Last weekend, just a few days before a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, Digital Democracy partnered with students from Tufts University’s Fletcher School on Project Einstein: Haiti. We are thrilled to report not only that trainers Chrissy Martin and Joshua Haynes returned to Boston safely, but all the young participants of Project Einstein survived the earthquake, as they are located in mountainous areas outside of Port-au-Prince that were less badly hit. However, they are sure to face difficult times in the period ahead, as refugees from Port-au-Prince come to their areas. Watch Chrissy’s testimony, above, to learn more about Project Einstein: Haiti and the youth with whom they worked.
Project Einstein: Haiti is a joint project of Digital Democracy and Tufts University’s Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME). (See the introductory blog post, and the photoset.) Chrissy, Joshua and their fellow Fletcher School students traveled to Haiti to look at economic livelihood issues and the possibilities for mobile banking. In the wake of the tragic events caused by the earthquake, the need for low-cost and accessible technology is clear. As our colleague Josh reported upon re-entry to the United States, “getting a technology that is reliable, secure and usable to the last user is more than paramount, it can be a matter of life and death.”
Although the cameras and photos from Project Einstein: Haiti have been lost, we hope the training last weekend will be a starting point for the young people moving forward. We hope to find a way to get new equipment to the youth so they can document the coming weeks and months, empowering them in relief and reconstruction efforts to have a say in what they want for their community. Please support our efforts **and donate to Fonkoze **a Haitian Foundation with accomplished networks on the ground who will channel the funds directly to local rebuilding efforts.
See the rest of Chrissy’s testimony on Digital Democracy Tv.