The Foyer Espoir Pour les Enfants (F.E.P.E.) orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti is at the heart of Sticking Up For Children's mission of helping youth grow through music and art. Cyril and Gaynielle Neville and Cyril's bandmates in the Royal Southern Brotherhood began to recycle drumsticks into artwork with the specific intention of benefiting FEPE, back in February, thereby starting Sticking Up For Children with Maryse Déjean and Don Paul.
Here's what's happening now.
Each Spring, Marie-Jo Poux, the founder of FEPE, collects donations for the orphanage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and through her nation-wide network. This year she's been blessed. Her assembled equipment, food, and clothing will fill a 40-foot-long container,
On June 6 Marie-Jo sent out a call for help. She and FEPE and its 35 orphans and its partner E.P.E. school's 180 students need $5.345 to transport the container from New Orleans to Miami by truck and then from Miami to FEPE by ship and truck. Marie-Jo (pictured here) wrote:
FEPE and EPE both accomplish a great deal, year after year, with very little money. Staff-people at both the orphanage and school work for annual wages that are very low . Somehow a total of 23 Haitian employees, including eight professors and four house-mothers, sustain themselves on a total amount for all 23 of $40,400--less than $1800 a year on average for each per year!
Somehow, too, the 35 orphans at F.E.P.E. are sustained for less than $1900 each per year and the 180 students
at the E.P.E. school are sustained for less than $300 per student!
Please see this 6 x 9 card for a more exact breakdown.
Marie-Jo's call for help coincided with Sticking Up For Children's gathering of something new in our fund-raising efforts for our youth-education partners: shadow-boxes painted by artists to serve as the frames, so to speak,
for the latest batch of drumsticks-as-art by orphans at FEPE. Art-work holding art-work! Please see the shadow-boxes below, painted by BMike of ExhibitBE, Isabelle Jacopin, Maryse Déjean, Kavanaugh Farr, and Marie-Jo Poux herself. Together, these artists' shadow-boxes and orphans' drumsticks-as-art make for
objéts that are as one-of-a-kind as they are beautiful and purposeful.
We're asking minimum bids of $500 for each of the seven of them that we have left. Please check out videos of each in Music & Arts store. You can purchase through PayPal.
Here's a video by Aristide Phillips of the entire "forest" of artists' shadow-boxes and drumsticks-as-art, accompanied by the song "Tim Tim" from Jacques Sauveur Jean of Haiti.
Also, the new shadow-boxes will feature signatures from our supporters, increasing their distinction. Singer and designer Cole Williams has gathered messages to Sticking Up For Children from Swiss Chris, drummer and musical director for John Legend over four years, and Desmond Richardson, whom the New York Times calls 'One of the great modern dancers of his time', and Joey Peebles, drummer with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. In addition, the great Kidd Jordan, saxophonist, Chevalier of France, and music-educator for more
than 60 years, has signed on.
Desmond Richardson Swiss Chris
During the past month, too, Cyril and Gaynielle Neville and their grand-children and the fast-rising Royal Southern Brotherhood band have been producing art-work to benefit Sticking Up For Children. Please
check out the drumhead signed by all of the RSB.
So we've come full circle in terms of supporters
of Sticking Up For Children and their intended
Arthur Koestler in his book The Roots of Coincidence quotes the Austrian biologist of the early 20th century, Paul Kammerer, that there is 'a world-mosaic or cosmic kaleidoscope' which takes care of bringing 'like and like togther.'
It's a small but boundless world of multiple benefits when the Internet is used for
generosity and solidarity.
Regarding growth and generous solidarity, we want to include at least one 3D printer in Marie-Jo's container to FEPE. We want to provide means for the orphans and students there to create even more spectacular objets d'art and for them to craft parts for prosthetic limbs.
You can see FEPE orphans' genius in the poster below, showing four of their drumsticks-as-art.
Purchase of the poster is another way to support Sticking Up For Children and the container with 3D printer to
FEPE and other of our youth-education partners. $10 by check to us at 717 Perry Street, Gretna, LA 70053
will do it, if you want to avoid credit-card and PayPal charges.