Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the devastating earthquake in January, 2010. The humanitarian response to that disaster was remarkable, but has done little to address the underlying problems of poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Today hundreds of thousands of people still live in temporary camps, and many more have moved back into seismically unsafe buildings.
ChangeStream Media is partnering with groups that have exciting visions for a safe and equitable future for Haiti, and helping them reach their goals with media productions.
The Ubuntu Blox movement seeks to address two of the most pressing issues in Haiti: the dumping and burning of plastic trash, and the need for inexpensive and earthquake-safe building materials. This exciting technology upcycles waste into insulated bricks strong and flexible enough to withstand temblors and hurricanes. If widely adopted, it could provide much-needed jobs and shelter to Haiti’s displaced and vulnerable populations.
Another issue brought forward by the earthquake is the need for acceptance of the LGBT community in Haiti. In the aftermath of the quake, many Haitians, including important religious leaders, blamed the earthquake on homosexuality. In addition, the lack of privacy in the tent camps brought about widespread harassment.
KOURAJ is a grassroots organization conducting a national communications campaign to fight homophobia and stigmatization of the LGBT community. It is working in collaboration with a network of local and international actors to impact legislation, reform police treatment of the community, and force the application of human rights to the LGBT community. ChangeStream Media is creating content to support this campaign.
The challenge of creating culturally appropriate content in the Creole language is met by partnering with Haiti Communitere, a resource center for nonprofits and community organizations in Port-au-Prince.
UPDATE: We’re not the only ones excited to extend a message of hope to the Haitian LGBT community! Dozens of groups at the Capital Pride event in Washington, D.C. took time to learn a bit of Haitian Creole, and we’ve cut the results together to create an “it gets better” video for Haiti. Check it out: