Spring Haiti Update.

We haven’t received an update from Cine Institute in a couple months, but we’re really happy to hear from them now and know that they’re still up and operating, albeit from a temporary storage space.  They’ve come a long way since the earthquake in January, but of course still have a long way to go.

For Habana’s part, we’ll be taking the opportunity of our Block Party on May 15th to raise funds to donate – but more on that in the next few weeks…

Right now, definitely take a moment to read this update from David Belle:

Dear Friends,

THANK YOU to all our friends, partners and supporters who have contributed in so many meaningful ways over the past three months. Your support and assistance arrived in many amazing forms… From those who volunteered time and services, to hosting of benefit events, organizing relief shipments, lending office space, giving gifts in cash and in kind, providing professional references and opportunities, organizing school visits, ensuring blog and press mentions and the simple act of sending us letters of encouragement and support.

This is a long overdue letter of thanks and an update from the front.

Cine Lumiere --> outdoor screenings offer a welcome escape.

Every bit of support has made a huge difference to us and has impacted our community. We suffered losses and significant damages, but thanks to your efforts Ciné Institute was the only school in the southeast of Haiti that remained open throughout the post-earthquake State of Emergency.

It is now three months since the tragic events of January 12th. We have been at work since day one assisting friends and neighbors in every way possible – from producing video reports and supporting visiting journalists and filmmakers, to helping victims obtain medical care, to assisting with the distribution of food, medicine, water filters, tents, blankets and generators. We’ve also provided enjoyment and pleasure to tent camp residents through weekly outdoor screenings. Our students have referred to this post quake period as their ultimate master class in civic duty and journalism. Their strength and determination to work through this tragedy has been truly remarkable.

We’ve been operating out of a temporary storage space and yard kindly provided by Gerald Mathurin and the team of CROSE (Coordination of the Organizations in the South-East Region), a group coordinating all grassroots organizations across the southeast of Haiti. Their generosity and solidarity has been extraordinary and we will forever be grateful. Learn more about CROSE here.

While Ciné Institute remains operational, there is so much about us and around us that has changed. As a result we are currently operating with an interim curriculum for the semester and have combined the entire student body into classes focused on areas of community outreach and documentary and fiction film production. We are also evaluating our longer term curriculum in light of a very different Haiti. How should we grow or adapt our curriculum and training to better serve Haiti’s future?

Our goal is to be relocated and able to implement full time normalized curriculum again by the start of the school year in September.  To do so we also find ourselves evaluating how best to go forward with the task of rebuilding: What are the safest structural approaches? What are the best environmental practices and how can we turn this into an opportunity to become more energy independent and even carbon neutral? Can our own rebuilding help give birth to a local green movement?

In the coming months we will develop and certainly share with you concrete strategies, plans and financial needs associated with rebuilding Ciné Institute.

Thank you once more for your continued support and interest!

David Belle

Ciné Institute

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