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Middle School News & Stories

A Haitian Girl Rising
Posted 03/11/2015 04:49PM

In the Port-Au-Prince community of Siloe, residents still have not recovered from the earthquake that devastated the country five years ago.

Many live in tents, tarps and on the streets. They do not have electricity or running water. “It is a challenging, challenging life to say the least,” said Nadia Todres, a New York-based photographer who spoke at the Middle School X-Factor Assembly on Wednesday.

Todres went to Port-Au-Prince in the aftermath of the quake and started the Center for the Arts to empower adolescent girls through photography, writing, and other art forms, and to teach them income-generating activities. Last year, she produced a book of photography, Rising Up, that documents the lives of these girls. Proceeds from the book benefit the Center for Arts.

Todres showed the students photographs of Siloe and the girls with whom she works. She introduced Wevly, 17, a high school junior, who spoke in English about the challenges of the Haitian people.

Wevly said that through the center she had learned English and found her voice as a writer. “You can express yourself with a pen and a paper,” she said, “and after you write you will feel free. That will make you stronger. People can read what you wrote and that can help you."

She said she wanted to used her voice to help other girls.

“I am here to ask for help for the children, for the people who live in the tents, for all the people of Haiti, “ Wevley said. “They don’t eat. Some children sleep on the street. They don’t have a house.

“You can make change. You are the children. You are the future. If you help them, the world will be better. I want to invite you to come to Siloe and you will see what I say.”

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