The last two days saw the first real inauguration of the community center with workshops and events brought by Ayiti Resurrect and Ayiti Cherie Healing. Here is what Naima wrote about their work here:
"This week the community center and surrounding grounds were lit up by the faces of over 120 participants who took part in 2 days of expressive arts workshops, cultural activities and mental wellness programs. Ayiti Resurrect and Ayiti Cherie Healing Project were immensely honored to help inaugurate the community center by hosting the first programming to take place within its freshly painted walls.
As a team of visionary artists, community builders, and holistic healers with bloodlines in Haiti and the African Diaspora, we have been organizing ourselves as a grassroots delegation working in collaboration with local Haitian organizations to promote psychological and spiritual healing for earthquake-survivors based on principles of solidarity, creativity, and collective resilience. Ayiti Resurrect and Ayiti Cherie Healing Project partnered with the Mango Growers Association to support survivors in Bigones in releasing grief, reclaiming control of their lives, and regaining confidence to resolve the problems they face.
Part of this mission came to fruition this week at the center. 14 local artists and 3 artists from the diaspora lead workshops with youth, using salvaged, recycled and natural resources to unlock creativity and ingenuity, creating something out of “nothing” with their own hands: masks out of calabash and brown paper mache, lanterns out of punctured tin and glass jars, bracelets woven from banana leaf, tin can maracas, plastic bottle toy cars, and river stone carvings. We also had song and drum circles, and a group went into the hillside to learn planting techniques and reforestation principles. Dr. Robert and Madame Wilner of Haitian-based Ujamaa Works, who specialize in natural traditional health practices, consulted people free of charge in a mental wellness clinic inside the center. And Samson Berlus from Nouvelle Vie facilitated a “Breath Water Sound” workshop teaching powerful breathing, sound and meditation techniques which eliminate stress from the system and promote emotional freedom from traumatic events.
The Konbit space is profoundly beautiful and awe-evoking, radiating with the energy of all the imagination, collaboration and dedicated work that created it. It was incredible to see its intention to serve as a gathering place for community events come to life. We are immensely grateful that Konbit’s inspired creation was home for this work. The center will also be where we will host a commemoration to honor the anniversary of the earthquake on January 12th. find out more at: www.ayitiresurrect.org and www.ayiticheriehealingproject.com.”