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This holiday, give the gift of an education. Make a donation to LIDE on behalf of someone else, and we'll send out a card letting them know their gift went towards empowering at-risk girls in rural Haiti.

 

EMPOWERMENT THROUGH THE ARTS FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

 
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LIDÈ is an educational initiative that uses the arts and literacy to build resiliency and empower at-risk adolescent girls in rural Haiti, helping them to transition into academic or vocational education.

Established by Author Holiday Reinhorn, Actor Rainn Wilson and Executive Director Dr. Kathryn Adams in response to the challenges faced by girls that were made visible in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, LIDÈ programs seek to uplift young women and girls who have been denied equal access to education. LIDÈ trains and employs Haitian teachers and youth program facilitators, and collaborates with grassroots organizations and schools so that programs derive from local needs, strengthen local capacity, and foster the community support girls need to begin their educational journeys. The LIDÈ Foundation believes that arts in education inspires personal empowerment, resilience and self-efficacy.

 

LIDÈ means both “Leader” and “Idea” in Haitian Kreyol.

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PROGRAMS

LIDÈ programs serve out-of-school and “at-risk” adolescent girls. Girls in LIDÈ discover their unique voice through creative writing, theater, photography and film. These disciplines become a gateway into an academic education as well as a means for improving literacy, leadership and critical thinking. LIDÈ activities come together in values-based themes that help adolescent girls explore the life questions that all youth face on a local and global scale.  Our program work begins with understanding the needs of a community and then training teachers to provide arts programs to adolescent girls. We then mentor these programs toward sustainability. As programs continue, they provide a safe space where LIDÈ participants find their human dignity and inner strength, gain learning and life skills, and walk a path toward resiliency, self-determination, efficacy, and leadership through service.

LIDÈ currently serves over five hundred girls with a staff of thirteen Haitian teachers at a total of 12 locations in remote, rural Haiti. 

Teacher Empowerment & Student Learning
LIDÈ empowers teachers with a tool for developing their own creative ideas into effective curriculum. This tool helps them develop values-driven activities that achieve skill-based outcomes, and cognitive and psycho-social goals.


Partnerships
Girls are not just learners, they are whole human beings, and the life they live outside the LIDÈ program affects who they are within the program. For this reason, LIDÈ embraces partnerships with organizations and local resources in order to build a support network for its participants.


LIDÈ Partners include…

FONKOZE, Smallholder Farmers Alliance, H.E.L.P., Mona Foundation, Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées (BSEIPH), Restavek Freedom Foundation, Digicel Foundation, ProDev, Center for the Arts, 2nd Story Goods, Their World, Education Cannot Wait, Coalition for Global Citizenship

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LIDÈ FOUNDERS

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Rainn Wilson, Co-Founder

In 2007 Rainn Wilson became involved with the Mona Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports grassroots educational initiatives worldwide, and in 2014 he joined the board of directors. Along with a very successful career in acting (you may recognize him as Dwight from “The Office”, “Backstrom”, or from “Six Feet Under”.) Wilson has been very involved in working with youth through the arts. Rainn and his wife, Holiday Reinhorn are the founders of Lidè.

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Holiday Reinhorn, Co-Founder

Author Holiday Reinhorn visited Haiti for the first time in 2009 with the Mona Foundation and returned to facilitate a UN Foundation-funded program, Girls United, after the earthquake of 2010. She has been committed to serving grassroots educational initiatives in the most remote areas of Haiti ever since.

Holiday is the author of BIG CATS: Stories from Free Press.   Her fiction has been featured in numerous literary magazines and has been anthologized in THIS IS NOT CHICK LIT, THE WORST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE, and NAMING THE WORLD.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the recipient of a Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship, The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction and a PEN/Amazon.com Short Story Award, among others.  Holiday has taught creative writing at The University of Wisconsin at Madison, The University of Iowa and The UCLA Writers’ Extension Program.

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Dr. Kathryn Adams, Co-Founder & Executive Director

AA specialist in the psychology of teaching and learning, and Education in Emergencies, Dr. Adams has worked in crisis and conflict zones worldwide.  Prior to directing LIDÈ, Dr. Adams was a tenured professor at Moorpark College, and also taught educational psychology in the counseling and education graduate programs at California Lutheran University.  Dr. Adams has worked as a therapist with children in foster care, counseled children in elementary school settings, directed an academic support center, and facilitated therapeutic writing groups for veterans and for survivors of sexual trauma. She is on the advisory board of the Mona Foundation, has served as a member of an international working group for Global Citizenship Education, is a founding team member of HST (Health Support Team), and co-created a video training series on the effects of trauma on learning which is reaching teachers in post-disaster regions and in conflict zones. In 2011, she coordinated and co-facilitated Girls United: Haiti, the project that would lead to the formation of LIDÈ. Kathryn Janene Adams holds a M.A. in Writing, a M.A. in Clinical Psychology, and a Doctorate in Education.

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LIDÈ LEADERSHIP STAFF

“If you make a child feel comfortable and accepted, if you allow them to be who they are and never be ashamed of who they are, they can grow up to be a good person."

“If you make a child feel comfortable and accepted, if you allow them to be who they are and never be ashamed of who they are, they can grow up to be a good person."

Soeurette Rigodon, Deputy Director

Soeurette Rigodon finished her coursework at Université d’Etat d’Haïti, in psychology in 2013 and then immediately put that knowledge to service for Lidè as a counselor. She quickly promoted to program coordinator, and now takes care of everything from tracking which girls are struggling with life issues, to what the program activities are that day, to the wellbeing of the instructional staff.  Prior to sharing her light with Lidè, Soeurette provided psychosocial support to at risk youth through school enrichment programs, and also worked in reunifying former street kids with their families and helping them to adjust to new schools near their homes.

“It is a great privilege for me to encourage girls to be serious about their education and help them shape a better future for themselves, just as others once did for me. My work at Lidè is my joy and I am learning so much from it.”

“It is a great privilege for me to encourage girls to be serious about their education and help them shape a better future for themselves, just as others once did for me. My work at Lidè is my joy and I am learning so much from it.”

Isabelle Joseph, Education Coordinator

Isabelle worked hard in primary and secondary school, and was awarded a university scholarship from HELP. She received her degree in education from Quisqueya University in Port au Prince, one of Haiti’s best universities, where she was taught counseling services, leadership skills, computer skills and English. As part of her education she took an internship at Lidè, which led to her current full-time position as Education Coordinator. She supervises monitors, coordinates the tutoring program, mentors apprentices and tutors, leads and trains facilitators for literacy programs, and works to award scholarships to girls who would not be able to afford an education otherwise.

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Wilson Campbell, Logistics Manager

Wilson Campbell is the proud father of three teenagers who go to school. That is a huge accomplishment in Haiti. He has worked for customs in Haiti, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), and Papyrus. As Logistics Manager, he arranges transportation, drives, equips and maintains the equipment for the office, the house, the programs…but in Wilson’s hands, it also means that he takes sick kids to the hospital, hands out peanut-butter sandwiches, and most important in our eyes, will sit with a girl one-on-one and help her learn how to read and write simply because he cares.

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Rainn Wilson on why the arts:

I thought, "Why are we teaching the arts to girls who really need jobs and shoes and homes and skills?" Boy, was I proven wrong. The program was incredibly successful. Watching these adolescent girls, many of whom were illiterate and had their own children themselves, and most of whom had suffered greatly in their short lives, blossom over the course of 10 days was absolutely thrilling.

Why? Well, the arts give you a voice. They allow a person to express their heart and soul and identity. Most education in Haiti is simple, hollow, repetition-based reading, writing and arithmetic. To truly flourish, one needs to find one's inner strength. The arts help provide that link. My heart ached when, one day, we asked the girls what their favorite color was and we soon realized that most of them had never been asked that question before. No one cared about their opinions about anything. By the end of the week, the timid, fearful, shut-down girls whom we had first tip-toed into the program were showing off their photos, poems, theater exercises and art projects with passion and confidence. They were empowered by the arts and expression. Ready to begin to learn.

Rainn wrote an article for Huffington Post the expands on these ideas.

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Get Involved

Volunteer

LIDÈ sometimes invites highly skilled Master Artists in the fields of photography, drama, creative writing, or other visual and creative arts to volunteer in leading professional development for the on-ground team and guiding facilitators in implementing new skills with program participants.  As need warrants, we may also have temporary volunteer internship opportunities for university interns or recent university graduates in a variety of non-profit and development support roles. To learn more, contact: Volunteer@LideHaiti.org

 

Get the Word Out
+ Host an awareness night with friends
+ Invite us to speak at your university or school    
+ Like us on Facebook
+ Follow us on Twitter
- Subscribe to us on Youtube
+ Sign the Up for School Petition (link coming soon)

To learn more about getting the word out, contact info@lidehaiti.org.

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