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An Update on the Reconstruction of Bibliotheque du Soleil

Haiti Soleil 5 Year Anniversary


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Dear Friends of Haiti Soleil,

The Haiti Soleil team has been so busy with the reconstruction project, we have not had a chance to update you on what we have been doing in the past few months. We know that our supporters are very interested in knowing about our progress. We apologize for the delay in news.

To begin with the reconstruction of Bibliothèque du Soleil, our most pressing matter, we would like to let you know that we have been working with the University of San Francisco's Department of Art and Architecture to finalize a design for the library's new building in Carrefour-Feuilles. The team at USF, supervised by Seth Wachtel, Director of the Architecture and Community Design Program in the department, sent a few schemes for review back in the spring of this year. After hearing suggestions from the Board of Haiti Soleil and the library staff in Haiti, the team recently submitted a third design for review. We have already sent in our feedback and are waiting for the revised design. We are also reviewing other designs by engineering firms in Haiti. At this stage, we believe that we are very close to a design that is in sink with the type of library we envision for the community of Carrefour-Feuilles.

While we wait for the final design from USF, we have been meeting with various experts to secure an engineering and construction firm that will execute our design of choice. In the early stages of our search for engineers, we were not successful at securing a firm that would commit to our modest project. We faced a number of challenges, but the obstacles we were confronted with are not unique to us; they are endemic struggles the entire nation faces as it tries to rebuild itself. While there is much frustration with the current state of the nation, the residents in the Carrefour-Feuilles community have faith in us and believe that the library, once built, will be central to carrefour-Feuilles' development. In spite of these challenges, I am happy to say that we have indeed made some progress in our search. During my trip to Haiti in August for the 5th annual summer camp program at Bibliothèque du Soleil, I met with a couple of engineering firms who have evaluated the site, including one recommended by FOKAL, our foundation sponsor in Haiti. These firms will be providing us with estimates of the total cost of reconstruction once the final design is approved. I have also met with Frederick Mangones, perhaps Haiti's most well known architect. Mr. Mangones has accepted to join our team and will be playing a critical role in the next phase of reconstruction. We are truly honored to have him on board.

We were not expecting this initial phase of reconstruction to go on for this long, and intended to have our new building by now, but we did not comprehend the complexities we would be facing. Nonetheless, small reconstruction efforts with local construction workers have been made to improve Bibliothèque du soleil's physical space so that the library can continue its activities. For example, the small building in the back of the library that functioned as a kitchen before the earthquake and transformed into storage space to house equipment and books after the quake has been remodeled. At the beginning of the year, the space was not properly secured and, as a result, the library's main computer, inverter and batteries were stolen. (Our sponsor Direct Relief Interational has provided Haiti Soleil with storage space in Haiti to secure all equipment and books.) We are constantly being confronted with such challenges, but as we near the second anniverary of the January 12th earthquake, we are at least glad to be reporting progress in our plans for a modern and safe community library that will meet the needs of its residents. We thank all our donors and supporters for being patient with us.

The reconstruction efforts have kept us quite busy. But we also have updates on activities and programs on the ground. In this newsletter, you will also find reports on recent activites of Bibliothèque du Soleil and Bureau de Doléances Sociales. Haiti Soleil remains committed to these projects. We believe in the work that is being done in Carrefour-Feuilles. With your continued donations, these programs will grow successfully.

I take this opportunity to announce another exciting news. "AYITI PALE," the short documentary in progress that highlights the work of Bibliothèque du Soleil and Bureau de Doléances Sociales in Carrefour-Feuilles is now available on our website's homepage at It can also be watched on YouTube. Our board member Arabelle Clitandre is the filmmaker behind this documentary project. Please don't hesitate to send us your feedback. I know that Arabelle would love to hear from you.

Nadège T. Clitandre, Executive Director, Haiti Soleil

Report on Summer Camp and Psychosocial Program

Although Bibliothèque du Soleil has not been able to function on a daily basis, it still organizes activities for all residents and remains a place where individuals can gather to discuss various issues pertaining to community development. The library's Camp d'été du soleil program this year brought in 102 kids from the community, doubling last year's participation. Organized under the theme "Rebuilding with our Youth," this year's 5th annual summer camp is by far the most successful. This one month summer program always involves a field trip that provides kids in the community with an opportunity to explore institutions, historical sites, and cultural spaces Haiti has to offer. This time around the kids had the opportunity to visit the famous Ranch de Croix-des-Bouquets. The visit to this immense and green terrain was a joyful experience for the kids. Our summer camp participants also had the honor of meeting the honourable Evans Lescourflair, the Minister of Youth, Sports, and Civic Action who welcomed them in his office and even had a few kids sit on his chair. With great enthusiasm he told the group, "you too are future ministers and individuals who will contribute to Haiti's development." As always, the summer camp ended with a capstone presentation from the young participants. About 400 proud parents, family members and friends came to the celebration dressed in their Sunday best to see the kids perform and display their talents.

Ever year, Haiti Soleil receives in-kind donations from individuals and groups for the summer camp program. This year we would like to recognize a donation of 25 beautifully decorated boxes filled with school supplies from the San Francisco's YMCA's Just 4 girls mentoring program. In partnership with the San Francisco Chapter of the Links, the Just 4 Girls program, which includes 22 middle school girls who live in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, has focused on educating its members on Haiti for the past two years. The kids of Bibliothèque du Soleil were excited to receive the school supplies and thank the Just 4 Girls group. Haiti Soleil also thanks members of the San Francisco Chapter of the Links' International Committee, including Francell Haskins and Schyleen Qualls, for choosing Bibliothèque du Soleil as the recipient of these school supplies.


CAMP 2011 Ranch
CAMP 2011 Ranch

The Bureau de Doléances Sociales that Bibliothèque du Soleil formed to deal with the immediate socioeconomic issues resulting from the quake has had a major impact on the community through its psychosocial program. The program began in May 2010, just a few months after the earthquake, to support youth between the ages of 5-15 traumatized by the quake. This one year program, which included cultural activities and educational sessions on children's rights and cholera prevention, for example, ended successfully in June 2011. With support from the Irene S. Scully Family Foundation and Direct Relief International, the Bureau was able to assist 360 youth in the Carrefour-Feuilles community. Although the psychosocial program ended, the Bureau continues to collaborate with organizations working to address the needs of the community. Most recently the group teamed up with OXFAM to put in place a three month cash transfer program that will benefit about 60 residents. In addition, the group is working on another educational program that will permit the bureau to continue supporting the kids from the psychosocial program. In October, for the start of the school year, the Bureau, with support from Haiti Soleil, distributed educational supplies to 150 kids from the psychosocial program. Bibliothèque du Soleil and Bureau de Doléances Sociales continue to remain active and offer their services to the community.


Donor Visit_1Katie Hanzlik

WHY I GIVE: "When I was a Global Studies major at UCSB, many different groups came to my classes championing their causes because they knew we were internationally-minded students with hearts for helping others. When Dr. Nadège Clitandre came to speak in one of my classes in the fall of 2009 about Haiti Soleil, my interest in the region was sparked. Having just returned from studying in France, I was interested in learning more about different French-speaking countries. Less than a few months later, the earthquake had ravaged Haiti, and I decided to turn my interest into involvement. I have been translating documents for Haiti Soleil ever since. In doing so, I have not only been able to help in a small way, but I have also learned so much about the culture of Haiti and the Carrefour-Feuilles region, never even having been there. Not yet, at least!" Katie Hanzlik, Sacramento, CA.


Haiti Soleil Charity Dinner, November 10, 2011: On Thursday, November 10, please join us for a charity dinner at the Melting Pot Restaurant in Larkspur, CA. For more information, visit Haiti Soleil's event's page.

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