Haitian dancers raise money for rebuilding efforts

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Thursday was a once in a lifetime experience for elementary school students in North Charleston. Haitian visitors talked to students about their culture and how last year's 7.0 earthquake devastated their lives. The quake happened one year ago Wednesday.

Haitian dancers move to the beat of new hope for their country. It is part of the "Rise from the Rubble" tour throughout the Southeast.

Students at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary got a firsthand experience learning about the culture, and what happened during last year's deadly earthquake.

"That's why we're doing a fundraiser to help them have their homes back," Malique Pope said.

Bill Nathan is the director of Saint Joseph's Home, a program providing food, shelter and education for homeless Haitian boys.

"I want them to know what I have been through when I was their age. I was a child slave when I was six years old. Thank God Saint Joseph's Home exists," Nathan said.

Saint Joseph's has a network of three group homes, and they care for close to 100 children. During the group's visit to North Charleston, students learned some Haitian beats, and they moved to Haitian dances.

"It was sad for them because they don't have any homes," Keawe Rauschenburge said.

During the group's tour, all of the money that they raise goes toward rebuilding that they lost during the earthquake.

"I know it's a big number, but we're going to make it. It's going to do it step by step. One day eventually we will rebuild it," Nathan said.

The Saint Joseph's Family needs $6-million to rebuild the two homes they lost. The "Rise from the Rubble tour" continues with their last Lowcountry performance at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Summerville Presbyterian Church. The show is free and open to the public, and offerings will be collected.

For more information on the Saint Joseph's Family Haitian dancers go to http://www.heartswithhaiti.org.

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