The Wise Elders

Haiti: Through the Eyes of the Wise Elders

12074552_1659246027655866_4286918726364971506_nFACT:  The life expectancy for Haiti is low 50 years for men and 53 years for women.

FACT: Only 53% of Haitians can read and write

FACT: Only about 40% of school-aged children attend school regularly

FACT: Only about 10% of all Haitian children enrolled in elementary school go on to a high school

Project HOPE Art, with the help of donors like you, are dedicated to making a change.

An upcoming workshop spearheaded by Esnold Jure with his fellow faculty members (Winter, Gueldy, and Lisane) will conduct an eight week project for forty-six students.  The objective over the eight weeks will be to encourage the Haitian youth to reach out to the elders of their community.  Through the process of photographic documentation and interviews, students will help these Wise Elders preserve their memories, reflect on their accomplishments, and share their voices.

Subjects emphasized:

  • English
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Public speaking/ Presentations
  • Interviewing skills

Workshop Budget breakdown

  • Tuition per student: $25 (Tuition for 46 students: $1,150)
  • Salary per teacher: $100 (Salary for 4 teachers: $400)
  • Education for our youth: PRICELESS

Mimi_Edited_Print-2MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

We HOPE you will consider making a tax-deductible contribution, big or small.

  • To Donate via paypal, please send donations to  Please include a note that contains “Wise Elders Workshop” and your current contact information so that we can make sure you get a receipt for your donation.
  • To Donate via Check: Please make checks out to Hope Art, Inc and mail to: Project HOPE Art, 2322 Humboldt Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.  Please include a note that contains “Wise Elders Workshop” and your current contact information so that we can make sure you get a receipt for your donation.

 Thank you for your support!


Summer Farm Camp in Monterey County

This summer, Project HOPE Art’s Melissa Schilling will lead two weeks of day camp at Monkeyflower Ranch home of Garden Variety Cheese Dairy. Children ages 8+ are welcome to sign up for a fantastical adventure featuring a bevy of activities related to food, nature, farming and art.

Art Farm Camp

Cost is $265
(Two Scholarships per week are available – More info below)

All children should arrive promptly at 11am with comfortable shoes, clothes that can get messy and a sack lunch.
Snacks and Drinks will be provided by the farm during camp hours. 

Sample Schedule:
11am-11:30am: Scientific Sketch Journal Warm-Up (Put on your Scientist Hat and learn to sketch nature like a real Scientist)
11:30-12pm: Nature Hike to observe farm animals and the garden
12-12:30 Lunch on the Farm Patio with homemade lemonade
12:30-1:30 Papier Mache Sheep Sculptures
1:30-2 Free Play
2-3pm: Bread Baking in the Pizza Oven

Summer Camp Flyer

Interested in securing a spot for your child?
Wonderful! Mosey on over to Garden Variety Cheese for more information about the $150 non-refundable deposit and have any additional questions you may have answered!

Scholarships! Scholarships! Scholarships!
Two spots are reserved for low-income campers per session. Low-Income spots cost just $50 for Art & Farm Camp. Simply write a short essay explaining why you would like to attend Art & Farm Camp. Bonus Points if you can amaze us with fun facts about sheep and lambs. Extra Special Bonus Points if you include an illustration of a sheep or a lamb.
Mail your essay to (deadline June 15th):
Miss Mimi
Art & Farm Camp
1480 San Miguel Road
Watsonville, CA 95076

Digital Literacy for 2nd Graders


tablet-tool-with-a-finger-of-a-hand-making-pressure-on-touch-pad_318-33468What exactly can a Raspberry Pi accessorized with an SD card + WiFi dongle, 12 Amazon Fire Tablets,  a Library For All hub and $400 accomplish? These tools are providing lift-off to our digital literacy program. Stay tuned for educational progress reports, Live from Haiti!

Project HOPE Art offers a studio environment where students can learn to express themselves in a multitude of languages with an array of tools. With Literacy Rates on the Rise in Haiti, thanks to the decision to socialize schooling for K-8 in Haiti, the need for Technological Literacy is essential to complete integration into a modern global society.
PHA has partnered with Library for All on the ground in Haiti for a pilot program for 2nd Graders in Cite Soleil.

We are unlocking knowledge in the developing world with our digital library of quality, locally relevant ebooks.”

Support Project HOPE Art with a Donation. 

Thank you to Sora Edwards-Thro of  Unleashed Kids and College of William and Mary (& Rico, a staff member from Library for All) for leading the digital training.
Thank you to Dasher Technologies for providing seed money (just $400!) to jumpstart the pilot program.
Thank you to Haiti Communitere for hosting the digital training.
A BIG MESI to Luc Winter of the RAJEPRE School and Project HOPE Art for coordinating all the digital literacy efforts on the ground in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Next up? Digital Literacy in action. Our 2nd Graders are already working hard learning how to use the tablets and all the wonderful programs that will enrich their education. We think we’ll have to hire THEM to teach the next tablet training.

We’re Hiring!

PHA Logo Position Description – Contract Grant Writer

The Contract Grant Writer will work with Project HOPE Art’s leadership team, Board of Directors, and volunteer program staff to increase revenue by expanding institutional fundraising efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we are able to bring someone onto our fabulous team that can re-boot our funding sources and help us expand our educational platform using art + science. Are you our new super star? Are you unflappable? Tenacious? Dedicated to Developing World Education?  Are you comfortable with LOI’s? Collecting programming information and selling it to large scale donors? Awesome! Read on . . .

Our Contract Grant Writer will work in short spurts to seal the deal on grant applications large and small to provide project lift-off to a variety of art based educational initiatives.

Reporting to our Creative Director on the West Coast, this position will be a key member of our Development Team. Must be responsible for supporting the mission of Project HOPE Art by securing grants from corporations, foundations, individuals, and government agencies that support art and science education and service learning programs across Haiti and global education initiatives in developing countries around the world.

mimi rainbow Key Responsibilities
-Maintain and oversee execution of grants
-Initiate ongoing communication with key PHA staff to analyze funding needs, gaps and opportunities
-Research, identify and qualify funding opportunities from corporate, foundation, and government sources.
-Develop an understanding of program content to ensure integrity and quality of proposal writing

Idraw_Udraw-47 Required Qualifications
Bachelor’s Degree required, Masters preferred Minimum of 4 years of professional experience in grant writing and fundraising with successful track record for securing significant multi-year commitments from institutional donors A commitment to the mission of Project HOPE Art a must.

To be considered for the Contract Grant Writer position please submit cover letter, resume, and a list of grants you have successfully secured on behalf of international NGO’s to – Project HOPE Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For additional information, please visit our website at


OJFA in Rainbows

The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad … One of Project HOPE Art’s happiest afternoons in a long time. With just $20 worth of scrap fabric, 2 pairs of scissors, a flair for playing dress up, elaborate and inventive braiding skills, some portable lights – we wrapped the orphanage in rainbow braids.
Love Wins!

Our Art Director, Rachel Znerold started the Rainbow Braid idea in the States with various Musical Performers. We brought the idea to Haiti, on a small scale, in homage to the deep cultural history of African Braiding. Braiding hair was one of the few practices that slaves could hold onto and continue to openly practice in the New World.

We wanted to create a project that the girls at the orphanage could participate in with almost zero instruction and put their own flair and ideas into it. We wanted a whimsical, happy project. And we wanted to infuse solar lights into the project outcome as this orphanage does not have electricity and it gets dark at 5pm.

So here it is, the The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad:

Braids are regarded as a cultural trait of the African people, and they can also be a fashion statement. The history of African tribes and the cultural significance of braiding is deep and long.

Africa is a large continent, which consists of innumerable tribes. The Massai and Zulu are among the primary tribes. Others include:


Tribal girls have varied cultures, and the hairstyles are unique and used to identify each tribe. Braid patterns or hairstyles indicate a person’s community, age, marital status, wealth, power, social position, and religion.

Elaborate patterns are done for special occasions like weddings, social ceremonies or war preparations. People belonging to a tribe can easily be identified by another tribe member with the help of a braid pattern or style.

Immense importance is given to the custom of braiding. The person who braids hair performs it as both a ritual and a social service. It is an art form taught by the senior female member of the family to her daughters and close friends. The person who braids well is considered an expert. The man or woman who braids does it as a social duty. No rewards are expected.


Mesì Gueldy René et Deesse Aishar Delismond for helping ??

-The Rainbow Brigade || Lakansyel Squad

Haiti: Through the Eyes of the Wise Elders

Midterm Report:

Today was the 4th and also the last day of revision with the participants of the #Wise elders creative workshop.

We have started the October 3rd with 34 people but, 4 more had joined us within two weeks later which make the final interviewing process is ended with 38 participants in total.

During these four weeks, the participants went to meet their respective elder in their neighborhood in order to fill their question forms. On Saturday they come to meet #Jure at HC so as to examine every single question. They shared their responses in front of the class so the others can hear responses of each one, ask questions and give their comments.

This first part of the project is come to an end. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us, teachers and students. We learn things that we did not know before, things we did not learn even at school. In fact, everyone was interested in knowing the answers of others when we meet.

On this last day, we had a meeting with all participants on base. We did a general review with everybody except those who could not come because the socio-political panic that has raised last week between two clan of gangsters in the area of Cité Soleil. This fact also cause two of our present participants had lost their questionnaires while running away under gunshots. Nevertheless, those who were not affected by this trouble and some who were able to save their work brought it. We commented responses. We collected all students’ papers. Planned to take more photographs and refreshed them about the next steps of the project.

As a whole, the first part is ended on a good atmosphere. We take pictures of the team, the participants and go home.

As a reminder, I want to make this refreshment about the next steps of the project Haiti Through the Eyes of the Wise Elders commonly known as #Wise Elders Creative Workshop. We will work with our young leaders to re-analyze and correct all participants work. Work with colleagues to on translation of the papers. Typing and polishing the final work in English then, work on publication.