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Photo Essay: Fordham Students on the Ground in Haiti


Fordham Students on the Ground in Haiti

Marciana Popescu, Ph.D., associate professor of social work in the Graduate School of Social Work (GSS), spent 10 days in Haiti this past summer with five current and former GSS students. In addition to exploring the sometimes-overlooked beauty of the island nation, the Fordham contingent visited with groups that are overseeing reconstruction efforts.

Over the past four years, Fordham groups worked closely with two grassroots organizations in Haiti - Social Tap, and Konbit Pou Ayiti ("Working Together for Haiti") which hosted the groups and coordinated all field work in Cyvaddier and Jacmel, Haiti.

Some projects they examined are underway or have been completed, such as the foundation of a new school for which Fordham students together with Social Tap's director and staff raised $5,000. Popescu’s group also took on a new role, working in close collaboration with an orphanage coordinator to develop a strategic plan for both immediate and long-term sustainability. They conducted a follow-up study of one population that had been relocated after the earthquake in Jacmel, in collaboration with Social Tap and a local consultant.

That study led to the organization of a conference to be co-hosted by Fordham and the United Nations on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Lincoln Center campus. (For information email This conference will establish a forum for the Fordham community to initiate a dialogue with UN agencies, international development partners, grassroots organizations, as well as the Haitian community in Haiti and abroad. For additional Fordham-sponsored events on Haiti, see The Haiti Experiment.

— Contributed photos

Tania Bailon, GSS ’13, left, and GSS student Bridgette Ames, right, with the principal of the Joie D’espoir (Joy of Hope) Primary Community School in Cayes Jacmel, Haiti. Fordham students raised $5,000 to build the foundation for the school’s new building.


Rebuilding Haiti one kid, one tree at a time.

(Bottom left) School founder working with the students.

(Left) Capacity mapping with the school founder, principal, and staff.

(Right) Tania Bailon, GSS ’13, current student Bridgette Ames, Michelle D’Addio, GSS ‘13, Nancy Lucashu, GSS ’12, Ilene Richman, GSS ’13, and faculty member Marciana Popescu (rear center) visiting KOFAVIV, an organization focused on women’s rights and fighting violence against women in Haiti.


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