Jo Dallas, our Legacy Coordinator, reports on how Christian Aid's legacy of hope in Haiti shines through in a touring exhibition.
Over the last year or so, a stunning Christian Aid exhibition featuring photography and artwork from Haiti has been on display across Scotland - visiting 20 churches, an arts centre and two church cafés.
‘Striking and beautiful images provoking prayer, thanks and contemplation.'
Comment from exhibition visitors' book
I Witness started its tour in the Scottish Borders last summer, and this month has just returned from a tour of churches in the Spey Valley, in the Highlands.
I Witness at Inverallan Parish Church, Grantown-on-Spey. Credit: Jo Dallas
Christian Aid has supported partners in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, since the 1980s.
It is a country that has endured a devastating earthquake and a number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the last five years alone.
The earthquake of January 2010 claimed the lives of a quarter of a million people and displaced over a million more. Many Christian Aid supporters generously contributed to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal at this time.
I Witness shares stories of hope and resilience from Haiti since the earthquake, from communities where Christian Aid has been working through local partner organisations.
There are photos of families in their new earthquake-resistant homes, of trees that have been planted to reverse the effects of deforestation, and of smiling children drinking milk which is now supplied free to over 80 schools.
The exhibition also features colourful artwork, painted by young artists who have taken part in art therapy courses in Port-au-Prince run by Christian Aid partner APROSIFA.
Young Haitian artist. Credit: Elaine Duigenan
The exhibition originated from a visit that three Christian Aid supporters made to Haiti in 2013, accompanied by a photographer, to see for themselves how gifts they had given to Christian Aid were making a difference.
The three women had powerful personal reasons for giving to Christian Aid.
One, Kathy Childress (pictured below), is the mother of Esther, who died from cancer at the age of 14 and who left a legacy to Christian Aid.
Kathy says, 'The spirit I've seen in the Haitian people is the same spirit that was in my daughter: very tough and resilient, very determined, very resolute to do something and make a change.
'The best thing you can do is leave a gift that has no end. Esther wanted to leave a legacy that would achieve something and that's exactly what she's done.'
Kathy Childress visiting a school in Haiti
You can find out more about the stories behind the exhibition on our I Witness microsite.
Host the exhibition
The exhibition has had a busy and successful first year and will continue its journey around Scotland into 2016, sharing the stories of Christian Aid's legacy in Haiti, but also of the legacy we all have the potential to leave through our actions, or through a gift in our Will.
If you are interested in hosting the exhibition at your local church or community space, such as a café or hall, please email Jo Dallas, or call her on 0141 241 6139 to find out more.
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