Friday, December 16, 2011

Peace in Focus wants to highlight the incredible work of the
Think BIG Dream Big Movement.

The Think BIG Dream Big Movement supports giving tools, motivation and experiences that encourage youth to become "Agents of Change."
Check out their website for more information:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peace in Focus Digital Exhibit - Winter 2011

Peace In Focus invites young artists to submit digital photography to showcase at our exhibits. This exhibition is designed to feature the best young photographers from all over the world.

: “Homecoming” Whether returning from the daily grind or years away - we’re exploring the place and feeling that makes returning home a sacred and profound voyage.

Deadline: January 6th 2012

Eligibility: Limit 2 photos per person - open to photographers ages 25 and younger.

To Enter: Please email photos to You must include your name, age, location, photo titles and captions to be considered.

: 20 Finalists will be selected for a premier event showcasing their photography in Downtown Boston along with Peace in Focus.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Second Half of the Interviews

Haitian youth asking Burundi youth

How is it that we look so much alike?

That was God's will and that's how it is. Haitians come from Africa. You'll see that in history books.

Do you have different forms of dance? What type of dance is most popular?

Yes. Traditional danse & modern dance.

How did you gain your independence? And why did you fight for your independence?

Through political ideology and politics. We did it to end the maltreatment by whites. To be free.

What is the name for the inhabitants of Burundi?

Burundais/burundaise (Burundian). Abarundi. Umurundi/umurundi kazi

Why are some children barefoot?

It's not everyone and depends on the family. It's a poor country, but more prosperous than Haiti.

Did you continue to fight with other peoples, after your independence?

Yes, the different ethnicities.

How do the schools work in Burundi?

It's a Belgian system. Three trimesters in a year with an evaluation after each semester and a general evaluation at the end of the year.

Did Burundi put in place means to help the refugees from Congo?

Yes. There is an Embassy School of Congo. And a camp for refugees.

Do you play football?


With what countries have you been at war?


What kinds of food do you eat?

Rice, beans, meat, ugali, sombi (cassava leaves)

What is the level of sanitation? Is the system effective?

The level of sanitation is so-so. Not really.

What kind of things do you cultivate in Burundi? What are your traditions and pasttimes?

Coffee, tea, cotton, corn, sorgo, beans, rice. Drums, agasimbo (dance), intore (dance), muyebe (dance). Respect and politeness.

Do you have a president or a king? If a president, what's his name?

President. Pierre Nkurunziza.

Are you monotheistic or polytheistic?


Do you have a good government or good leaders, in your opinion?

There's a debate. Some think it's good. Others think it's bad.

As young people, what are some problems that you face?

Violence, bandits, malaria, AIDS

What are your reactions after the training in photography?

We gained a lot of knowledge that will be useful for the future. We really liked the workshop.

Are there people that live in tents, like the majority of us in Haiti?

Not many, but the refugees do.

What are your hopes and dreams for your country, as young people?

Progress. Development. Security. Peace.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Burundi/Haitian Exchange

In August 2011, Peace in Focus facilitated a dialogue between youth in Haiti and Burundi. The young people in Haiti were part of a Mercy Corps' Timoun Alez photography camp and were trained by Peace in Focus co-founder, Kate Fedosova. The young people in Burundi were a part of a Peace in Focus/Jamaa program, in collaboration with Discover Voice.

They exchanged their photography, wrote & answered 20 questions, and finally connected on Skype on the last day. Together they sang songs, talked about their countries, and vision for the future. One of the most poignant topics of conversation was when the Burundi youth learned that Haiti was the first black nation to win their independence. Haiti gained independence in 1804 and Burundi gained independence in 1962.

Ultimately, they discovered that despite having an ocean between them, they share a common language, eat similar foods, both enjoy soccer, and want to see their countries become peaceful and prosperous.

First half of the interviews

Burundi youth asking Haitian youth

How are you doing after the earthquake?

At first, very poorly. We were shocked and very sad. Now, we’re feeling better and recovering thanks to Mercy Corps’ psychosocial art therapy program.

What is your vision for your country?

We would like to rebuild the zones affected by the earthquake, and we hope to support our country’s educational, cultural, social, and economic plans to put our country on the road to progress.

What did you think of the photography workshop?

The workshop was great and a lot of fun, because we learned a lot about photography, identity, and our African roots. We can use this knowledge in the future. Now that we have knew skills we are happy and proud of ourselves.

Do children have the right to work in Haiti?

No, not before 18 years old, but certain children work before this age.

Are there street children and those who are mistreated, too?

Yes, in certain neighborhoods.

How do children live in Haiti?

Some live well while others do not.

What are the living conditions for the Haitian children?

The majority of children live in difficult conditions. Many do not go to school; some live on the street and have no opportunities for entertainment.

Are there Children’s Rights in Haiti?

The rights are established but most of the time are not applied.

What are some of the main activities in Haiti?

Art, commerce, agriculture, fishing, football, music, culture, traditional games, dances like compas et folklore danses, such as the congo, petro, ibo, nago, Banda, Raboday, Mayi, Kontredans, Yanvalou, and many others.

How do orphans live in Haiti?

Some live on the street and some live in orphanages. Some live with host families and others live as “restavec,” a phenomenon where a child is taken and do forced to do housework for a family.

What is the national motto of Haiti?

Unity is strength!

What is the state of the health system?

Critical. The majority of our cities in provinces do not have hospitals or health centers. There is fewer than one doctor per 10,000 inhabitants.

What foods are the basis for your diet in Haiti?

Produce, rice, beans, millet, Akasan (corn flour used for breakfast)

Are there homeless children?

Yes, especially in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Do Haitians enjoy freedom of expression?

Yes, we often have protests and demonstrations, and we have freedom of expression in the media.

What’s the political system in Haiti?

We have a democratic system, though it’s not implemented fully.

What are the different kinds of work in Haiti?

Masonry, carpentry, woodworking, art, household, agriculture, sewing, teaching, the public servants of the state, contractor, trade, and unfortunately some girls involved in prostitution.

What is the economy in Haiti?

We import a lot. Our system of agriculture is archaic, so our levels of production are low, as are our exports. The revenue per capita is low.

Are children in Haiti polite?

The majority are.

Do you play soccer?

Yes, a lot!