Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zanmi Lakay

We are all aware by now of the events that have taken place in Haiti, and the hundreds and thousands of people who have been affected by this. I had the privilege of attending a yoga class, a benefit for Haiti, and met an amazing woman, Jennifer Pantaleon, who runs a non-profit organization called Zanmi Lakay. Jennifer has been going to Haiti for years now, helping street children by improving their educational and economic opportunities, as well as providing photography workshops as a means of self expression for them. Things were bad before the earthquake, and now leaving for Haiti in the next week, she's not sure which of her kids she will find when she gets there.

I know times are tough right now, but things could be a lot worse for us all, so I'm asking you to donate anything you can to the work of Zanmi Lakay (Jennifer is a volunteer, so all your donations would go strictly to the kids). Below you'll find a link to the website as well as a donor link, please let me know if you have any questions or problems with your donations. Also, if you can please forward this to your friends and family it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time, and I'm sure we can all take a little step to make a big difference in the lives of these children.


Like Your Hips Sway - A Poem For Haiti

The bones were found under the rubble,
the once swaying hip bones of yours,
the parts of you already suffering,
even before the ceilings crumbled, the
buildings collapsed into your bodies,
because there was never enough food to eat.

There is no medicine,
no room in the hospitals.
Dead bodies on the streets
lay still uncovered, even after a week
of the after shock.
Where do you put them? Where is there a
place big enough to fit all this sadness?

And here, we say Namaste and do your
Afro-Haitan dance moves with our eyes closed
on yoga mats placed two inches apart,
because there is not enough space
in this room for everyone’s love for you.

We give everything
we can, not because we know you,
but because those are your bones, your houses, 
your country. Because we want to see you dance again,
to rise from what has fallen, let your hips sway again
like the wild winds of this shaking Earth.