Help Support the 2nd Annual Cite Soleil Peace Prize
June 7, 2015
Konbit Mizik is a proud sponsor and collaborator of the 2nd Annual Cite Soleil Peace Prize on June 25th, 2015. This program recognizes and grows local leaders in Haiti to mobilize and address the needs of their community. Please support this project by visiting our Donation Page and specifying "Cite Soleil Peace Prize" in the instructions.
Join us to show your support and solidarity with community leaders in Cite Soleil!
My name is Louino 'Robi' Robillard, and I am a young community leader who grew up in Cite Soleil, Haiti's largest ghetto. Cite Soleil has a rough history: our community is mostly known for the gang violence that has made it the most dangerous place in the country.
But what most people don't know is that most people in Cite Soleil have dreams of peace, and that there are countless young people who are working to build peace in our community every day. They do the hard, thankless work of building community, and they never get recognized for it - and we lose a lot of them to discouragement and burnout.
To address this, last year I came up with the idea for the Cite Soleil Peace Prize, a chance to honor young people making a difference in these tough conditions, and to focus attention on a positive side of Cite Soleil that few people see. Our decision to honor 4 young leaders in 2014 got local and national attention, and helped inspire other young people to step up and continue down the hard road to building peace.
2015 has been especially hard for Cite Soleil: there has been an increase in both violence and the number of innocent people who've been caught in the crossfire. Now more than ever, we need to remind our community that peace is still possible, to not give up hope. So this year, we are planning on organizing the 2nd Annual Cite Soleil Peace Prize to celebrate the young people who are still holding onto the dream.
The Peace Prize will be given out on June 25th, which is the anniversary of the founding of the social movement Konbit Soley Leve in Cite Soleil. This is always a large outdoor celebration in the heart of Cite Soleil that aims to highlight all that is positive about Cite Soleil.
In order to make this event happen in a visible and dignified way, we need to be on top of the logistics for the event. Based on our experience launching the Peace Prize in 2014, and organizing four of the Soley Leve anniversary events, these will be the necessary arrangements:
The physical prizes and awards for the five Peace Prize recipients this year, as well as smaller awards that recognize four local musicians who have contributed to social change this year, and Cite Soleil's only radio station, Radio Boukman.
This year we are also arranging for additional training and mentorship of the young people selected for the peace prize, which will be done in partnership with several organizations
The largest expense is always the setting up of a stage and sound system, and providing gas for the generator to run the system for the evening
Every year, the stage is decorated by local graffiti artists, who also use the occasion to spread positive messages throughout the city
We have learned that having a lot of t-shirts helps us to designate and watch over a large team of volunteers, as well as help other people feel included in the event