On Saturday, April 17th, New Life for Haiti participated in the Global Activism Expo at the UIC Forum in Chicago. From noon to 6 PM, New Life for Haiti hosted an information table. Director Fran Leeman was also a guest speaker in a panel discussion titled “Haiti: Ways Forward”.
New Life for Haiti was invited to attend the expo due to Director Leeman's guest appearances on Chicago Public Radio's Worldview
program, hosted by Jerome McDonnell. He first appeared on the show on January 8th, 2009
to discuss New Life for Haiti's development efforts in rural Haiti. He was asked to return on January 15th, 2010
to discuss the impact of the earthquake on Marfranc and the efforts New Life for Haiti had undertaken in response to it.
New Life for Haiti table at the 2010 Global Activism Expo
New Life for Haiti set up their information table along with 82 other organizations from the Chicago area. Photos of work projects, information pamphlets, and a slideshow adorned the table. Most of the other tables were similarly set up.
“I thought we were going to have a few hours to check out the other tables and relax a bit, but there were thousands of people at this event”, said Director Leeman. Indeed, event organizers reported that over 2,500 people visited the expo.
“And they just kept coming to the table! We talked and talked and got three pages of people's email addresses. By the time the event was over, our voices were almost gone!”, said Leeman.
The varied interests shown by visitors astounded Brian Zurita, New Life for Haiti volunteer who helped provide information at the table.
“We had people wanting to know how they could go to Haiti with us. There were a couple of teachers who were excited to help us train Haitian teachers. People wanting to help build schools down there. There were many people who gave us their email addresses so we could keep them informed of the progress we're making in Haiti”, said Zurita.
Projects planned for this year and next include building and installing the doors and window security grills on the school buildings in Marfranc, adding more needy children to the child sponsorship program, and building a new school in Plik.
New Life for Haiti looks forward to attending next year's Global Activism Expo. More information about this event may be found at the WBEZ Blog