Buffalo Friends of Haiti
Asakivle Buffalo Friends of Haiti was founded in late spring of 2008 in response to the world wide food crisis which hit Haiti especially hard. It was friendship that got the organization started. Friendship between two women in Buffalo and one man in Haiti. News from Haiti was bad and concern for our friend and his friends and neighbors in Haiti sparked the idea of becoming proactive: raising money, collecting summer clothes, school, and over-the-counter medical supplies, blankets, etc. were the next steps. Now Asakivle Buffalo Friends of Haiti is a budding organization.
Franck L. Desire is a native of Haiti and was raised and educated in Port-Au-Prince. He left Haiti at age nineteen and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. He then moved to Miami, FL. where he worked as a Community Involvements Specialist assisting Haitian children and their families to integrate into the American school system. In 1994 he co-founded a cultural exchange program between students in Miami, Oak Park and Chicago, and PAP. The program "Exchange of Hope" now includes a school in Buffalo: Campus North. Raised as a Catholic, he has embarked on a journey of personal discovery in the ways of life (Vodou). He is the leader of ASAKIVLE, a Haitian dance and drumming troupe that has members in Haiti and the United States. They perform Traditional Haitian Roots, or 'Racine Music' in various Venues, including Schools and Universities, educating people about Vodou. They have performed as part of the Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou exhibition in Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and Detroit. Franck has assisted in developing many programs for the Multicultural Department of the Oak Park Schools, and continues to consult with educators on Haitian Culture.
BuWayna Daniels of Buffalo, NY has been an educator in Buffalo, and Cincinnati,OH for more than thirty years. Her interests in learning about the history and culture of people from around the world led her to the work of Asakivle in 2002. Since then, she has traveled several times to Haiti, throughout the United States and Canada promoting cultural exchanges. Her mission is to support education initiatives when and wherever possible.
Sabine Van Wyck emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1983. Buffalo is her chosen home ever since. Here she raised three daughters, co-owned a vegetarian restaurant, ran a catering business, and then earned a degree in office administration. After several years as an international administrative assistant she became a certified reflexologist and now works out of her practice on the lower west side. Her interest in Haiti grew out of her friendship with Franck whose love for his country was to her nothing less than inspiring and contagious.
Ed is a native of Southern California who, after getting his degree in design from Arizona State University, migrated to Buffalo, New York. He divides his time between freelance design for web and print and helping Asakivle create a growing presence, both in upstate New York and Haiti. His creativity gives Asakivle such a great presence and image on the world-wide web and around the City of Buffalo. You can view his design portfolio at www.edott.net