Philadelphia, PA, March 2010—The January 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti and the surrounding region is over, but the recovery and rebuilding process is just beginning.
Penn Museum's International Classroom program is joining the effort, raising awareness and money for Haiti with an educational benefit evening, Help for Haiti: Beyond Media Coverage, Friday, March 19, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Admission to the fundraising event, which offers guests a special opportunity to learn more about the history, culture, and traditions of Haiti, is $10 per person, with all proceeds going to the Haitian relief efforts. Guests can enjoy music and dance performances by La Salle College's Neo-African Drums 'n Dance group and Temple University's Haitian Student Organization, and see Haitian artifacts from the Museum's collection not usually on display. Help for Haiti will be held in the Rainey Auditorium of the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus.Four Haitian speakers offer their perspectives on Haiti. Shonta Collins, Founder and President of Explorers Sans Frontières' (ESF), a grassroots humanitarian organization focused on education and healthcare, discusses the organization's recent trip to Haiti and its role in the aftermath of the earthquake; Benedick Guillaume, also involved in Explorers Sans Frontières, speaks about everyday life in Haiti; Yve-Car Momperousse, Board Chair of the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia (HPP), shares the organization's relief efforts in Haiti; and Numa St. Louis, a regular contributor to Radio Haiti of Philadelphia and member of the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia, discusses the politics and history of Haiti and his work with Radio Haiti. Dr. Richard Hodges, Penn Museum's Williams Director, and Albert Momjian, Philadelphia's Honorary Consul to the Republic of Haiti, welcome attendees.
For the event, Penn Museum displays four Haitian drums made of wood and standing about three feet tall, these drums are central to the voodoo religion in Haiti. Haitian voodoo combines African and Christian influences and involves ceremonies of song, drum and dancing for the purpose of summoning spiritual beings for health, healing and protection.
The Heart of Haiti, a hardcover book of black and white photography by Andrea Baldeck, will be on sale for $25, with all proceeds going to the Haitian relief efforts. Fine-art photographer Dr. Baldeck is a Penn medical school graduate who traveled to Haiti in the 80s as a doctor. She returned in the 90s, with a camera instead of stethoscope, to create powerful portraits of the Haitian people of the Artibonite Valley.
Created in 1961, International Classroom, a part of the Education Department at the Penn Museum, is an innovative program providing resources for international and multicultural education for a variety of age groups using a broad range of presentations, lectures and workshops. Over the years, several thousand international students have participated in International Classroom programs, presenting a first-hand perspective about a specific country or region. To learn more about International Classroom at the Penn Museum, call Prema Deshmukh, at (215) 898-4065.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.
Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field), Philadelphia, PA 19104. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday 1 to 5 pm, closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $10 adults; $7 senior citizens (65 and above); $6 children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, Penncard holders, and children five and younger. Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum . For general information call (215) 898-4000.
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Explorers Sans Frontières (ESF) is a non-profit program and part of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition (GPUAC) and has existed for 2 years, supporting over 55 outreach projects and 3 international mission trips with both local students and professionals. ESF is in partnership with the Elise Joseph Foundation, The First Haitian Church of Prophecy, and AMURT. ESF and partnering organizations are mobilizing teams into Haiti for March, April and June 2010. ESF is also mobilizing students at local colleges to donate the necessary supplies and monetary support required for this mission. For more information on volunteering and donating visit: www.explorersSF.org.
Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia (HPP) was established in November 2008 to help elevate Philadelphia's Haitian community through education, professional development, and mentorship. HPP in conjunction with GPUAC has established a fund to support Haitian relief and rebuilding efforts. This fund will provide resources to organizations on the frontlines that are helping the Haitian people to rebuild their communities and lives. www.hpphilly.org
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors-across the street, across the country, and across the world-in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors both familiar and new: the more than half a million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through over 700 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. www.redcross.org