Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Introduction to My Blog

This HaitianMigrantWorkerOutreach blog is aimed at people who might be interested in learning more about migrant workers in NJ, or people who already have some association with migrants.

Entries will include updates on Haitian Migrant Worker Outreach (HMWO), book reviews, personal thoughts,  and news about what I have been doing.  I'm not very tech savvy, so you'll get to see my skills develop if you check back from time to time!  Meanwhile, thank you for reading this blog.

Haitian Migrant Worker Outreach News

The attorney who is helping us file for non-profit status has advised us to first file papers of incorporation.  She has also advised us to have more than three board members.  We now have five board members and my next job is to edit our incorporation application. 

HMWO is renting storage space in Hammonton, NJ.  We've already begun collecting donated things for the migrant workers who come to work the blueberry harvest next summer.  Items on the top of our request list include: summer clothing, folding chairs, and canned food.

During the summer of 2010, HMWO conducted English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at one of the bigger migrant camps.  During the summer of 2011, HMWO did not offer ESL classes, but we would like to offer them again, next summer.  When we attain non-profit status, we will ask for donations to purchase Haitian Creole/English dictionaries and phrase books.  These are much prized by those who grew up in Haiti and are struggling to learn or improve their skills in English.      

Dory's News (or, What I Have Been Doing)

I am studying both Haitian Creole and Spanish.  There are nine migrant camps in the Hammonton, NJ area which house migrant workers of Haitian descent.  At least three of the camps also house Spanish speaking migrant workers.  Although the bulk of services provided by HMWO is aimed at assisting Haitians - we do provide some services for Hispanics, especially when they are at the same camps we are already visiting.

As a sixty year old, I have to study the same lessons over and over and over to begin to master them.  My heart goes out to the older immigrants who are trying to learn English.  I have been deeply impressed with ESL students who apply themselves to learning a new language, going to class at the end of a very long, hot workday, and often when they have worries which would distract less dedicated students.

Final Note

I plan to post new blogs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 
Check out HaitianMigrantWorkerOutreach.Org, if you haven't already!
Also see the Haitian Migrant Worker Journal, available at the above website.

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