The Pyepoudre Cultural and Education Centre was completely destroyed by the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th.. Local musician Lucien Johnson is behind a fundraising concert to help members of the centre community whose lives were shattered by the disaster.
“We have been totally crippled and need every help we can get. Three children have lost their parents and are in our care. We are doing our best to help all the people whose houses have been destroyed. At the moment we share what food, water and clothing we have,” reports Pyepoudre founder, Paula Claermont Pean from Port-au-Prince.
Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, Madame Pean established the centre 25-years ago.
Pyepoudre was a beacon of hope for young people from some of Port-au-Prince’s poorest shantytowns. As well as running workshops on performing, visual and cultural arts, Pyepoudre ran reading and writing classes, education programmes, a library and an internet centre.
Lucien worked at Pyepoudre in 2009 and says the collective of volunteer musicians, actors and artists worked extensively with local communities especially young people. Many volunteers were also social workers and teachers.
“The concert was a unique way we can help by providing urgent, direct relief that will give some a chance to rebuild their shattered lives,” he says.
Donations for Pypoudre continue to be collected by the Wellington branch of Alliance Francaise.
Haiti officials have confirmed that 170,000 lost their lives on January 12th, however thousands more are feared dead.