ART CREATION FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN
ARTS - EDUCATION - SCHOOL - FOOD - HEALTH CARE - LOVE - SECURITY
ACFFC is a result of the dream of Turgo Bastien, a well known Haitian American artist living in South Florida. When Turgo was a small boy of three years old in Haiti, he had a chance to 'try' to paint and discovered the joy of painting. However the paint and brushes he used belonged to someone else, and he was beaten for touching the materials. Despite this, and with the encouragement of those who saw talent within, he became the artist he is today. It was his vision to provide a safe place for children/youth to come and experience the many facets of expression via the arts that spearheaded ACFFC from Day 1. (Turgo Bastien, founding ACFFC Board Member)
Turgo Bastien Turgo working with ACFFC artists
Vladimir Simeon, then residing in Haiti and now for many years a Florida resident, took on the 'how to' ... transforming a dream into a reality. He has, from the start, acted to guide the other ACFFC officers and Board members when it comes to doing things right in Haiti ... right for the children, right regarding protocols, and right meaning culturally sensitive while also bringing a global perspective based on the arts as core to program development and success. Vladimir is an accountant and is completing his studies, soon to be licensed as a CPA. (Vladimir Simeon, founding ACFFC Board Member)
Viktor El-Saieh is the grandson of the famous Issa El-Saieh, musician and founder of Galerie Issa in Port Au Prince. Viktor has resided in Florida since childhood and has recently completed his studies at Florida International University. Viktor is not only an artist but also understands the business of art, and has been planning and conducting master classes and special projects with ACFFC youth ongoing. Viktor is moving back to Haiti, reversing the pattern of "brain drain." This is a major decision on his part. In addition to his work with ACFFC, he seeks to focus on making a contribution to the education of Haiti's youth via establishment of a global Diaspora Teaching Corps. He is examining models, seeking partners and funding mechanisms. ACFFC may serve as a pilot center for teaching and learning.
We were asked the other day whether or not all of our staff in Haiti is Haitian. Many NGOs are run a 'blan' or foreigner on site and the Haitian staff reports to him or her.
NOT US! All staff is Haitian. In fact, we have provided 14 jobs within the community (all staff paid fair and equitable wages), contribute to the economy, and help to prepare our children for the future.
The children have become a family and part of a community
They are mastering traditional Haitian arts and crafts
All are healthy, can read, write and do basic math
Many are now in lycée or college (high school)
The needs of their siblings and parents or guardians are also being met
Their art work is being shown both in Haiti and in the U.S. in art galleries, museums, and other public places.
And they do all they can to help their families and neighbors.
NONE HAVE BEEN FORCED INTO PROSTITUTION
NONE ARE BEGGING ON THE STREETS
They are responsible citizens, the hope of Haiti for tomorrow.