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Haiti Soleil Celebrates Five Years of Work in Haiti:
Where We are and Where We are Headed

Haiti Soleil 5 Year Anniversary

Winter 2011 UPDATE

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Happy New Year! This year, Haiti Soleil celebrates five years of supporting youth and community in Haiti. We have begun the year by ensuring that our supporters and others interested in learning about what we do are fully informed of our work. We now have a new and improved website full of information about how we are supporting relief efforts in the community of Carrefour-Feuilles. Please visit our website at to check out our new look. If you don’t know the story of how Haiti Soleil began and what it has achieved since its inception in 2006, please check out our new Our Story page. If you want to learn about specific projects in Carrefour-Feuilles, go to the Relief page. Do visit our website every now and then as we will be making additional improvements to the site. Of course we welcome your suggestions so do not hesitate to contact us. We love hearing from you.

Haiti Soleil also began the year by participating in a day of remembrance on January 12th with our institutional partner, The Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to recognize the victims and survivors of the earthquake that struck Haiti a year ago. A candlelight vigil was held on campus and at 4:53pm a moment of silence was observed. Participants of the vigil were asked to sign a large banner with words of encouragement to the community of Carrefour-Feuilles. The banner will be sent to Bibliothèque du Soleil for display at its Avenue Magloire Ambroise location. Since The Center for Black Studies Research has been with Haiti Soleil since its beginning, it was fitting to start our 5th anniversary year with its staff and supporters.

January 12th, 2011 was signifcant for another reason: It was the deadline for The Irene S. Scully Family Foundation's matching grant challenge, which began in May 2010. I am happy to announce that our donors responded to the challenge and raised a total of $16,299.55 towards the matching grant! We can't thank our donors enough for the outpour of support shown last year. Haiti Soleil received more individual donations in 2010 than any previous years. We are hoping our supporters will surpass last year's record breaking numbers.

2011 is not only a year for Haiti Soleil to celebrate its achievements in the past five years, but also a year to reflect on the challenges we have faced. We have certainly made some mistakes along the way but have learned a lot in the process. Most of all, we have learned how to best work with communities in Haiti in ways that are sustainable and do not marginalize the voices of their members and leaders. We have also learned that working with a particular community requires patience and long-term commitment. Of course, as someone with roots in the community of Carrefour-Feuilles, I did not question my own commitment to its development when I began the project as a graduate student. However, I did not know that, over time, a strong board and a community of individual donors, sponsors, and partners all over the United States would also pledge their commitment to Haiti Soleil’s mission. Some of our donors have been with us from the beginning. We would not have made it through the first 5 years without this support to sustain us.

As we move forward with strategic development plans for the next five years, we will continue to support Carrefour-Feuilles despite the obstacles we face post earthquake. Our major goal is to rebuild Bibliothèque du Soleil so that the library may continue its programs and remain an invaluable resource to the community. Once the reconstruction is complete, we hope to nurture a relationship with another community that is in need of a library and community center. Our goal is to have a branch of Bibliothèque du Soleil outside of Port-au-Prince by 2016. We also need to develop our museum project. We may not move as fast as other organizations. However, we strongly believe in doing things efficiently and sometimes that requires taking small steps at a time. As the Kreyol proverb says, "piti piti na rive!"

Indeed, we have our work cut out for us, but that will not prevent us from celebrating our accomplishments and giving special thanks to our supporters. We will be organizing a few events and activities throughout the year. Do join us. We certainly can’t celebrate without you!

Nadège T. Clitandre, Executive Director, Haiti Soleil

Rebuilding with Hope and Joy

Christmas Party_1

Bibliothèque du Soleil has been continuing its activities in the Community of Carrefour-Feuilles until actual reconstruction begins. The library, in collaboration with Biwo Doleyans Sosyal, organized a two day Christmas celebration, on December 29th and 30th, which brought together over 300 children at its location on Avenue Magloire Ambroise. Balloons, garlands, and sparkles added warmth to the current space and were fitting for the event’s theme, “Rebuilding with Joy.” The children, parents and other family members in attendance appeared quite happy and proud in their Sunday best.


In addition to presentations by kids from Club soley pou tout timou, Camp d’été du Soleil, and the children of Biwo Doleyans Sosyal’s psychosocial program, a group of local young Djs provided additional entertainment. Parents and visitors were also impressed with the arts and crafts created by the kids of the psychosocial program and exposed for the first time to the community.


Thanks to the support of Haiti Soleil, 120 young participants of the youth programs at Bibliothèque du Soleil and Biwo Doleyans Sosyal received Christmas gifts. Although 2010 began with a devastating earthquake that shook the entire island and left communities like Carrefour-Feuilles with enormous challenges, it ended, at least for the residents of Carrefour-Feuilles and its young members, with joy and hope for 2011.


Bibliothèque du Soleil is currently organizing a walk of remembrance event which will be held on February 19, in Carrefour-Feuilles. It is also preparing an event for Kanaval with Club soley pou tout timoun, the library's after-school and Saturday youth group.

Donor Visit_1Norma Toussaint

WHY I GIVE: "I believe in Haiti Soleil’s mission to create a just society by building libraries and museums in Haiti. My parents, who were born in Haiti, instilled in me the importance of reading at a very young age. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my dad taking my siblings and me to our local library to read for hours and check out books. Being able to read and having access to books greatly impacts who am I as an adult in every aspect of my life. Education equips people with the imagination to develop creative solutions and to fully participate in society as a global citizen. Haiti’s youth need Haiti Soleil, an organization that is dedicated to Haiti’s future by taking an active role in their development."

"I’ve supported Haiti Soleil since 2009. For our first fundraiser, my husband and I organized a small party where local DC artists sold their artworks. Last summer, we organized a yard sale and donated the proceeds to Haiti Soleil to help rebuild Bibliothèque du Soleil, the library that was destroyed by the earthquake. I firmly believe libraries and museums are safe spaces that give Haiti’s children and youth a chance to grow uninhibited and have the potential to make a difference in their communities and in our world. For this reason, I will continue to support Haiti Soleil and encourage others to do so." Norma Toussaint, Washington, D.C.


A Day of Remembrance in Carrefour-Feuilles, February 19, 2011: On February 19, Bibliothèque du Soleil will host a Walk of Remembrance event in Carrefour-Feuilles. We will post photos of the event on our Facebook page. If you have not already befriended us on facebook, please take the opportunity to visit Haiti Soleil's Facebook page. You will find lots of photos from various activities, events, and programs.

Fundraiser in New York, May 2011: Haiti Soleil hopes to organize a number of fundraiser events this year for the rebuilding of Bibliothèque du Soleil and its activities in Carrefour-Feuilles. The first of these fundraisers will be held in Brooklyn, NY during the month of May. The fundraiser will be hosted by Scientific Soul Sessions. Details of the fundraiser will be announced soon. If you are in the New York City area and would like to volunteer for the fundraiser, contact us.

We would love for you to help us celebrate our 5th year anniversary by hosting a fundraiser in your community. If you are interested in organizing an event, contact us and we will get you started. Of course, donating to Haiti Soleil and spreading the word are also great ways to recognize our five years of work in Haiti.

To learn more about Haiti Soleil, please visit our website at