Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
May 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Students For Haiti

blog_dirt

 

UCSC class raises awareness about the crisis of Haitian children
Last Saturday morning, Feb. 5, a corner of Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz was abuzz with students in bright red shirts reading “Children in Extreme Circumstances” accompanied by the image of small hands reaching up as if in desperation. Stationed by graphic pictures of Haitian children pasted on display boards, the gathering was all part of a project for an undergraduate psychology course taught by Professor Tony Hoffman at UC Santa Cruz.

“I don’t believe in standard academic papers anymore,” Hoffman says when asked what the purpose of the assignment was. He claims there were two main objectives to his method, first to get his students to learn as much as possible about the numerous issues affecting Haitian children and, secondly, to have the students present their research to the public.

The complex issue of Haitian children’s welfare was broken into learning areas like education, poverty, cholera and HIV/AIDS. The students did not collect donations but simply handed out pamphlets about the aftermath last January’s earthquake and information on NGOs responding to the crisis. Jiro Wiseman, a student in Hoffman’s class, says their goal was to get the Santa Cruz community interested in the Haitian crisis that has been largely blog_dirt1absent in the news over the past year. “If a few people get interested that’s great,” Wiseman says.

Hoffman, who went to Haiti three times last year under the auspices of The American Refugee Committee, calls the situation in Haiti “a complex emergency” characterized by “the destruction of so many parts of society,” adding that it will be a difficult task to rebuild the nation.

As the Haitian people are in the process of electing a new government, there is concern that child welfare is absent from the political discourse. With almost half of the public schools destroyed in last year’s earthquake, schools and teachers have been over burdened with many extra students. Additionally, as some families become more desperate, RESTAVEKS have become a common alternative where a child is sent to live with a wealthier family with hopes that they will be safe, fed properly and maybe even attend school. Unfortunately as the situation in Haiti grows dire, even comparatively wealthy families are struggling and RESTAVEK children are exploited for labor.

Hoffman’s exercise no doubt pressed these issues into the minds of his students as well as the passers-by who stopped to look at displays and ask questions. Another group of Hoffman’s students will hold a similar event downtown on Feb. 12 and 13 in regards to children and HIV/AIDS. This group will have information on how HIV/AIDS affects impoverished areas and creates child headed households in some cases. Similar to the Haitian children event, the two-day HIV/AIDS event will be informative on what sorts of issues are related to the spread of the virus and how it affects the lives of children.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Marie, February 07, 2011
Wow, this was an interesting read. So great to see students raising awareness!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Ocean Odyssey

Sailing the high seas from Santa Cruz to French Polynesia, Sally-Christine Rodgers documents the trials, tribulations and joys of exploring the world by boat

 

Gemini Festival of Goodwill, World Invocation Day

This entire week is a preparation by the New Group of World Servers (NGWS) for the June full moon (Tuesday) and to welcome the Forces of Reconstruction, great outer planetary forces streaming into the Earth at the Gemini Solar Festival. The Gemini Festival at the June full moon is called the Festival of Goodwill and World Invocation Day (recitation of the Great Invocation, the mantram of direction for humanity, hourly around the world). During the (12 degrees) Gemini festival, the Wesak blessing of the will-to-good is released and radiated (Gemini distributes) to humanity. When the will-to-good is received, humanity is then able to radiate goodwill to each other and to the kingdoms. The Gemini Festival is the third of the Three Spring Festivals (triangle of Force), setting the spiritual template and resources for Earth for the rest of the year (‘til next spring). This festival recognizes the true spirit of humanity—aspiring toward and seeking the will of God, dedicated to right human relation. At the full moon, the Divine nature of humanity is recognized. Christ stands with humanity, leader of his people, “the Eldest in a great family of brothers” (Romans VIII, 29.) Each year at the Gemini festival, Christ preaches the last sermon of Buddha, His brother, a sermon calling forth human and spiritual unity, represented by an outflow of love (work of the Christ) and wisdom (work of the Buddha). The forces of reconstruction stream in during the Festival, ushering in an era of pronounced creative activity, rebuilding the tangible world on new creative lines. This necessitates the total destruction of the old forms no longer useful for the new world era. Everyone is invited. Join us everyone for this Festival of Goodwill by reciting the Great Invocation.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 29

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

The Main Avant

Jozseph Schultz caters New Music Works’ 35th annual Avant Garden Party, plus brews for a cause

 

What will Santa Cruz be like in the future?

 society that is more awakened and realizes its own value and the beauty of the stunning Earth. Marguerite Clifford, Felton, Nutrition Health Care

 

Chesebro Wines

Piedras Blancas-Roussanne 2011

 

Real Thai Kitchen

Ratana Bowden on why Thai cuisine isn’t as spicy as everyone thinks