How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #4 – Support Fonkoze’s Microfinance Institution Work with Haitian Women

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My digital advocacy work as a Heart of Haiti Ambassador has opened my heart to Haiti and her people in a major way.  After reading journalist Lisa Armstrong‘s article about Haitian women who are mobilizing to fight for protection and justice for their Haitian sisters after the January 2010 earthquake in the January issue of Essence Magazine, I decided to launch a two year fundraising campaign for Fonkoze, the largest grassroots microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti that is committed to the economic and social improvement of Haitian people and communities and to the reduction of poverty in the country.  Fonkoze was one the organizations mentioned in Armstrong’s Essence article.

When Father Joseph Philippe, a Haitian Catholic priest, established Fonkoze in 1994 to support the economic development of all Haitians, he targeted Haitian women.  Since then, Fonkoze has served more than 45,000 women borrowers, most of whom live and work in the countryside of Haiti, and more than 200,000 savers. What a powerful legacy!

So today I am sharing how I plan to donate $10 per month to Fonkaze via its web site (will make my first donation on January 12th) and to raise awareness and funding through my Crowdrise fundraising project from January 12, 2011 to January 2013.  I will also use my Digital Sisterhood Network blog, Twitter page, monthly Tweetchats, online and offline events, and radio show programs to raise awareness and seek donations for Fonkoze via Crowdrise.

Tomorrow morning I will lead a short online yoga and meditation session at 7:00 am ET that will be dedicated to the people of Haiti and organizations like Fonkoze.  Click here to participate in the live show. If you miss it, you can watch the video.  At the end of the session, I will invite everyone to join me in supporting Fonkoze by making a donation to their web site and/or my Crowdrise fundraising project this week to honor Haiti and her people on the first anniversary of the January 12th earthquake.

You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to make a donation.  Feel free to do it now. See the links above. Thank you for your support!

PS: Check out the video below featuring one of Fonkoze’s graduates.It is powerful. It will open your heart even more to Haiti and her people!

How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #1 – Use my social media sites, Crowdrise, and monthly donation to promote and support Renewal 4 Haiti

Guess what I did this weekend? I wrote down the ways I can keep the heart of Haiti beating in 2011.  The first item on my list is using social media and a monthly online contribution of $10 to promote and support Renewal 4 Haiti,  a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit organization founded by Haitians committed to bringing medical care and skills training to Léogâne, the epicenter of the Haitian earthquake in 2010. When I pressed click to complete my PayPal donation yesterday and developed my Crowdrise social media fundraising site today, my heart opened wider to the people of Haiti.  Something else happened. I was inspired to ask you to open your heart and give a donation to Renewal for Haiti this week in honor of everyone impacted by the January 12th earthquake in 2010. Did you know that you can also volunteer to give a fundraiser for Renewal 4 Haiti in your local community or work for the organization in Haiti for a week?  Click here for more information. More Information About Renewal 4 Haiti: Renewal 4 Haiti’s founders Jodel and Sue Charles are Haitian immigrants living in Denver, Colorado.  They launched their organization in February 2010 which is 100%-powered by unpaid volunteers. Since February 2010, Renewal 4 Haiti has  provided shelter for 600 families, send backpacks filled with supplies to 100 schoolchildren, ship 60,000 lbs of medical aid and finish a 20-bed hospital seeing 100 people a day. Click here to learn more about the Renewal 4 Haiti’s powerful work.  Be sure to read the organization’s blog and Twitter page for updates.  Join the Facebook page too. Leave me a note in the comment section about your donation and Haiti efforts from 2010 and 2011. Drop by my blog later today and this week to read more about the ways I plan to keep the heart of Haiti beading in 2011. I’ll provide some tips on how you can do the same.