This past week, we all have been captivated by the horrific images from Haiti as a result of the recent earthquake. We’ve seen unimaginable loss of life, suffering, and massive destruction. It will take years for Haiti and its people to heal.
The toll will be particularly difficult on the surviving children of Haiti. As UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman, noted earlier this week, many Haitian children have become separated from their families and caregivers, and face ”increased risks of malnutrition and disease, trafficking, sexual exploitation and serious emotional trauma.”
Yesterday, UNICEF reported that some young people in Haiti are using art to help cope with the devastation and trauma. Artists like 18-year old Bruno Rene are working with paint and papier-mâché to help express their feelings. Bruno and his classmates have been spending their days at the Art Creation Foundation for Children in Jacmel, Haiti to paint what they are seeing around them. “By night, they return to their displaced families.”
Organizers of the Haitian art program “hope the art activities will help students process some of the trauma they have experienced.” UNICEF has found that “these activities can provide a critically important support structure for children and young people in the wake of a disaster, when much of the world they knew before has been shattered.”
My heart goes out to the people of Haiti, and particularly its children. I applaud organizations like UNICEF, which seeks to ease the suffering of children in 190 countries. And, I applaud its use of art as a creative healing agent.
There are many worthy organizations to which you or your company can give to help Haiti in its unprecedented hour of need. One important way you can help is by giving to UNICEF.
I know Ann Veneman personally and her commitment to UNICEF, and its commitment to children. Click here to learn more and to donate.