Kenbe La Newsletter 03 2011

Dear Friends of the Kenbe La Foundation,

Following is the Foundation’s first newsletter, which was about to be sent to you, when we were all hit with the distressing news and consequences of the Christchurch earthquake.

In a small country like New Zealand it is inevitable that many of the population know people directly involved, and for some that will be family or friends. At Kenbe La we understand very well how such tragic events can affect our lives both unexpectedly and deeply, and our hearts go out to those of you who are in distress and pain.

While the Kenbe La Foundation’s primary focus is on providing educational opportunities for children in Haiti, the disaster on our own doorstep has required some re- focussing at this stage. Consequently, we are increasing our efforts with the Purple Cake Day and our local fund-raising evening, so that we are able also to help children affected by the earthquake in Christchurch.

We hope you find the newsletter interesting, and will continue to support the Foundation’s efforts to improve the lives of children.

The Trustees

Kenbe La Foundation Charitable Trust


Message from Emily Sanson-Rejouis

I am immensely grateful for all the support I have received in launching the Kenbe La Foundation and want to extend my deep appreciation to all of you whose contributions have made it possible. I have been inspired by the generosity of so many people giving their time, their expertise and financial support to help me realize the goal of supporting educational opportunities for children in need in Haiti. As Alyahna and I rebuild our lives with the ever-present grief of losing Emmanuel, Kofie-Jade and Zenzie in the earthquake, I look to Haiti and the work of the Foundation as an important part of our journey forwards.


News from Haiti

2010 has been a year of unprecedented challenges for Haiti with the devastating earthquake in January, the cholera epidemic in October, flooding from hurricane Tomas in early November and most recently the election related violence. Hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti are still just trying to survive, they are struggling to rebuild their homes, to find employment and send their children to school. Aid is arriving into Haiti but it is not enough and often difficult to coordinate within the shattered infrastructure. To keep updated on news in Haiti you can search online, just type in ‘Haiti News’ and you’ll find articles, videos and links from various media sources. We look forward to bringing you news and stories direct from Haiti from the people and communities we are working with.

Purple Cake Day – 1 March 2011 is the first ever ‘Purple Cake Day’ in support of the Kenbe La Foundation and building a school in Haiti. Purple Cake Day is a day of action initiated by Emily, inspired by her daughters Kofie-Jade and Zenzie. It aims to celebrate and empower children in our communities, to learn about children in need worldwide and to take action.



In July 2010 we launched an appeal for goods to support a school community in Haiti. The project’s initial aim was to send one container with a school building and other urgently needed supplies. Children, families, schools, community groups and businesses responded with such generosity – supplies to fill three shipping containers were received! Volunteers sorting and packing in Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch were very moved by the care and thought that went into so many of the donations – thank you to the wonderful people of New Zealand! This project would not have been possible without the generosity of our main sponsors NZ Marine Turbo Chargers, Versatile Buildings, Transport Nelson Limited (TNL), Carters, Boxman, Roberts Kitchens, Rotary Nelson and Vodafone.

Source of Hope
Since January 2010 the Kenbe La Foundation has facilitated considerable direct support to the Source of Hope School and local community. This has included educational resources, teacher and administrator salaries for three months, clothes and toys, food, seeds for crops, sleeping pads and tents, tarpaulins and ShelterBox tents (300+) for temporary school accommodation and community use.

As a result of Haiti’s floods, cholera, political upheaval post the presidential election, and a tightening of customs requirements, we have experienced some shipping delays. Emily will shortly be travelling to Haiti at her own expense, to re-assess how the Foundation’s financial resources can be most effectively used.


We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of inspiring young New Zealanders who have by their own initiative raised money for young Haitians.


Inspiring Oscar!

After seeing Emily’s interview on TV, 7 year old Oscar, with his mum and dad, bought supplies to fill a classroom or two – 99 exercise books, 168 pencils, 24 rubbers, 10 book bags, staplers, glue, maths sets, chalks, pens, sharpeners, stickers etc. Oscar is also keen to set up a penpal program between his classmates at his school in Wellington, and students at the school we build. We think you are AWESOME Oscar – thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Heart for Haiti

Heart for Haiti

For her 9th birthday, Maddy from Nelson decided that instead of receiving presents from her friends, she would ask them to bring $5 each in an envelope, to give to the Foundation and help the children in Haiti. Inspired by the idea, her friends raised money themselves – one busked in town with her violin and raised $20. Together this group of 7, 8 and 9 year olds raised $148.20 cents for the Foundation. It is an incredible effort between them and a credit to Maddy – she is an inspiration to many in her peer group and all those both young and old that heard about what she wanted to do. She called her initiative ‘Heart for Haiti – give to the children’. The friends who had raised this money said they wanted it to be spent on food, clean water, a school, medicines and school bags.


Village Art – a wonderful initiative by 9 year old Jana and her mother Nicola who are making and selling beautiful paper crafts, to fundraise for the foundation. Thank you Jana and Nicola – your support and creativity is wonderful!

Other inspiring fundraisers

A craft group from New Plymouth, who’ve been meeting regularly for 8 years, made these gorgeous quilts for the community families. Many thanks to Nanette Cooke, Jane Raumati, Diane Sutherland and Diane Flavell (pictured) for their hours of work on these taonga.

Other inspiring fundraisers

Haircuts for Humanity

Nelson hairdresser and the art coordinator for Purple Cake Day, Fox Stevens, initiated Haircuts for Humanity, where Nelson and Richmond hairdressers used their cutting skills to raise money. Thanks to all the hairdressers and their clients who donated time and money!


We have heard of many fantastic ideas for raising money and collecting supplies for the Foundation – here are a few:



School Building Appeal

Inspirational fundraising ideas

Purple Cake Day


Rotary Nelson – In addition to support with logistics of importing aid into Haiti, Rotary has sponsored the costs of power tools and equipment essential for the school construction.

Canterbury Aluminium – motivated by their experieince of the Canterbury earthquake, made a generous donation towards the school rebuilding project.

Mitre 10 New Plymouth – covered the travel costs of two New Plymouth builders who have volunteered to help put the school together in Haiti.

Volunteer Travel Sponsored – A woman from Havelock North is paying the airfare for a volunteer to support the Foundation’s work in Haiti.

New York Marathon Fundraiser – a group of New Zealand women put in hours of training for the NY marathon and they completed it in November. They also shared a cup of tea with Helen Clark in NY and told her about the work of the Foundation and their fund raising.

The New Zealand Latin American Solidarity Committee held an awareness-raising meeting in Wellington to draw attention to the on-going humanitarian crisis in Haiti and need for continued support. Guest speakers included the Cuban Ambassador, Caritas, Christian World Services and the Kenbe La Foundation.

Carport auction on Trademe – A Fairlie man donated a new carport to the Foundation, and we successfully auctioned it on TradeMe. Thanks to both the seller and the new owner of the carport!

Italian Village back the Foundation – Thanks to all those from the Italian village of Salice Terme who are supporting the work of the Foundation. Funds have been raised through selling freshly squeezed orange juice (110kg squeezed by hand), a bequest, a soccer tournament , a play, individual donations and more… and they plan on continuing to support the Foundation in the future. Gracias!


We hope that these stories inspire you as much as they do us.


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1 March 2011


The Kenbe La Foundation and logo are trademarks of The Kenbe La Foundation.

P.O. Box 899, Nelson 7040

This newsletter is solely for general information purposes and does not purport to make any representation upon which you may reasonably rely without taking further or more specific advice. While the information herein has been obtained from sources believed by the Kenbe La Foundation to be reliable, the Kenbe La Foundation gives no warranty or representation as to its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Persons who rely on it do so entirely at their own risk. The information herein may be changed or withdrawn at any time without notice.

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