It has been more than six years since Haiti was hit with one of the most devastating earthquakes in modern history, killing 160,000 people and displacing 1.5 million more.
Most people have forgotten the tragedy, and put the horrible TV images in the recesses of their minds.
One south Bronx teen, however, is all too aware of the dire situation that Haitians still face today - and she is doing something about it.
Ceianna Farquharson is a 15-year-old girl scout who plans to gather 7,500 pairs of gently used shoes to ship off to infants, children, and adults alike in Haiti.
“They are still trying to build a better life for themselves,” said Ceianna of the Haitian people.
She says that because shoes are a uniform requirement for school, not having a pair can easily prevent children in Haiti from getting an education.
“It also prevents diseases that are common to the foot, and cuts from the rocky terrain,” Ceianna added.
She came up with the idea when she realized she had a bunch of shoes that didn’t fit anymore, and figured other people did too. She knew they could be given another life.
The project, titled ‘The Footsteps into a New Beginning’ will fulfill Ceianna’s Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest level of award for girl scouts, that most accomplish in their final years as a scout.
She has been an active scout since fourth grade, taking after her supportive mother, Katrina.
So far, Ceianna has shipped 4,680 pairs of shoes to Haiti.
Donations have been pouring in from her community, fellow girl scouts, and local schools in which Ceianna has placed shoe donation boxes such as the Bronx Charter School, The Linden Tree Elementary School, and P.S. 92.
If individuals or groups want to donate, Ceianna will arrange a time and place to go pick up the specific donation.
Once she has gathered all the shoes, Farquharson stores the piles of pairs in a room inside the local Tenant Association Board headquarters.
From there, Funds2orgs, an organization that Ceianna is working with, comes and picks up the shoes, and ships them off to Haiti. The 10th grader helps to load the truck with the shoes.
“I will accomplish this goal,” says Ceianna with confidence.
If you would like to help Ceianna and the people of Haiti by donating used shoes email her at: Journ