In 2014, Ami Vitale had the opportunity to travel to Haiti and witness the inspiring work of St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, NPH Haiti, and the Kenneth Cole Foundation.
One of Haiti's biggest shantytowns - a vast expanse of grim cinderblock homes on a mountainside in the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince - was painted a rainbow of purple, peach, lime, and cream, inspired by the dazzling, "Cities In the Sky" of prominent Haitian painter Prefete Duffaut (seen in the photo above).
Titled "Beauty versus Poverty: Jalousie in Colors," the artwork is part of a government project to relocate people from the displacement camps that sprouted up after Haiti's 2010 earthquake. The relocation has targeted a handful of high-profile camps in Port-au-Prince by paying a year's worth of rent subsidies for residents to move into neighborhoods like Jalousie. The government is now trying to spruce up these poor neighborhoods and introduce city services.
The St. Luke Foundation is a Haitian-run organization that is one of the only groups able to work in dangerous areas, like Cité Soleil, an impoverished and densely populated area described as one of the “worst slums of the western hemisphere” because of the notorious violence. Until 2007, the area was ruled by a number of gangs who roamed the streets and often terrorized the neighborhood. It originally developed as a shanty town and grew to an estimated 400,000 residents, the majority of whom live in extreme poverty.
For more on The St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, please visit there website
Bring a little art to a rainy day with the Colors of Haiti umbrella. Shine in the rain while supporting a great cause!