Carl Lindahl (left), Director of the American Survivor to Survivor Stories project, with Jeantyrard Elmera, Dean of the Family Memorial School of Nursing, in Port-au-Prince Haiti, and host of the Sivivan pou Sivivian: Memwa Ayisyen project.
Survivor to Survivor: Haitian Memory
In May 2014 Survivor to Survivor helped launch a Haiti project titled Memya Ayisyen (Haitian Memory). More than four years have passed since the quake, but hundreds of thousands of Haitians still live in temporary housing, and millions are unemployed or underemployed. Haitians continue to share among themselves many stories that the rest of the world hasn’t yet heard, including stories about how the poorest and most disadvantaged citizens used their wisdom and resourcefulness to save innumerable lives and sustain one another.
Memwa Ayisyen draws upon Haiti's vast human wealth to create a record of recovery, at the same time that we deploy resources to aid that recovery. We train and pay Haitian citizens to interview one another and archive the interviews. The project will soon be entirely Haitian-run and Haitian-staffed; all paid personnel are Haitian, and the great majority are young people who have learned much in school but have never before held a job that makes use of their learning. Thus, through Memwa Ayisyen, Haitians help one another heal while creating a national record of their recent history, refining their professional skills, and earning money.
View the Memwa Ayisyen interviewers' manual in Kreyol