It took six months to plan –six months of conference calls, six months’ worth of emails to read and six months of coordination to make one thing possible, said fashion designer Dayanne Danier, a project that helps create a large impact for children and schools in Haiti.
In September, Danier, founder of Fleur De Vie, will embark to Haiti on her annual Back To School Recreational Day event alongside 100 young professionals and volunteers. The event, which initially started as a reaction to the earthquake has grown into a social education initiative that includes partnerships with four schools and 700 students.
The arts and crafts project started as a way to help students cope with tragedy, she said. At the time, we worked with one school and about 120 students. However, after being there for only a week, the students changed our vision. We realized there’s a need in general to continue this work.
The Back To School Recreational Day event, which is the organization’s flagship project, focuses on promoting education and wellness. Fleur De Vie partnered with five schools this year to take students six to 16 years old to the Sun Auto Field in Tabarre, Haiti where the children will take part in health screenings, team-building exercises and recreational sports.
A large portion of the volunteers are in Haiti. They include medical and business professionals, as well as college students and U.S. volunteers.
“Volunteers travel down for a week specifically to finalize the planning aspects.,” Danier said. “Activities like putting together the school supplies for the participants to group training make this a ‘roll your sleeve’ up trip.
“It’s the type of travel that gives volunteers the opportunity to give back, make an impact, and enjoy a trip to Haiti.”
This year the trip will be from Sept. 23 to Sept. 29.