Support our new Fundraiser
for Children in Haiti

Help us build a dedicated Club House dedicated to our mask-making workshops.

ChildsPlay International recently completed an immensely successful mask-making program in Jacmel, Haiti (a UNESCO Creative Network City). 200 children participated in the six-week workshop, learning culturally significant skills that can lead to a viable career. The kids were thrilled, and we determined to launch an effort to make the program permanent.

Now we are sponsoring a dedicated mask-making Club House that will anchor the program, giving participant kids a sense of ownership and continuity. The venue will provide 20 specially selected students with further mask-making training over the next six months. By including girls in the initial workshop, and particularly in the select artisan group, we help enable girls to participate in the traditionally male-dominated world of mask-making. More broadly, we are creating new role models for Haitian girls. Overall, opportunities for girls – in mask-making and in general – are limited. But our local partner, acclaimed artist Didier Civil, has chosen girls and boys to become teachers, helping to level the playing field.

 

Budget: USD 6,000.

 

Summary of the program:

  • 20 children (50% girls)

  • Two days a week over a six-month period

  • Field trips, artist visits

  • An exhibit of the masks following the workshop

  • The children will join a community of esteemed artists. Our program will help them see themselves as artists

A few years ago, ChildsPlay Intl. (CPI) helped create a workshop for Haitian children with renowned master mask-maker, Didier Civil. We wanted to help these kids recover a sense of normalcy after an earthquake and hurricane upended their already difficult lives. Earlier this month, we received seed funding for our second mask-making workshop in Haiti, and hope to make this a permanent program with your generous donation. We are raising $20,000.

With Didier’s capacity to teach and the children’s ability to respond enthusiastically, we are taking this project to the next level. This time, the workshop will teach 200 kids the art of mask-making – a traditional skill that preserves their culture and offers a viable path to professional recognition.

But why masks? Masks are the essence of Haitian Carnival, and mask-making celebrates the indigenous culture. It enables children to learn culturally relevant skills while having great fun. It opens a door to imagining themselves, realistically and fantastically, preserved in a tangible object.

The children making papier-maché masks during first week of workshop.

By helping CPI support this project, you help these eager, responsive children who appreciate the professional and cultural value of what they can learn. The masks can be shown locally, in high-profile venues, potentially internationally and online. The children will be able to sell their work (Haitian masks are collectibles), and experience the joy of financial recognition for their efforts.

Our target budget is $5,000. Apart from the materials for the papier-mâché (brown paper, water, glue, wood chips), this includes paint, varnish, clay, firewood, fire pit, food, transportation, school rental, and payment for teachers and aides to mount a full-scale project. All funds will go towards the program in Haiti, and not to overheads.

We invite you to join us in making this project possible – empowering children, raising their self-esteem, and teaching them a marketable, culturally resonant skill.

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