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Haiti Documentary

Our original goal with this documentary was to give a voice to the Haitian mothers who don’t have a very loud political voice but have stories that need to be heard.
Watch a short portion of the upcoming documentary:

Music used with permission.
“Andare” on the album “Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi Purchase the album at:  amazon.com/Divenire/dp/B001GL2EC4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1278802397&sr=8-1

However, in light of the recent and tragic earthquake in Haiti, Nate and I have shifted our focus towards capturing the evolving developments.

Back in November, we spent 2 days at For His Glory Orphanage. For His Glory is called a kresh, meaning all of the children already have parents waiting for them in the US. The process to adopt these children takes a lengthy 2 or 3 years, so the children stay in Haiti until all of paperwork has been completed. Nate’s family is adopting two little Haitian girls from this orphanage, which we got to meet and hang out with back in November.

After the earthquake, the orphanage was stranded with no food and water for 5 days. The orphanage put a sign on their roof so the many helicopters flying overhead would notice. The sign said something along the lines of, “We are an orphanage and need help”. This led to news coverage from fox news.

During this time, Nate’s family has been constantly worried about the children because contact with the orphanage after the earthquake has been rare. So rare in fact, that they learned that they were evacuating the children from the orphanage from watching Fox News. After a string of developments, the children from the orphanage were granted humanitarian evacuations to come to the US to their expectant US families. This is great news for the adopting families!

The battle isn’t over yet. Adopting families now face their newest obstacle: paperwork. The children were supposed to be in the US Friday, which didn’t happen because of immigration problems. Haitian paperwork has always been notorious for having problems, and to compound the issue, much of that paperwork is now gone after the earthquake. So the children sat in the airport.

Hours later, the red tape was cleared and 32 children were on their way to the Orlando, FL on a donated United flight. Nate was able to find out that children would be landing in Denver near midnight on Saturday January 23. Both of us were ecstatic to have first hand news, so we called up our Haitian friend Neil, who speaks Creole, and made our way to DIA.

Upon arriving at DIA, we were informed that the flight had again been delayed and wasn’t expected to arrive until 4am. We waited around for a while, and by 12:30am, the flight hadn’t left Orlando. It was silently understood that the flight wasn’t coming for a while.

We went home discouraged, more for the kids than for our video coverage. Early the next morning, I received a phone call from Nate informing me that the children were landing at DIA around noon on the 24th.

A Haitian girl takes her first steps in cold Colorado Air.

Wrapped in a blanket, a young Haitian girl walks towards her adoptive US family in the nearby terminal

The three of us, Neil, Nate, and I, hustled over to DIA to find 4 news teams, the Denver post, and some other media affiliates. Things seemed to be going the right direction. After managing to convince the Denver Police Department that our lack of “news” credentials wasn’t a security issue, we were able to get onto the landing strip. Minutes later, the plane landed, and slowly but surely, Haitian children, some bundled in blankets, were taken off of the plane.

Five children were immediately rushed to the hospital, though we didn’t get any details on what their conditions were. Many of the other children came off of the plane smiling, some waving, walking towards their new life in America. Unfortunately for us, the media was restricted to the landing strip, so we didn’t get any footage of the kids reuniting with their US parents.

After more than a week of trauma, a young Haitian is carried towards her adopting US parents

Freedom at last! Almost… Nate just informed me that the adopting parents and children have yet again been detained at the airport for failing to fulfill some paperwork obligation.

As the story continues to develop, we will do our best to follow it and understand it.

Our original goal for the documentary has been pushed to the background with all of these new elements to our story. Because we were in Haiti in November, before the earthquake, we are in a unique position. We captured the difficult life of Haitians before the earthquake. The last few decades have been extremely hard on the Haitian people. Political instability and nonexistent infrastructure prevent the country from escaping the notorious cycle of poverty. Haiti will be in the media spotlight for a while, but as with all disasters, the aide eventually decreases and the world “forgets”.

Once the media spotlight moves on and the aide begins to decrease, our hope is to take the footage from before the earthquake and reveal to the world how bad things were. Our message is simple, we don’t want to rebuild Haiti to what it was. This terrible earthquake is the ultimate chance for partners to stand with Haiti and see lasting, necessary change.

Trailer:


5 Responses to "Haiti Documentary"

  1. Alejandra:

    Spectacular!!!!! Looking forward to seeing the complete product.
    PS: It´s Cité Soleil

  2. Yes, it is Cite Soleil in Haiti. Like some others i would really like to see a complete version of the trailer. I am sure that there might be lots of people intersted in helping those mothers in Haiti.
    PS. It is me Robenson, the translator of the inteviews during that day.

    Thanks a lot James Drake for follow-up. Keep it real Bro.

    Look forward hearing from you again.

  3. Great piece James! Is this something that you helped to produce?

  4. Shirleyjolewis:

    James,
    I can not wait to see this when it is done. What you have done with it so far has really touched my heart. It makes me want to go down the Haiti and adopt a baby…LOL. I really think this will be a moving and heart felt peice when you guys are done. Keep me posted.
    Shirley Lewis

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