A Response to the Earthquakes in Haiti
William James College in the Community
We are proud to introduce two new therapeutic workbooks for children and adolescents, My Story about the Earthquake in Haiti, for children who lived through the earthquake in Haiti, and My North American Story about the Earthquake in Haiti, for children of Haitian descent living in North America. They are written by faculty member, Jodie Kliman, PhD and William James College doctoral student, Dorothie Ferdinand, MA and staff at the Children's Psychological Health Center (CPHC) in San Francisco, and Ekòl Akasya (Acacia School) in Pétion-Ville, Haiti.
My Story about the Earthquake in Haiti is already helping children devastated by the January, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It helps prevent or diminish the effects of PTSD in children who have experienced catastrophic collective events, including natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, and family difficulties including homelessness and the need for foster care.
My North American Story about the Earthquake in Haiti is designed to help Haitian American and Haitian Canadian children indirectly affected by the earthquake.
Earlier versions of CPHC guided activity workbook have proven effective in reducing PTSD symptoms and have helped over 60,000 children in several countries. Mental health professionals, teachers, relief workers, or relatives help children to tell their stories about their own experiences, at their own pace, through drawings, writing, or dictation. The workbook strengthens children by helping them process distressing events, remember help they have given and received, and hold onto the people and values they hold dear. A PTSD checklist allows any literate adult to determine if the child is in need of psychological services.
My Story about the Earthquake in Haiti reflects William James College's commitment to serving underserved and vulnerable communities in a culturally attuned and socially just manner. Therefore, this tool for strengthening resilience is culturally and linguistically familiar to Haitian children. Three of the authors are Haitian. William James College doctoral student Dorothie Ferdinand and her mother Antonine Ferdinand are members of the Haitian community of Boston. Caroline Hudicourt, MEd, is the director of Ekòl Akasya (The Acacia School) in Pétion-Ville and an education professor at the Quisqueya University in Haiti. She has authored a Haitian children's book and a book on teaching children to read and write in Haitian Creole. The workbook is beautifully illustrated by Emmanuel Flint, a Nigerian artist living in Boston. Gilbert Kliman, MD, director of the Children's Psychological Center in San Francisco, is the original developer of the resilience-building guided activity workbook. He and his daughter, William James College core faculty member Jodie Kliman, PhD, have collaborated closely with their Haitian colleagues to ensure that the workbook is both useful and congruent with Haitian experience.
My Story about the Earthquake in Haiti can be downloaded and printed at the link below, in a bilingual Haitian Creole and French version and in English. My North American Story about the Earthquake in Haiti can be downloaded and printed below in an English version. These include instructions for adults in using the workbook with individual children of different ages and with groups.
Kreyòl Ayisyen &Français (Haitian Creole & French):
Istwa Pa M Sou Tranblemanntè Ayiti a Le Tremblement De Terre En Haïti
Click here for more information on:
- My Own Story about the Earthquake in Haiti
- workbooks helping children with earlier large-scale disasters
- coping with homelessness or foster care
- outcome research on earlier workbooks
- background on the theoretical model behind these workbooks