Caris Foundation International received an award from the USNS Comfort for outstanding community outreach at the third annual Fete des Enfants, or Caris Kids Day. Caris hosted this recreational event where volunteers served over 400 children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Other partners for the event included Union School Haiti and over twenty businesses and service organizations.
As attendees arrived, the Navy Band from US Navy Ship (USNS) Comfort performed jazz and pop hits. The USNS Comfort is a part of the American naval fleet that provides free medical services to vulnerable populations.
The day was filled with special events including sports, exercise and arts stations. JPerry, Haitian singer and songwriter, surprised attendees with a performance of “Dekole” and “Bouje,” his two most popular songs.
Third Annual Caris Kids Day
“Fete des Enfants” began at 9:30 am, as buses from sites across Port-au-Prince arrived at Union School Haiti. The Navy Band from US Navy Ship (USNS) Comfort performed for the crowd in its final ‘Operation Continuing Promise” stop this year.
Before beginning the day’s activities, Caris employees Odelyn Julot and Gislhaine Benoit led the group in the Haitian National Anthem. The children then formed teams and began rotations in sports and arts stations. US Navy volunteers led the soccer rotations, provided arts and crafts materials such as face masks, maracas and a large canvas for painting activities. Ayiti Yoga led yoga sessions, teaching them about healthy breathing and stretching techniques. Volunteers from the Red Cross and Union School ensured that activities ran smoothly and children moved from station to station in a timely manner.
After morning rotations, the children gathered for a time of fellowship and lunch, catered by Marie Carmelle Valon. Lunch was followed by Zumba sessions, led by Zumbayiti, as well as cotton candy and fresco provided by Satigny. As everyone danced to the music, volunteers passed out balloons while singer JPerry surprised attendees with an energetic performance.
As the day came to a close, everyone released their balloons into the sky, a symbolic show of unity. Each attendee then received a care package including food, toiletries, and toys, all generously donated by local businesses.
After the event, the Caris Foundation received an award from the USNS Comfort for outstanding community outreach.
Thank you so much to all of our sponsors for your generous donations and support for making this possible: Continuing Promise 2015, USNS Comfort, Union School, Croix-Rouge Haitienne, Brasserie Nationale D’Haiti, Societe de Production Industrielle et Alimentaire, Mirage Industries S.A., Maison Handal, Acra Distribution Company, Compas Market, Projet Alimentaire Mondial, Oriental Cosmetics S.A., SO.DIS.A S.A., Digicel, Olivier Dupoux, JPerry, L’etoile S.A., Muncheez, Satigny, Ayiti Yoga, Zumbayiti, Daupin S.A, and the Caris team. Thank you as well to the Red Cross for providing an on-call ambulance and for the Haitian Police for providing security for our event. We couldn’t have done it without you!