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What If? Blog

Jan 14th, 2016

A victory over the earthquake

Dear Friends,
 P.BoyWaving
This week marks the 6th anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti.  We hold the Haitian people especially close to our hearts at this time.

Yesterday, I spoke with Lavarice Gaudin, Na Rive’s Program Director, and he shared that life is still extremely difficult for an overwhelming majority who struggle to recover from the widespread destruction that occurred in 2010.

“Today it seems like we are living through the same suffering that we endured during the earthquake. Life for so many people has not improved. There are still thousands living in tents with no electricity or running water. They have no food and can’t afford an education.”

food program 1Lavarice reflected on how over the last six years, few organizations have managed to successfully channel aid to those in need.  And even fewer organizations have supported Haitian-led programs to help them recover.  This is what makes the What If? Foundation and its partnership with Na Rive so unique and important.

The food and education programs you support continue to effectively and lovingly bring nourishment, hope, and opportunity to hundreds of children day after day.  And now, with the completion of our “Building the Dream”construction project just weeks away, the excitement about the future is growing.

Despite the widespread suffering, in this community we are able to celebrate our victory over the earthquake with every meal at the food program, with every school scholarship, and with the construction of this new school building.  There is great hope for the future.  The building’s final inspection is just a few weeks away so soon we will be able to move over the food and after-school programs.  And then in the fall, we plan to open the doors to students, offering quality education that will help build a better future for our neighborhood and our country.”

Final School PhotoI look forward to sharing more news about the new school in the weeks ahead.  It’s a project we’ve been working on for several years and a powerful symbol of the strength and effectiveness of our partnership with​ Na Rive, the generosity of What If donors, and the love and hope that binds us together.

On behalf of the What If? Foundation Board and staff, and Na Rive, thank you for your ongoing support.

With gratitude,

Suzanne signature
Suzanne Alberga
Executive Director



Dec 30th, 2015

Still time to make a 2015 tax-deductible donation

Dear Friends,

Bòn Ane! (“Happy New Year!” in Creolepurple shirt

As 2015 comes to a close, we’d like to thank you for remembering the children of Ti Plas Kazo in your year-end contributions.

Every time we look at these photos, we’re reminded of what a critical difference your donations make in the lives of countless girls and boys in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

To make a year-end tax-deductible donation, click here:

 Make a DonationIMG_0608

If you have already made a donation to the food and education programs, know how deeply grateful we are for your support.

On behalf of What If, our Haitian partner, Na Rive, and the children in Ti Plas Kazo, I thank you for your generosity and wish you a happy and healthy 2016!

Suzanne


Dec 17th, 2015

Why I Give – A Board Member’s Perspective

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to introduce Catherine Lelong, one of our newest Board members, who is of Haitian descent and brings over 15 years of experience in strategy and marketing roles across the world. Catherine has a deep passion for Haiti and our work with Na Rive and we are so fortunate to have her join our Board.

I’ve asked Catherine to share her thoughts on what inspires her to support the What If? Foundation in the letter below.

Thank you for your continued support this holiday season.

With gratitude,

SuzanneAlberga

 

 

Suzanne Alberga, Executive Director

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Dear What If Donors,

As a child, I imagined Haiti as a magical and mysterious place where my father was born. The stories of him growing up seemed so foreign yet felt so familiar that I couldn’t wait to seeat the beach it for myself.  At nine years old I finally had the opportunity to visit and I still remember the feeling of wonder at its colorful beauty and the warmth from everyone we met.

At the time, I couldn’t yet understand Haiti’s tormented history but I could very clearly see its liveliness, ingenuity, and magical spirit, as only a kid can. These memories help me imagine the future I’d like to see for Haiti – where each of the children we help has a fair chance to enjoy these kinder sides of life and, more importantly, to create a better reality for themselves, their families and their communities. And, in doing so, build a new chapter for Haiti. One that is long overdue.

 with FatherAs a daughter to a wonderful Haitian man with a strong sense of duty to his community, I grew up feeling a connection to my roots and pride in my heritage, I was grateful for the opportunities my father created for us and witness to the pain it caused him to see his country struggle through brutal dictatorships, huge economic disparity, natural disasters and a global community who often looked the other way.  As a dissenter, an activist, and a diplomat, my father worked hard throughout his life to try to improve conditions for the Haitian people. And it’s that love for Haiti that I wish to honor in his memory.

mother child rice.2

As a new mother, I often wonder what it must be like to not be able to provide food, education and a future to my child and it pains me to see the injustice many of these kids face just by being born where they are.  It also fills me with hope that we can make a real difference in their lives through the programs we support with our Haitian partner, Na Rive.  This hands-on, locally empowered approach is one of the things that I found particularly attractive and innovative about What If and key to its success.

Finally, as a person who, in spite of being often distracted by the speed of life in Silicon Valley, tries hard to remain connected to the world around me, I fully believe that even the smallest acts of active empathy and kindness can change the world.It is a great honor to be part of the What If? Foundation’s Board and a privilege for me to have found an organization with a purpose so close to my heart in so many ways.

Our efforts would not be possible without your kind support. It means the world to us to have such a generous and committed family of donors. Thank you for being part of What If and here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2016 for you, your families and the wonderful children in Ti Plas Kazo.

Piti piti Na Rive.

C.Lelong Signature

Catherine Lelong
What If? Foundation Board Member



Dec 7th, 2015

Remembering children like Marie

Dear Friends,

P1020890I hope you had a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with warmth and joy.

I hope you also take a moment to remember Marie and all the children like her who depend on the food program every day.  When I last visited the community we serve, was deeply moved by how many girls and boys, despite how hungry they are, save food for a sibling, parent or grandparent.  Even with so little, these children understand the power of sharing.

If you’ve recently made a donation, thank you! If you haven’t had a chance yet, please donate today, and share this email with friends and family who might like to make a difference in the life of a Haitian child.

IMG_0615-2Meals cost as little as $0.65 each and school scholarships average $350 for elementary school and $500 for high school, so gifts of all sizes have a great impact in these vital community-based programs.

Our partner in Port-au-Prince, Na Rive, tells us that the difference donors like you have made over the years is immeasurable.  You help empower, bring hope, and brighten the smiles of every child who is touched by the meals, scholarships, and other educational opportunities that would not exist without your help.

IMG_0621On behalf of the What If? Foundation board and staff, and Na Rive, thank you for your generosity and compassion.

With love and gratitude,

SuzanneAlberga

 

 

Suzanne Alberga, Executive Director

 

 

 



Nov 19th, 2015

With gratitude and hope for children like Marie

Dear Friends,

As we enter the season of sharing and giving thanks, I want to express how grateful we are for you and your continued support of the food and education programs operated by our partner Na Rive in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.DSC_1950

The food program remains packed with hundreds of hungry girls and boys sitting shoulder-to-shoulder as they eat the nutritious meals your donations make possible. Lavarice Gaudin, Na Rive Program Director, recently shared a story about one of these children, an 8-year-old named Marie.

P1020890

 

Marie lost both of her parents in the 2010 earthquake.  A family in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood took her in and provides a loving home, but daily hunger is a constant struggle.  Over the years, Marie has relied on the meals served by the Na Rive cooking team to nourish and sustain her.

Marie brings a small container or bag with her each day and like so many other children, she carefully spoons half her meal into it to take home.  Every time I visit the food program, I am struck by how many girls and boys, despite how hungry they are, save food for a sibling, parent or grandparent.  Even with so little, these children understand the power of sharing.

 

This Thanksgiving, we invite you to make a donation to the What If? Foundation.  Your gift will help us to continue providing life-saving meals and educational opportunities to children like Marie in 2016.

Meals cost as little as $0.65 each and school scholarships average $350 for elementary school and $500 for high school, so gifts of all sizes have a great impact in these vital community-based programs.DSC_1980

We’ve been in partnership with Na Rive for nearly 16 years.  The effectiveness and success of our partnership and these programs comes out of years of collaboration and trust, a locally empowered approach, and Na Rive’s deep knowledge of the needs and practicalities on the ground.

The members of Na Rive tell us that the difference donors like you have made over the years is immeasurable.  You have helped empower, bring hope, and brighten the smiles of every child who is touched by the meals, scholarships, and other educational opportunities that would not exist without your help.

On behalf of the What If? Foundation board and staff, our founder Margaret Trost, and Na Rive, thank you for your generosity and compassion.

With gratitude and hope,

Suzanne

 

 

Suzanne Alberga
Executive Director