Marciana Popescu, Ph.D., associate professor of social work in the Graduate School of Social Work (GSS), spent 10 days in Haiti this past summer with five current and former GSS students. In addition to exploring the sometimes-overlooked beauty of the island nation, the Fordham contingent visited with groups that are overseeing reconstruction efforts.
Over the past four years, Fordham groups worked closely with two grassroots organizations in Haiti – Social Tap, and Konbit Pou Ayiti (“Working Together for Haiti”) which hosted the groups and coordinated all field work in Cyvaddier and Jacmel, Haiti.
Some projects they examined are underway or have been completed, such as the foundation of a new school for which Fordham students together with Social Tap’s director and staff raised $5,000. Popescu’s group also took on a new role, working in close collaboration with an orphanage coordinator to develop a strategic plan for both immediate and long-term sustainability. They conducted a follow-up study of one population that had been relocated after the earthquake in Jacmel, in collaboration with Social Tap and a local consultant.
That study led to the organization of a conference to be co-hosted by Fordham and the United Nations on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Lincoln Center campus. (For information email firstname.lastname@example.org.) This conference will establish a forum for the Fordham community to initiate a dialogue with UN agencies, international development partners, grassroots organizations, as well as the Haitian community in Haiti and abroad. For additional Fordham-sponsored events on Haiti, see The Haiti Experiment.
— Contributed photos
Haiti’s Slow Path to Recovery
Since the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, recovery efforts have included rebuilding, reforesting, redevelopment, and infusions of foreign aid and global agribusiness. But are these endeavors actually helping Haitians to take charge of their own destiny?
This month, Fordham University will host two high-profile events spotlighting development in the tiny island nation that is still struggling to recover and grow.
See Upcoming at Fordham: The Haiti Experiment for more information on this semester’s Gannon Lecture.