June 28th, 2011 12:14 EST
Project Connects Japanese and Haitian Children Suffering From Post-Trauma
Delegation Going to Haiti Kick-Off Event June 28th noon-2 pm
In the aftermath of the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan and the earthquake in Haiti, thousands of children in those countries still suffer either directly from loss of parents and homes or indirectly from fears of what could recur. To comfort these youth, the Global Kids Connect project is organizing groups of children in each country to exchange plush dolls to offer messages of comfort and caring.
WHAT: A kick-off event before the Global Kids Connect team leaves for Haiti to deliver the dolls, to be held in New York City at the offices of HappyDoll, Inc.
WHERE: 2075 Broadway between 72-73rd Streets Suite 506.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 28th noon-2 pm.
At the event, the Global Kids Connect Project will be described and children representing the countries (Haiti, Japan and America) in the project will demonstrate the construction of the HappyDolls which will be taken to Haiti two days thereafter.
WHO: The partners in the project are: Dr. Judy Kuriansky (www.DrJudy.com), a noted clinical psychologist who has done psychological first aide for survivors of many disasters, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami and earthquakes in China and Haiti. She is also the main United Nations NGO representative of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and an adjunct at Columbia University Teachers College. She developed psychological first aid projects in post-earthquake Haiti and has spent years doing projects in Japan. Nozomi Terao, formerly of Morgan Stanley, is founder and Executive Director of HappyDoll Inc. (www.Happydoll.org). Russell Daisey is an internationally known composer and co-founder of the Stand Up for Peace Project (www.towersoflightsong.com). Father Wismick Jean Charles, a Haitian Catholic priest, is a UN NGO representative for IAAP. AHNU, Haiti Action for the United Nations, located in Haiti, is an NGO dedicated to enhancing the education of Haitian youth, as well as promoting the culture of Haiti, the importance of the UN system and more involvement of Haiti in the UN.
Global Kids Connect is a joint project of IAAP, an NGO accredited at the United Nations; HappyDoll Inc., an organization founded in January, 2011 and which has since run projects for orphans and other children in Japan post-tsunami/earthquake; Centre Bon Samaritan in Haiti, and The Stand Up For Peace Project.
Kuriansky explains that The project is based on sound psychological principles applied in other disasters, for example after 9/11 when teddy bears and greeting cards were sent to children in New York, to offer security and safety. Having the doll come from another country makes the child feel cared for and connected, that helps healing.
Nozomi Terao, who organized the doll making in Japan, observes, There was happiness on the Japanese children`s faces, a look of mystery about where the dolls were going next, the feeling of understanding that they were making something that would go across the world, to strangers. They knew that they were helping other children far away, in Haiti.
The GKC team is traveling to Haiti June 30th to conduct an event where 100 children in Haiti will receive dolls made in Japan and America, and will make another 100 dolls that will be returned to Japanese and American children. Father Wismick Jean Charles is coordinating the event on the ground in Port-au-Prince. The event will include (1) the doll-making giving and receiving; (2) relaxation exercises designed by Kuriansky, to ease symptoms like headaches and stomach aches from which youth are still suffering after that disaster, and (3) a celebration consisting of songs in Creole, Japanese and English, taught by the Stand Up for Peace Project`s Kuriansky and Daisey.
The dolls are made of muslin, stuffed with cotton, and decorated with colored magic markers and names of the doll and its maker. New York children from a public school in New York City were involved in the project`s first stage, which occurred six months after the Haiti earthquake. At that time, children learned and performed in concert a Creole healing song, and drew greeting cards delivered to Haiti children.
RSVP necessary: contact: Becky Houran at Bhouran@gmail.com
Or phone: 603 520-5941