While I was visiting Jacmel, Haiti during my Heart of Haiti blogger trip in February, I saw posters of Rally of Progressive National Democrats’ Presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat, a 70 year old politician, legal scholar, former Senator, Sorbonne-trained academic, mother, grandmother, and wife of former Haitian President Leslie Manigat. Guess what? In three days, the former First Lady and vice rector of the Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince could make Haitian women’s history by becoming the first woman President of Haiti. Click here to learn more about her.
Ananda’s #HeartofHaiti Post: Developing Digital Sisterhood Bonds in Haiti
Today is Digital Sisterhood Wednesday on Twitter. That means the Digital Sisterhood Network is in full force —
celebrating and promoting their digital sisters by tweeting about their businesses, wisdom, creativity, blogs, Facebook pages, causes, videos, and web sites. I created #DigitalSisterhood Wednesdays during the 2010 Blogalicious Weekend Conference and launched the weekly Twitter celebration to give women in social media a weekly opportunity to build and strengthen their communities. Each week women are encouraged to celebrate and promote their digital sisters by using the #FF (Friday Follow) format. This weekly celebration gave birth to Digital Sisterhood Month and the Digital Sisterhood Network in December. One of the lessons I learned during Digital Sisterhood Month was that Digital Sisterhood is more than a weekly or month-long celebration. It is a movement that has a life of its own. It is living and breathing on and offline.
Did you know Digital Sisterhood traveled with me when I left Washington, DC and landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 25? I had no idea she packed herself in my luggage with plans for developing digital sisterhood bonds with 11 amazing women I met through the Heart of Haiti campaign. See the list of digital sisters below. Click here to see more photos of the Heart of Haiti‘s Digital Sisterhood.
Heart of Haiti Digital Sisters
- Sloane Berrent, Humanitarian, Kiva Fellow, and Founder of The Causemopolitan,
- Laura Ciocia, Senior Digital Strategist at Everywhere,
- Pascale Faubas, Jacmel Director, Fairwinds Trading
- Deana Jirak, Designer and Photographer,
- Danica Kombol, Managing and Founding Partner at Everywhere,
- Johnica Reed, Travel Tastemaker, Writer, and Founder of leisureStrategy,
- Willa Shalit, Artist, Author, Co-Founder of V-Day, CEO of Fairwinds Trading, and Founder of Touch Foundation,
- Nathalie Tancrede, co-founder of Fondation d’Ayiti Soleil, a Haitian organization that helps educate Haitian girls and women, and the Haiti Country Director for Fairwinds Trading
- Juliana Um, Creative Director, Fairwinds Trading
- Heather Whaling, PR/Social Media Expert and President of Geben Communication.
I learned so much about these ladies in four days. We talked about many issues as we toured Port-au-Prince. Stories, insights, reflections, and lessons learned danced in and out of our daily adventures. Laughter, silent pauses, a reflection and prayer circle, yoga before sunrise, Reiki healing touch sessions, blogging and tweeting in the hotel restaurant, filming video interviews, taking photos everyplace we stopped, late night girl weekend conversations, dancing and eating plantains at Jacmel’s Carnival, and chit chatting at the cafe in Toussaint Louverture International Airport are just a few of the ways Digital Sisterhood created bonds between me and these women.
It’s hard for me to fully describe the Digital Sisterhood bond that happened in Haiti. I guess I am still basking in the beauty and blessing of connecting with 11 dynamic women. So I will leave you with two of my favorite Kreyol words and video interviews of Willa Shalit and Heather Whaling. The Heart of Haiti Digital Sisterhood is “belle bagay” (a Kreyol word that means fabulous)!
Ananda’s #HeartofHaiti Post: Remembering KOFAVIV’s Young Haitian Women on International Women’s Day
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. In an effort to honor the 100th anniversary of this powerful day, I took three moments of silence to remember and honor the young Haitian women I met while visiting KOFAVIV, an organization that supports women and girls who have experienced violence. I met these amazing creative young ladies during my Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 26. A very special digital sisterhood moment happened during my visit. One of the young Haitian women and I really connected. We had some great conversations about her life and mine. Before I left, she asked me for my email so we could stay in touch. I promised her that I would stay in touch. This week I am planning to write her a short email that includes the photos we took together. Isn’t digital sisterhood great!
Ananda’s #HeartofHaiti Post: Photos of City Life in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Port-au-Prince is a a busy city that has been deeply impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Check out some of the photos I took during my Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador trip below. Click here to see more photos on Flickr.
Take #HeartofHaiti Blogger Ambassador Ananda Leeke’s Video Tour of Artwork at the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
When I checked into the Hotel Oloffson with my fellow Heart of Haiti “tripsters” in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 25, 2011, I was mesmerized by the beautiful artwork in the main hotel and my hotel room. Check out the videos below. Click here to see Flickr photos of the artwork.