Friday, December 31, 2010

Please donate to Li, Li, Li! reading out loud in creole program for Haiti's displaced children in the tent camps

Photo of Li, Li, Li! reading session donated by William Wheeler @2010

DONATE NOW to bring joy, literacy and employment to Haiti’s earthquake victims!

Dear Friends,

Please include Li, Li, Li! in your end of year donations. Donate by midnight tonight to claim your 2010 tax deduction. Click here to donate online.

Please take one minute to donate $20 or more to our not-for-profit organization Li, Li, Li! Read. Every dollar goes to our program in Haiti.

Li, Li, Li! is a storybook reading out loud in Creole program for Haiti's children living in tent & tarp encampments after becoming homeless or displaced by the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Our trained readers read in 25 camps per week – reaching more than 3,000 children per month in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Tabarre, Cite Soleil, Delmas, Pernier, and other neighborhoods and towns.

Our program’s focus is psychosocial engagement, literacy promotion and job creation for Haitians. Since October, we also have a cholera education & resource component enlisting children in the prevention, identification and treatment of cholera (more than 3,300 deaths and 150,000 sickened by cholera in Haiti since mid-October). The World Health Organization predicts that 650,000 more will be sickened in Haiti this coming year.

Read more about us in the Edwidge Danticat article featuring Li, Li, Li! in the January 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping (on newsstands now). Danticat quotes one of our readers, Natacha: “Kids who are now laughing were crying so much after the earthquake…Many are always reliving the whole thing in their heads, but when I read them a story all of that disappears for a moment. They become children again.”

Alice Speri explains in her AFP article Reading sessions help Haiti children through quake trauma that “…Li Li Li! is not only about stress release, it is also an attempt to entrench a love for reading in a country where, before the earthquake, 44 percent of the population could not read or write, according to UN estimates.”

For a quick who, what, where, when, and why, visit our About Li, Li, Li! page. And, you can click here to review our Accomplishments and Goals. We need your help to make these goals happen.

As we approach the one year anniversary of the January 12th earthquake, approximately 1.3 million people remain in horrendous and unsanitary conditions in spontaneous encampments.

Please help us to continue to provide important and sustainable services to Haiti’s children in the tent & tarp camps. Join us in this timely, meaningful and uplifting work.

Donate by midnight tonight to claim your 2010 tax deduction. Click here to donate online.

Or mail a check to: Li Li Li! Read, 70A Greenwich Avenue, Suite 373, New York, New York 10011


Michelle Karshan, Caitlin Karshan & Riva Precil

In Haiti: 011509-3871-0400, In U.S.: Leave messages at: 212-613-6033, Fax: 212-202-3992 (internet fax), Email:, Web: / Li, Li, Li! is a not-for-profit organization registered in the State of New York

Friday, December 24, 2010

Working Group on Media Protocols on Sexual Gender-Based Violence in Haiti Launched in Support of UN Campaign to Eliminate Violence against Women

Reporting on Sexual Violence in Haiti Requires new Guidelines

Working Group on Media Protocols on Sexual Gender-Based Violence in Haiti Launched in Support of UN Campaign to Eliminate Violence against Women

(December 16, 2010—PORT-AU-PRINCE)—A consortium of leading women’s, children’s and human rights advocates, health organizations, representatives of the media, and experts on gender-based violence have come together to form the “Working Group on Media Protocols on Sexual Gender Based Violence in Haiti.” The group will develop and recommend protocols for media coverage of sexual gender based violence against women and girls in Haiti. The group formally launched their mission this month in support of the UN’s “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.”

Throughout the year, members of the group have worked with Haitian NGOs and earthquake survivors in various capacities, including providing aid and documenting the increasing incidences of rape and sexual violence since the January 2010 earthquake left more than 1.5 million people stranded in roughly 1,300 camps. Other members have provided advocacy on behalf of rape survivors and lobbied for their protection, shelter, food, and access to emergency medical care. All of this work has highlighted the common need for clear and consistent protocols on media coverage, so that victims of sexual violence are not again exploited and placed in further jeopardy by news reports on their cases.

“The continuing rise in sexual violence in Haiti has resulted in increased media coverage of the issue, as well as focus on those who have been victimized,” says group co-founder Michelle Karshan. “Media coverage is essential to focus attention on the issue, sensitize readers and to instill action.” However, the media faces many unique challenges when covering sexual gender based violence. “Often, journalists find themselves balancing the need to produce an engaging story while wanting to avoid exposing victims to additional or future risks and retaliation,” explains Karshan, who has been a social justice advocate for Haiti for 26 years. Karshan is currently the executive director of “Li, Li, Li! Read,” a psychosocial, literacy program for children in Haiti’s makeshift tent camps.

The working group concept began as a conversation between Karshan and attorney Jayne Fleming, who leads the Human Rights team at Reed Smith LLP. Fleming and Reed Smith are involved in a unique initiative in Haiti to identify and represent candidates for emergency Humanitarian Parole to the U.S. Fleming leads delegations of legal and medical experts to Haiti to identify candidates for Parole, provide advocacy for survivors, and document testimony from victims of sexual gender based violence.

Karshan, Fleming and other members of the working group frequently provide commentary and background information to media on the realities of the sexual violence epidemic in Haiti. Over the last year, they have helped journalists working in Haiti address and resolve such considerations as confidentiality, identifying victims and locations, obtaining proper consent, protecting the rights of minors, and what images are appropriate to share.

Members of the working group are currently researching existing guidelines and frameworks covering sexual gender based violence contained in government, press, legal, health, and human rights standards. They are also conducting focus groups with editors, news directors, journalists and other members of the media; meeting with women’s and children’s rights groups; seeking input from other participating international and state organizations, and are seeking to work with the Haitian government in developing and implementing these protocols as a step towards stemming the tide of sexual violence, and ensuring the rights of Haitian women and children survivors.

Another area that the Working Group on Media Protocols on Sexual Gender-Based Violence in Haiti will focus on is how new media is fast changing the rules for what is considered ethical reporting of sexual violence.

“Because of the rapid increase in mobile technology—including live Twitter feeds or Facebook coverage, as well as online radio and TV stations, and rapid translation capabilities—the majority of news coverage on Haiti is now shared almost instantly inside Haiti, regardless of where it originates,” said Sergio Garcia, Chair of Reed Smith’s Technology Transactions Team, who is helping to spearhead the project. “In our experience, this fairly recent development makes our mission all the more critical and timely, especially as it relates to protecting the rights and safety of Haitian victims of sexual violence.”

Members of the working group include a broad spectrum of affected sectors, including:

o Journalists, Photographers, and Authors: such as Claude Adams, Jennifer Cheek Pantaléon, Beverly Bell, Patrick Douge, Miriam Neptune and representatives of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

o Women and Gender-Based Violence (GBV): including noted attorneys Elizabeth Barad, Esq. and Lisa Davis, Esq.; activist Melinda Miles; and Karen Musalo, Esq., director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) at UC Hastings College of Law. GBV organizations in support of the working group include CGRS, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, MADRE, FAVILEK, and KOFAVIV—Commission of Women Victims for Victims.

o Justice and Human Rights: including representatives of the Lawyers’ Earthquake Response Network (LERN), Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, Haiti Justice Alliance, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Let Haiti Live/project of TransAfrica. Other members in this sector include Mario Joseph, Esq., director of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux; Privat Precil, the former Director General of Haiti’s Ministry of Justice; Bill Quigley, Legal Director for the Center for Constitutional Rights; human rights attorney Moira Duvernay; and Professor Mark Schuller, Professor of African American Studies & Anthropology at York College, CUNY and Holly Cooper, Esq. of the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic.

o Children’s Program: such as Zanmi Lakay, and Li, Li, Li! Read.

o Medical and Mental Health: including the Stanford University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Daryn Reicherter and Dr. Victor Carrion, co-directors of the Stanford University International Initiative's working group on Orphans and Vulnerable Children.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Jamie Moss
newsPRos, PR Counsel, Reed Smith LLP
(201) 493-1027

For further information on becoming directly involved in the Haiti Working Group on Media & Sexual Gender-Based Violence, please contact:

Michelle Karshan
(212) 613-6033


Sergio Garcia
(415) 659-4748


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide - Bòn Ane 2011

Bòn Ane 2011

Sè m, Frè m,

Se toujou nan menm lespri MEM AMOU an,

Minouche avè m salye w, anbrase w fratènèlman,

E swete w ak tout kè nou yon BON ANE 2011.

Plis pase 300.000 pitit tè d Ayiti ta renmen la,

Byen vivan, pou wè ane 2011 la menm jan avè n.

Domaj!Yo menm ak lòt Sè n, Frè n ki peri anba

Sikòn Toma ou maladi kolera a deja konte pami

56 milyon moun ki mouri pandan ane 2010 sa a.

Pandan klòch Bòn Ane 2011 la ap karyonnen,

Nou sonje yo e n swete tout lòt viktim kap soufri

Lakay ou aletranje: Anpil kouraj! Anpil kouraj!