding a specific school, L’Ecole le Bon Samaritain (EBS), in Carrefour, Haiti.

Festival highlights include:

Wednesday

Earth Shattering Poetry for Haiti & Art Auction

6:00—8:00 p.m.

Thursday

Show Choir Performance

4:15—5:30 p.m.

Friday

Haiti Festival—workshops, events
12:00—1:30 p.m.

Dr. Leslie Desmangles

Trinity College
The Spirits of the Deep: Religion and Cultural Traditions of Haiti
1:45—3:00 p.m.

Cash Reception and Silent Auction (Vito’s Deck)
5:00-7:00 p.m.

Noise for Nets—Haiti Benefit Battle of the Bands Concert
7:00—11:00 p.m.

Artwork, photography and student work will be exhibited
throughout the festival, including photographs by Rebecca Newman, who traveled to Haiti with Creedible in February.

Tutu challenges Douglas to embrace all people

HARTFORD – He sat at an empty table behind closed doors, put his elbows on the surface and gently clasped his hands together as he re-read his words and prayed over the sermon he had hand-written.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu had careful instructions for Ian T. Douglas, who was about to be consecrated as the bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

More than 2,000 people were buzzing outside Tutu’s door, eager to see the humanitarian and hear his message, and ready to welcome Douglas as their new leader.

The hum of the crowd quieted as the choir crooned, “I want to Walk as a Child of God,” and hundreds of men and women of the cloth, including Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori, processed through the Koeppel Center at Trinity College to their seats.

Desmond Tutu prays before delivering sermon on Saturday/Tracy Simmons - CreedibleJefferts Schori served as the consecrating bishop and Bishop Michael B. Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina and Bishop Edward S. Little, of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, served as co-consecrators.

Douglas explained that it’s a tradition to have bishops from outside the diocese participate in the consecration.

“As a result, this is not about me, or the Diocese of Connecticut. These three bishops together represent the catholicy of the Episcopal Church, the breadth of the Episcopal Church,” he said.

The theme of the consecration was “unity in diversity,” which Tutu spoke passionately about.

He stood behind the podium and looked at Douglas, who was sitting in the front row.Bishop Ian T. Douglas addresses crowd/Tracy Simmons - Creedible

“A good shepherd will lay down his life for his flock. A good shepherd will go find those who are not a part of the flock,” Tutu, 78, said.

But his message wasn’t about proselytizing. It was about welcoming those who feel unwanted. Tutu’s dream, he said, is to see a unity of peace in God’s creation and a unity in the church of God.

He looked out at the crowd and reminded them that everyone is a part of God’s family.

“You and I are sisters and brothers of one another,” he said. “We, in community, pray to our father. To my father. To our father…They (the people) are God’s gift to me as I am God’s gift to them.”

He told Douglas to embrace all people – black, white, Hispanic, democrat, republic, gay, lesbian, Mulsim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist – and, he joked, embrace the tea party too.

“Ian, God has called you to be bishop. We are all God’s children Ian, please hold the children of God. Each one of them is precious. Each one of them is held in the godly embrace. Each one of them is loved. Hold them. Hold them. Jesus loves them,” he said as he closed his notebook.

Bishops from across the globe laid hands on Douglas and prayed for him before his family presented him with the symbols of the office.

“I am humbled and I am honored to be your bishop,” Douglas said after he was consecrated. “This is our diocese….so now it begins.”

http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?group_id=&user_id=&set_id=72157623878544514&tags=DesmondTutu,Episcopal,IanT.Douglas
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

 

Here the audio of Tutu's entire sermon here.

If you enjoyed this content, please consider making a donation to Creedible. You can send paypal payments to advertising@creedible.com.

 

 

Consecration photos available on Flickr

Douglas is consecrated as bishop/Tracy Simmons - CreedibleClick image above to get our Flickr gallery of this event. We have almost 200 photos of the consecration of Bishop Ian T. Douglas on our page.

Audio of Tutu's sermon in Hartford

Click on audio slideshow above to hear entire sermon by Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the consecration of Ian T. Douglas in Hartford.