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An Interview with Patricia Grell, B.Sc., M.Div.

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,457

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

An Interview with Patricia Grell. She discusses influence of religion on upbringing; similar experiences for other Christians; the different experiences for men and women in the Catholic Church; biggest negative of the Catholic Church in Canada; biggest positive of the Catholic Church in Canada; and current relationship with the school board.

Keywords: Catholic, Edmonton, Patricia Grell, Trustee.

An Interview with Patricia Grell, B.Sc., M.Div.: Trustee, Edmonton Catholic School Board (Ward 71)[1],[2],[3],[4]

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, what was the influence of religion on your own upbringing?

Patricia Grell: It was everything. I was born and raised in a Catholic family going to church every Sunday.  If you missed going to church it was considered a mortal sin. Both my parents were Catholic and many of my relatives were priests or in religious life.  Even my mother considered religious life and entered the novitiate.  When I was studying my MDiv at St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology, there were three of us from the same family there!

So, my whole life, a way of thinking, worldview was governed by Catholicism. I remember thinking that God had a plan for my life that I had to figure out. It was very much impressed upon me that I was to make the world a better place, to serve God and bring others into a relationship with Christ.

2. Jacobsen: Do you think this is a similar experience for those – as you are in Alberta growing up – in the Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox (all orthodoxies, e.g. Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, and so on) – in other churches at their own experienced reflections on the Christian church?

Grell: Maybe; I think there are more parallels between Catholicism and Mormonism. In both faiths, it’s important that you marry someone of the same faith, that you raise your children in that faith, and that you attend the schools and universities that the faiths sponsor.

I think it’s a little different with people of other Christian denominations.  I think they are a bit more open-minded about marrying outside their faith and raising their children outside of their specific faith.

I’m an older Catholic so maybe younger Catholics wouldn’t say this, but for my generation staying close to the faith was highly valued.

3. Jacobsen: Do you think that the experience for men in the Roman Catholic Church is different than for women? If so, how?

Grell: Absolutely. Men don’t see how women experience the church as misogynist. Men will ask “Why do women need to be ordained? Women can serve in so many ways in the church other than as priests.”  But this is insulting to women because by denying women ordination, the church keeps women out of every position of power in the church.

When I worked in Northern Ontario I saw women religious running parishes as administrators in remote communities because there were not enough priests.  In these communities, they performed many of the duties of a priest such as presiding at baptisms, marriages, and funerals.  Once a month a priest would celebrate mass and consecrate enough hosts to last until his next visit the following month.  The nun would then lead Liturgy of the Word with Communion which is basically mass but without the consecration.  So women were called upon to be leaders when the church was desperate.

But here in Edmonton, where there also is a shortage of priests, the archbishop decided to close parishes instead of permit lay women (or lay men) for that matter, to be parish administrators.

So, the archbishop closed our parish and split up a wonderful community of people who had been together for over 50 years. Many were heartbroken and many stopped attending church altogether.  As a woman with a MDiv., it was hard to watch this happen in the interest of keeping celibate men in positions of power.

Women are good enough to run parishes in remote Northern communities but not here in Edmonton.  [Laughing].

4. Jacobsen: You’re an educated person, so you’re giving an articulate answer. I appreciate it.

Grell: [Laughing] But I think it’s easy for men to belong to a church when they see themselves on the altar. They see themselves making decisions in positions like the bishop or the Cardinals, but it’s very hard for a woman. I did hope that one day that would change, but it’s not going to happen [Laughing]…anytime in the next 500 years.

5. Jacobsen: What do you consider the biggest negative of the church in this country, in Canada?

Grell: Wow!  Which one do I pick?

6. Jacobsen: [Laughing] it’s very funny.

Grell: The main thing is their stance on the LGBTQ community.  The Catechism of The Catholic Church is very insulting to gay people when it states that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, are acts of great depravity and cannot ever be approved.  Pope Francis has also been very unkind in his comments directed toward the transgender community in encyclical Laudato Si.  He says that transgender people need to accept the body God gave them and that we cannot choose our gender.  This is a simplistic answer to a very complex issue.

And how many times I have heard priests quote Genesis that “male and female God made them” referring to God creating only 2 genders.  Then what about hermaphrodites? There are biological gray areas in gender and so it’s very likely there are also psychological gray areas as well.

It’s hard for me to watch such supposedly educated people as Pope Francis and the church hierarchy with degrees in Theology, choose a very simplistic, uninformed, unscientific approach to something very complex as gender identity.

I think that’s the biggest thing that I can see creating discord between secular society and the Catholic faith – it’s the total lack of openness to research, scientific study, or even “Googling it”.  There are doctors who specialize in working with transgender people – has the hierarchy ever contacted them?

So the biggest issue I think today is the total disconnect between the church and science

7. Jacobsen: What do you consider the biggest positive in this country?

Grell: With Catholicism?

8. Jacobsen: Yes, ma’am.

Grell: Biggest positives… boy! I’m hard-pressed.  I guess the positives are reading about people like Father James Martin, SJ who recently published a book called Building a Bridge:  How the Catholic Church and the LGBTQ Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. He is a brave man who has experienced a lot of pushback from members of the church as well as the hierarchy.  But he is pressing on because he knows it’s important for the Church to stop persecuting this community with its lack of understanding.

Other positives are people like Dorothy Day who served the poor and put to shame the Catholic church leaders of her day who lived in opulence.

Fr. Henri Nouwen is another – he was a priest who wrote many books in which he shared his spiritual and internal struggles.  He was a very authentic person who tried hard to live his spirituality authentic to the Gospel.  After he died it was revealed that he was gay and struggled greatly with his sexual orientation.

So, I guess these people in the Church are the positives – the people who show me how to live the Gospel authentically [Laughing], not so much the hierarchy.

9. Jacobsen: How did you find yourself where you are now in terms of the relationship with the school board or system?

Grell: I would say it all started by taking a degree in theology from St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology.  I am eternally grateful to my professors because they taught me that I didn’t have to put my intellect on hold to have a faith in Jesus and follow Jesus. St. Michael’s College took a historical-critical approach to the Bible, not a literal approach, and an intellectual ‘faith seeking understanding’ approach.

So I came out of university with an intellectual understanding of my faith.  I brought a deep understanding of the historical Jesus and his message everywhere I went. I worked as a Pastoral Associate in a parish in Timmins, as a Program Coordinator in a retreat center and then as a Catholic school trustee.  Each place I worked, I got a glimpse into the Catholic Church behind the scenes and I became more and more scandalized.  [Laughing]. I was scandalized because deep down I had this understanding of the Gospel that was very rooted in the historical Jesus.  And then I would see nuns, priests and so-called devout Catholics not living at all according to the Gospel.

I heard, for example, the archbishop’s representative state to the Board that perhaps Catholic schools are not the place for transgender students.  I saw the school district with the support of the archbishop, deny a transgender girl access to the girls’ washroom, insisting she uses the gender-neutral washroom on the other side of the school.  I saw the resistance by the church to allow GSAs.  All these things led me to conclude that the church had lost its way.

I think working in the school district was the ‘watershed moment,’ where I realized that “Wow! This is a social club. This is not a faith.” These people act as though they belong to a bike club or dance club. They are not together because of their faith in Jesus and his message of love, acceptance, and mercy.  Catholicism, I concluded, had become a social club.

I thought this is not where I can be anymore. I can’t be here. They’re not living what they’re talking about. It’s all window dressing. That’s how it is; it’s all window dressing. We’d have signs in our schools, for example, that state ‘Christ is the reason for this school’ and then we’d go on our merry way and do things that totally contradicted this.

For example, we have an academic high school that requires students to get a 75% average in grade 9 in order to be accepted.  If a Catholic student who lives near this school misses the mark by even 1%, they are not admitted. This student then can’t attend high school with their friends and must travel outside their community because the district can’t make any exceptions for fear of lowering the standards of the school.  To add insult to injury, the academic school will offer any vacant spots to non-Catholic students who do achieve the required average.  The lack of compassion and mercy in the interest of competitiveness seems to fly in the face of “Christ is the reason for this school”.

Another example is the denial of attendance at grad ceremonies if students don’t complete the required amount of the religion curriculum by a particular date.  The School Act in Alberta does not require completion of religion credits in order to earn a high school diploma.  The district then uses attendance at grad ceremonies as the carrot to ensure students complete their religion credits.  It seems odd to me to use coercion as a way to encourage students to learn about Jesus.

I would think that if our Catholic schools were teaching by example, and living according to the Gospel then we wouldn’t have to coerce anybody to take religion; students would want to take religion. They would want to learn about this rebel named Jesus. Teenagers are rebellious anyway! [Laughing]. I think they would really think he’s pretty cool if they could learn about who he was and what he stood for.  You don’t have to coerce someone by saying you must take this or we’re not going to let you come to grad. What kind of example is that? What are we trying to do here?” One of the moms who had a son in high school last year and was concerned about this grad rule, said, “Geez, with the legacy of residential schools, you would think that they wouldn’t be interested in coercing people to take religion through Catholic schools.”

These are publicly funded schools.  I’d rather try to invite kids to be interested in the faith by our example of love and compassion rather than coercion.  We can invite students to learn about our faith by being merciful people.  Students will be attracted to that [Laughing]. So that’s the kind of stuff – that really…I just was disappointed, I was heartbroken… literally heartbroken to see people acting this way in the name of Christ [Sobbing] I’m sorry.

10. Jacobsen: It’s okay.

Grell: [Sobbing/weeping] I guess…I’m still grieving.

11. Jacobsen: It’s okay. Take the time you need.

Grell: It really upset me that we had schools for elite students.  Parents came to a Board meeting when I put forward a motion to request the district make exceptions for Catholic students, to show some mercy and these parents said: “We want our kids to get ready for this competitive world.” I thought, “That isn’t what I thought Christianity or Catholicism was about,” competition.

Anyway, it’s really broken my heart. I’m an honest person. I couldn’t run again to be a Catholic trustee, I might run one day to be a public-school trustee, but I couldn’t in good conscience put my name on that ballot and say, “Yeah, I’m a Catholic school trustee. I want to be a Catholic school trustee.”

No, I don’t want anything to do with this Catholic Church; if Catholic means being like this, sorry, not interested. That’s not what I learned about and learned what Jesus was about at all. So, I must distance myself. Anyway, sorry I got emotional. I guess I didn’t realize I was still this upset. But we’re not then I heard that priest say that our Catholic schools were not for transgender kids, I thought, “That’s it. That’s the last straw.” If that’s what they’re about, I am NOT interested in this church.

I have invested a lot of my life in the Catholic Church; I spent a lot of money on my education. Fifty thousand dollars to get a MDiv. We used to pray for laypeople to come forward in service to the Church. Then I noticed they stopped praying for that. They started praying again for more vocations to religious life and more priests. I remember I saw this shift happening around 1992.  Prior to this, there was a great push to have more lay people educated in theology so they could take leadership roles in the church.  But that approach seems to have fallen by the wayside.

I have spoken with other women, who have left the church and I agree with them when they say:  “I didn’t leave the church, the church left me”.

References

  1. Baklinski, P. (2015, October 2). Alberta Catholic school board prepares to pass extreme transgender policy, defying archbishop’s recommendations. Retrieved from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-catholic-school-board-prepares-to-pass-extreme-transgender-policy-d.
  2. Baklinski, P. (2016, January 19). Alberta’s Catholic schools face ‘watershed moment’ as trustees defy the bishops on gender policies: priest. Retrieved from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-catholic-ed.-admins-openly-defy-bishops-condemnation-of-ndps-gender.
  3. Barsotti, N. (2016, April 18). Why two Catholic school trustees want stronger LGBT policy. Retrieved from https://www.dailyxtra.com/why-two-catholic-school-trustees-want-stronger-lgbt-policy-70738.
  4. Bartko, K. (2017, September 20). ‘The system is corrupt’: Edmonton trustee calls for merger of public, Catholic school boards. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/3758770/the-system-is-corrupt-edmonton-trustee-calls-for-merger-of-public-catholic-school-boards/.
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Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Trusted, Edmonton Catholic School Board (Ward 71).

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2017 at www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3]Bachelor of Science, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto; Master of Divinity, St. Michael’s College Faculty of Theology, Toronto School of Theology., University of Toronto.

[4] Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2017 at www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Patricia Grell [Online].October 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, October 15). An Interview with Patricia GrellRetrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Patricia Grell. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, October. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Patricia Grell.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Patricia Grell.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (October 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Patricia GrellIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Patricia GrellIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Patricia Grell.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):October. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Patricia Grell [Internet]. (2017, October; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-patricia-grell.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,729

ISSN 2369-6885

Pardes Seleh

Abstract

An Interview with Pardes Seleh, B.S. She discusses: linguistics, geographic, and cultural family background; daily life for parents in Iran; core values of Orthodox Judaism; false claims about values of Orthodox Judaism; family background influence of personal development; definition of God; and stability and family structure.

Keywords: Campus Reform, Daily Wire, Independent Journal Review, Pardes Seleh, The Bruin Standard.

An Interview with Pardes Seleh, B.S.: Former Writer, Independent Journal Review; Former Staff Writer, Daily Wire; Former Editor-in-Chief, The Bruin Standard; Former California Campus Correspondent, Campus Reform (Part One)

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your familial background reside?

Pardes Seleh: My parents emigrated from the Islamic Republic of Iran to Los Angeles, California by way of Vienna, Austria in the 1980’s. My four siblings and I were raised speaking English and Farsi at home, and Hebrew and Spanish in school. We practice Orthodox Judaism.

2. Jacobsen: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, for your parents, what was daily life?

Seleh: From what they described, they both had very different lives, but they both lived in Tehran. They described it as very different from what it was like before the Revolution. It was more westernized. They went to cinemas. That was popular. Fashion was trending. Post-Revolution, there were different school systems and curricula being introduced for students.

Boys were being drafted into the army during The Gulf War. Their lives changed after it. It was then a question of when and how the children would be able to step out, when the parents would be able to send their children out of the country, e.g. avoid being drafted, be able to go to university outside of the country, and so on.   

3. Jacobsen: What was the age kids were drafted?

Seleh: I believe 18-years-old. My father said as early as 13-years-old. In his school, they were taught to shoot. They have training for the army. All of the boys did, at his age. I don’t remember what age he said he was. The kids were taught at a young age. My mom was really young when it started. Her school, they had regular daily songs, which kids would sing. It would be songs that were anti-Shah and anti-United States. It was down with the USA, the “Great Satan,” and down with the Shah.

They both lived in Vienna first. You couldn’t get a visa to the US from Iran. They went to Vienna and got a visa from Vienna and moved from Austria to Los Angeles after that.

4. Jacobsen: What was their description of life comparing time in Iran and living in Vienna and in Los Angeles?

Seleh: They said it was simpler in Iran. My dad, he never once thought of living back in Iran. My mother wanted to go back to visit family members. Unless the situation changes, they may never go back. They said it was nice to have things simpler, which was different than Austria and the United States. There wasn’t a lot of mobility in people’s social classes.

Work wasn’t the biggest priority. There was one breadwinner for the home. Everything else was taken care of. It was a traditional lifestyle at home. They love LA.

5. Jacobsen: If practiced in the right way, what core values does Orthodox Judaism inculcate in adherents?

Seleh: I currently don’t practice Orthodox Judaism. The way I was raised. If followed properly, it would be the letter of the Law and following Rabbinic Statutes. That was the main thing that was emphasized. It was following the letter of the law as dictated by the Old Testament, but as interpreted by Rabbinic scholars. Their word was the last word. If you had a disagreement with something written in the Old Testament, it always goes by what the rabbinic scholars of the time interpret it to be.

6. Jacobsen: Some make false claims about values espoused by Orthodox Judaism. What individuals and groups tend to make false claims about Orthodox Judaism? What are the false values some claim Orthodox Judaism teaches and espouses?

Seleh: I think Orthodox Judaism is similar to other sects of Judaism. Even the Ultra-Orthodox community is isolated from the rest of the Jewish community because it is so isolated, people assume they are Liberal like other Jews. It is definitely a very communal religion, so it is like other sects of Judaism in that respect. To me, it is similar to Catholicism, more so than mainstream Judaism or the way mainstream Jews are.

7. Jacobsen: What are some of the complex social and cultural consequences of the differences in theology?

Seleh: There are so many. One example would be Orthodox Judaism saying, “We don’t eat certain meats because they are not Kosher. They don’t have a Kosher certification. They weren’t manufactured in a Kosher enough way.” The reason will be the Law, because this is what the Law says. If you further ask them, they will tell you more technicalities of the Law and why this doesn’t benefit you.

Liberal Judaism is more interpretive, “I do humanitarian things. I don’t hurt animals or eat animals in this certain way because God doesn’t want us to harm animals. The difference would be differences between the Catholic Church and Protestantism.

8. Jacobsen: How did the family background influence development for you?

Seleh: My siblings and I grew up in a traditional home centered on God and family. We attended gender-specific private schools with rigorous Yeshiva-centered curricula that focused mainly on biblical and scholarly Hebrew texts. Because of our religious and cultural influences combined with an isolationist community philosophy, we were somewhat immune to external contemporary influences evident in most American public schools. We were trained to plan for marriage from a very early age.

My parents tried to encourage us to become well rounded with extra-curricular activities such as travelling, music lessons, and physical sports. Sometimes I question whether my religious upbringing caused me to be naïve, characteristically awkward, and culturally unprepared for the ‘real world.’ However, I acknowledge that more than everything, it imbued my siblings and me with a sense of family structure and stability.

References

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  26. Seleh, P. (2015, September 10). Is a Berkeley student not diverse enough to fight sexual assault?. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6790.
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  29. Seleh, P. (2014, November 19). Major UCLA Donor Pledges to Pull Funds If Administration Backs BDS. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/major-ucla-donor-pledges-pull-funds-if-administration-backs-bds.
  30. Seleh, P. (2015, October 17). Media Misrepresent ‘Gay Gene’ Study Without Contacting Lead Author. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/478/media-misrepresent-gay-gene-study-without-pardes-seleh.  
  31. Seleh, P. (2015, November 17). Mizzou Administration Refuses To Identify Swastika Pooper. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/1183/mizzou-administration-refuses-identify-swastika-pardes-seleh.
  32. Seleh, P. (2015, May 12). Mizzou dining services apologizes for employee’s ‘insensitive’ Cinco de Mayo costume. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6497.   
  33. Seleh, P. (2015, November 12). Mizzou Student VP ‘Tired’ of Free Speech. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/1079/mizzou-student-vp-tired-free-speech-pardes-seleh.
  34. Seleh, P. (2015, November 3). Momentum Grows on Tarantino Boycott. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/866/boycotting-tarantino-pardes-seleh.
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  36. Seleh, P. (2015, September 22). New York Jews Backlash Against Politicians Supporting Iran Deal. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/125/new-york-jews-backlash-against-politicians-pardes-seleh.
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  40. Seleh, P. (2015, March 10). Pro-Israel Groups At UCLA Address Anti-Semitism While Openly Supporting SJP at UCLA. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/pro-israel-groups-ucla-address-anti-semitism-while-openly-supporting-sjp-ucla.  
  41. Seleh, P.  (2016, February 29). Prof. under investigation for sexual assault to continue teaching at UCLA. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7339.
  42. Seleh, P. (2015, April 15). Professor Tormented At Connecticut College For Criticizing Hamas. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/professor-tormented-connecticut-college-criticizing-hamas.   
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  48. Seleh, P. (2015, April 18). Screening of American Sniper Hotly Contested at UCLA. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/screening-american-sniper-hotly-contested-ucla.  
  49. Seleh, P. (2014, November 20). Second UCLA Donor Pledges Funding Cut If Administration Doesn’t Condemn. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/second-ucla-donor-pledges-funding-cut-if-administration-doesnt-condemn-bds.
  50. Seleh, P. (2015, April 8). SFSU President Leslie Wong Bans School-Funded Travel To Indiana. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/sfsu-president-leslie-wong-bans-school-funded-travel-indiana.    
  51. Seleh, P. (2015, October 9). Students from 82 colleges urge Pope Francis to divest Vatican from fossil fuels. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6877.  
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  58. Seleh, P. (2015, November 23). UC Berkeley housing co-op establishes safe space guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7022.
  59. Seleh, P. (2015, October 28). UC Berkeley study links economic inequality to climate change. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6930.
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  66. Seleh, P. (2014, November 24). UCLA Donor Reverses Decision To Pull Funds After Administration Bucks BDSe to Chancellor’s rejection of divestment resolution. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ucla-donor-reverses-decision-pull-funds-after-administration-bucks-bdse-chancellors-rejection.  
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  68. Seleh, P. (2015, March 17). UCLA Newspaper Defends Pro-Terror Student Group. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ucla-newspaper-defends-pro-terror-student-group.  
  69. Seleh, P. (2014, December 11). UCLA Professor Under Fire For Exam Question Relating To Ferguson Shooting. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ucla-professor-under-fire-exam-question-relating-ferguson-shooting.  
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  71. Seleh, P. (2015, February 5). UCLA Republican Students Attacked for Being White. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ucla-republican-students-attacked-being-white.
  72. Seleh, P. (2015, November 11). UCLA Student Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Against Calling SJP ‘Anti-Semitic’. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ucla-student-council-unanimously-passes-resolution-against-calling-sjp-anti-semitic.
  73. Seleh, P. (2015, October 8). UCLA Students Cry Racism Over White Kids Dressing Up As Kim and Kanye. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/324/ucla-students-cry-racism-over-white-kids-dressing-pardes-seleh.    
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  75. Seleh, P. (2015, March 10). UCSA Votes To Divest From Gun Companies. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/ucsa-votes-divest-gun-companies.  
  76. Seleh, P. (2015, December 7). UCSB Administration ‘Triggered’ by White Student Union, to Offer Counseling Services. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/1633/ucsb-administration-triggered-white-student-union-pardes-seleh.    
  77. Seleh, P. (2015, December 2). UCSB White Student Union Releases ‘List of Demands’. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/1519/ucsb-white-student-union-releases-list-demands-pardes-seleh.
  78. Seleh, P. (2016, February 16). Univ. of California selectively recruits Latino and black students. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7291.
  79. Seleh, P. (2015, September 11). Univ. of Illinois allows 9/11 memorial. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6799.
  80. Seleh, P. (2015, April 23). University Of Maryland Cancels Screening Of American Sniper. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/university-maryland-cancels-screening-american-sniper.  
  81. Seleh, P. (2015, October 8). University of Toronto Dumps Transgender Bathrooms After Peeping Incidents. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/330/university-toronto-dumps-transgender-bathrooms-pardes-seleh.    
  82. Seleh, P. (2015, February 22). UPDATE: NY Taxi Driver Yells ‘All Jews Must Die’. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/update-ny-taxi-driver-yells-all-jews-must-die.
  83. Seleh, P. (2015, March 25). USAC President Avinoam Baral Blames Netanyahu for BDS. Retrieved from http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/usac-president-avinoam-baral-blames-netanyahu-bds.
  84. Seleh, P. (2015, October 8). Victims of Sharia Mandate Respond to Ben Carson’s Comments. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/327/victims-sharia-mandate-respond-ben-carsons-pardes-seleh.
  85. Seleh, P. (2015, May 23). Was a landmark study on gay marriage faked? Looks like it. Retrieved from http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6526.  
  86. Seleh, P. (2015, September 22). Was McConnell’s Revote on the Iran Deal a Hoax?. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/124/was-mcconnells-revote-iran-deal-hoax-pardes-seleh.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Former Writer, Independent Journal Review; Former Staff Writer, Daily Wire; Former Editor-in-Chief, The Bruin Standard; Former California Campus Correspondent, Campus Reform.  

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 8, 2017 at www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Santa Monica College (2012-2014); B.S. (2014-2016), Human Biology and Society, University of California, Los Angeles; Lifeguard Instructor, American Red Cross.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Pardes Seleh.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One) [Online].October 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, October 8). An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)Retrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, October. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (October 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):October. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Pardes Seleh (Part One)[Internet]. (2017, October; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-pardes-seleh-part-one.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,517

ISSN 2369-6885

1

Abstract

An interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. She discusses: Christian theology and its impact on children’s and women’s rights; violation of women’s and children’s rights; religious or secular motivation; humanistic and humanitarian motivations; changes over the 5 years of its operations; greatest impact on a single child seen by her; need of a birth certificate for education access; importance of training opportunities; importance of work opportunities for community and staff; possibilities for post-secondary education geared towards the knowledge economy in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution; clarity and education on the improper distribution of donations to corrupt organizations; the viability of the original dream of becoming a veterinarian; using new coordination skills; ways to donate resources; and meaning of awards.

Keywords: Humanitarianism, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Morgan Wienberg.

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

*Images in Appendix I: Photographs.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You mentioned a pastor would say, ‘Men own women before or upon marriage.’ To me, there are some undercurrents in Canada. However, nothing as explicit as that to personal observations. According to statistics, it is a majority Christian nation. There are more believers than non-believers in Christianity. How does Christian theology impact children’s and women’s rights?

Morgan Wienberg: It is a delicate subject. I have seen ways religion has been powerful in Haitian’s lives. It has helped them. I have seen religion used to manipulate people. For example, the woman running the orphanage, which I lived in for a time. She would enter the churches. She was seen as a saint by the communities. She would approach people’s churches. The majority of parents who were convinced to give their children to the orphanage.

They gave the children away in the church. Their child died and so on. It was deceptive. She would take donations from the orphanage – clothes, food, and so on. She would not give them to the kids in the orphanage. When she went on these “mission trips,” as she called them, to the mountainside and approached people’s churches to recruit kids, she would give out the donations to demonstrate wealth.

I know genuine pastors, but I know corrupt pastors who are looking for money. Many people use Christianity to abuse people’s trust because they believe a fellow Christian over someone that does not go to church. There are people like the woman running the church. She abuses the trust. For women, in terms of personal freedom of choice, there are churches with seminars about the reason being gay is wrong, even turning that into violence.

Pastors preaching that women need to be obedient. It varies from one church to another. There are ways that religion is being used to oppress people.

2. Jacobsen: It’s really, really hard hearing these things. Of course, it is not the same as being there. [Laughing]

Wienberg: Yea! [Laughing]

3. Jacobsen: There is a distinction between Constantinian Christianity and Non-Constantinian Christianity. Constantinian Christianity with Emperor Constantine making Christianity the religion of the persecutors. Before that, it was the religion of the persecuted with the image of The Cross. There was Liberation Theology in Latin America with the attempt to instantiate the religion of the persecuted.

The Jesuit intellectuals, priests, were assassinated. The former is used for power. Your statements represent the concept and actuality of women as second class. If you look at women, does this seem like the violation women’s rights to you? If you look at children, does this seem like the violation of children’s rights?

Absolutely, in the Convention of Child Rights, we are talking about the child’s best interest always being priority. Obviously, this woman’s actions are based on ulterior motives for personal benefit. It is not in the child’s best interest. It is completely manipulating women and stripping them of independent thought. The attempt to control them and the sense of the right to their own body.

4. Jacobsen: Does a religious or secular framework motivate you, or both, for an overarching metanarrative, code of conduct, and belief system for life?

I do not think I am motivated by religion. I am motivated by equality of human rights. That’s what has always driven me, and empathy. Many staff, local Haitian staff in particular, are motivated by religion. For me, human rights violations need to be addressed.

5. Jacobsen: To me, that sounds humanistic and humanitarian. The two themes at play here.

Yes.

6. Jacobsen: I want to look at the progression. You started five years ago. We covered the three main components of Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization. What changes occurred throughout these 5 years?

The development of a team of local employees who I can trust. They understand the vision. It was not an easy feat. It was in the last two years. It was not an easy feat. I have loyal staff. I needed o not take the whole suite of responsibilities one myself. I learned not to do the change for them and let them influence themselves. It was a realization for me. It has allowed me to make changes to the programs of the organization.

It increased the impact. It increased the number of impacted people. One major thing is the relationship with local authorities. In the beginning, it was not great. Now, we have a great relationship. It solidifies our relationship in and with the community. It allows the impact to be culturally appropriate and effective. Those are the main things.

7. Jacobsen: If you take into account a single child, what is the greatest impact seen by you?

Ysaac is the best example. I always talk about him. This was a child who was in the streets from age 9 to 12. At age 9, his mom died. The man who he thought was his father rejected him. He was on the streets during the earthquake, during hurricanes, and through a lot of violence and abuse. He has been attacked by dogs, hit by motorcycles, and not even gone to the hospital.

He is a little kid somewhere curling up on the side of the street. In addition to that, he had a tumor. It was a huge deformity. It was s 13-inch tumor on his cheek. He was completely separated from other kids. The community thought he was crazy. That is, he was not considered human like everyone else. With the tumor, he made more money by baking.

That made him a target for the other street kids. He would be attacked at knife point or with razors while sleeping to have his money stolen. He would have shoes stolen off his feet. He would have his eyes crazy glued closed while sleeping or being burned while asleep. In reaction to that, he became the most violent kid in the streets. He became the chief street kid for that one intersection.

He was probably the most violent kid I’ve ever met. When I met him, he would not communicate. When you think about it, he was isolated and no one would talk to him. He had been on the street for 3 years. I met him at age 12. No one ever talks to him; of course, he stopped communicating. When I first met him, I sat with the other street kids. He never talked to me.

He never got closer than an arm’s length away. When I spoke to him, he would not come and talk to me. He would never get closer than an arm’s length away. If I spoke to him, he would make animal noises. He would make a crazy laugh or shriek. He would be shrieking and make wide eyes in my face, run away, or run around. [Laughing] That is the only communication that I got from him.

Also, he was not only the most violent, not only was not communicating, but was the slowest kid to trust out of the all of the kids that I have worked with here. Other street kids started to live in the safe house or were reunited with their families, directly. Ysaac did not trust us enough to live in the safe house. He would come in the day for food.

He would survive by fishing. He would take a stick or a metal clothes hanger, bend it into a spear, go to a beach, and catch 20 little fish on the spear with his hands. He would go to the water and spear them. He has amazing hand-eye coordination. He would come, cook them up in the safe house, leave, and sleep on the street. Eventually, he was one of the last kids on the street.

I would sit with him everyday. I would talk to him. He would not respond to me. I thought, “Am I wasting my time with this kid that does not respond or pretends that he is not listening?” One day, I was late going to visit him. Usually, I went at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. I went at 11:00 at night. He was laying on this roundabout in the middle of the intersection.

When I came, he was pouting and said, “I thought you weren’t going to come.” He said that he cried. That was when I realized that it was impacting him, even having the interaction and stability. They have no stability. Nothing is consistent in their lives. To have me sitting beside him, that was the most consistency in his life for the last 3 years.

When I came late, that set back his trust in me. It was ten steps behind. I had to build that trust again before communicating with me. He started living in the safe house. Even living in the safe house, he would have psychotic episodes. He would act like an animal, run on the roof, and running around screaming with a knife. No one could talk to him.

After three or four months of living in a safe house and having consistency, with part of that as testing me because everyone leaves them, it was seeing his actions are bad, but I still believe in you. He sees it. It takes time for the street kids to realize this. Even living in the safe house, it is temporary. It is day-by-day. If they do something bad, they think will kick them out, immediately.

After three or four months, he realized that I won’t give up on him because he does something crazy. All of the sudden, the psychotic episodes stopped. With the street kids’ lack of communication, they will not tell someone to stop it, but will turn around and beat them up. It is teaching them to use words or tell an adult. It takes a year. If you look at Ysaac now, I do not remember the last time he got in fight, hit anyone, or even hit a dog.

He is protective, loves structure and principle. If someone else does something that they are not supposed to do, he will call them out on it. He had never been to school at the time – at 12 years old when he came into the safe house. He is such a perfectionist in school. Once they took away the exam paper before he was done, he was crying, so upset about it.

He is consistently in the top of his class for his level of discipline and academics. Ysaac started living in the safe house. I took him to Miami for surgery, twice. I became the legal guardian. We travelled to Miami for five months. He had major surgery. They cut open half of his head. It took six hours the first time. We did not know if the tumor was cancerous or not, which it was not.

That experience being an only child. He has the travelling to the US. Even being an only child living with me in an apartment helped us bond, I took him to see a psychologist while in Miami. The psychologist said he was 14 and did not have a birth certificate. It took a year to get the paper work ready.

8. Jacobsen: He couldn’t attend classes without the birth certificate.

No, he could not attend classes without it. We had one made, though. The psychologist said he had the emotional maturity of a 6-year-old. After the surgery, we went back to Haiti. Six months later, when he was 15, we went for follow-up surgery with two surgeons. We were in Miami for five months. We went to see the psychologist again. Now, he was at the emotional maturity of s 12-year-old.

The experience of bonding as an only child with the experience coming here. The trust of that permanency with me helped him mature in those 6 months, which was equivalent to 6 years of emotional maturity. The first time in Miami, if someone communicated with him, and if he was uncomfortable, he would make animal noises and act crazy.

Everyone had perceived him as crazy. It was a protection mechanism. Now, you would not tell that at all. He is at a 4th grade level in school. He is in an English immersion school and doing a mechanics apprenticeship. He is 16 now. He will be 17 soon. His level of personal growth is ridiculous. His level of confidence. His interaction with people and animals. He is protective and kind.

He is a different person. He has strength of character. Other individuals that went through the same difficulties might not become who he is today.

9. Jacobsen: What’s the importance of training opportunities?

It is important to increase staff capacities. You can always learn more. There are numerous subjects applicable to our work. You can go into personality types and communication are applicable to work for us. Also, the training in first aid and psychology. Many different things. Not only are we increasing their capacity and efficiency, we are showing their importance. We make them feel like valued members of the team.

We invest in them. They feel empowered. They have the skills and feel it. They can make an impact. They are motivated and engaged. With staff, anything learned can be passed on to the families and children. It is investing in them and the community.

10. Jacobsen: You mentioned the mechanics apprenticeship for Ysaac. What about work opportunities for the community and the staff?

Those are one of the most important and difficult things to find here. We have staff in post-secondary studies. Most of the time, it does not guarantee a job. We have mechanic apprenticeships, various vocational schools like plumbing, electrical, and computer classes, and English classes. English classes can open numerous job opportunities. Hotel job training, sewing and cook for women, there is another initiative.

We have training for working on cruise ships. The strength in the training is a secure contract to work on cruise ships, which is exciting. We have parents or older kids. If they have carpentry skills or can sew school uniforms, we have 300 kids sent to school. Each needs hand sewn uniforms. If we have parents or staff with the skills, we will give them that job.

Again, that is a temporary source of income. We have parents with garments. We have youth training with local agronomists. We provide them with materials to use the training at home to produce a garden. We have purchased some of the food from the families’ gardens. We have used tat for the safe house, which for families in the rural areas is a primary source of income for them.

It is selling produce or surviving off the land. There are families supported by us. We help them raise livestock or start a small business. We have a few students going through nursing school as well.

11. Jacobsen: You have farming, trades, services, and healthcare. If you look at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he was in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum earlier this year. He talked about women’s rights. He was talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are looking at a future of robotics and artificial intelligence on a large scale.

A main part is the knowledge economy, which means secondary and post-secondary education. What can be done for Haitians for post-secondary education in the sciences and engineering, which are crucial for this new and ongoing economy?

Universities exists in Haiti. Unfortunately, the majority are based on Port-au-Prince. People are prevented from attending post-secondary education through not only being able to afford the education, but the cost of living for them to attend university or college is too high. They are forced to enter work via trades or odd jobs to survive because they can not go to school.

At that age, they need to be working or can not afford to eat and have housing while going to school. Maybe, more programs in supporting them with those costs while going to school.

12. Jacobsen: The provisions of infrastructure for stability in society, and in the family unit, need to be in place to provide the basis from which success in educational pursuits can be accomplished for the young people at the standard post-secondary readiness age. It’s hard to work and learn at the same time. I want to turn back to donors.

What might clear the fog of deceit for American churches, and others, to develop the proper route for the monetary funds and other support meant for children and families in need of assistance – instead of the exploitative criminals?

Definitely, I feel being more aware. In general, funding should not be directed to orphanages. People should see community-based initiatives and attempt on focus on those. If people want to be helping orphanages or do not know the place to go for it, you can approach the local authorities, IBESR, is a good source. They know the registered or not registered orphanages.

They have the foster family program where kids who are misplaced are placed in foster homes rather than orphanages. That is another alternative. You can support the foster families rather than orphanages. Also, you can find programs that commit to family reunification and after care programs for youth. Those investments will have a greater impact. You are not feeding into the corruption of orphanages.

13. Jacobsen: Originally, you had a dream of becoming a veterinarian. You have not abandoned the dream. Will this become a viability in the future?

I always wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 6 years old. My first time in Haiti. I wanted to go to veterinary support, but I could not do it. After the first trip to Haiti, I changed the dream. I wanted to become a pediatric surgeon. I applied to nursing school with intentions of specializing in pediatric surgery. I got accepted, full scholarship to McGill.

I deferred for 3 years in a row before I realized that I am not going to be going. [Laughing] Definitely, I do not regret it. I feel life is stressful for me. I want to do a lot of things. However, I feel fulfilled with life. I feel like I am meant to be doing this. If I returned to university, I would not enter medical school. I loved biology. However, my passion is more in psychology, social work, and international relations.

At the same time, if I talk about medical conditions and wanting to help children, there are specialists for every child issue. Those specialists exist. Someone to link the child on a mountainside in Haiti to that specialist is missing. I can impact more people by linking the children or people in need and making the connection with the people who can help them.

14. Jacobsen: That would take advantage of the coordination skills developed now, too.

Exactly. [Laughing]

15. Jacobsen: For those with the desire or intent to donate, please see go here: https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/donate/safehouse/. You can sponsor a child through here: https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/sponsor-a-child/. What other ways can people contribute time, connections, money, associations, organizations, and so on?

Donations help, the monthly donations, for me, are more appreciated by me. It takes a lot of stress ‘off my shoulders’ to have more stability of knowing that when I am increasing monthly expenses that we have a monthly income as well. Definitely, there is a lot of responsibility in terms of marketing and fundraising activities, communications with sponsors, and helping manage the website. My mother takes on a lot of them.

Assistance with the website and fundraising would help a lot. We had Ysaac’s surgery done through connections based on doctor’s donating time. It was incredible. We would never have been able to afford it. We are open if people approach us with ideas, especially in how they can help us. We are open to hearing it.

16. Jacobsen: You earned the Meritorious Service Cross Medal, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Governor General of Canada Academic Awards, Yukon Commissioner Award. What do these awards mean to you?

It is a huge honor. It demonstrates Canada’s support and encouragement for this work. It is easier for me to feel isolated and disconnected from Canada. Sometimes, I am met with criticism from Canadians. They say, “There are homeless people in Canada. Why are you doing that?” It is a different situation. You cannot compare the levels of poverty.

It is a statement, which crushes those criticisms from individuals. It is a statement that Canada is encouraging me, is behind me. Even if I am spending the majority of personal time out of Canada, I am a proud Canada. It speaks strongly of Canada’s connection with Haiti. It felt good to be recognized by Canada. It made me feel more connected as a Canadian. In that, what I am doing is not ‘out of sight, out of mind’ from my home country.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C.: Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization (Part Five)[1],[2],[3],[4]

 

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Appendix I: Photographs

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Appendix II: Footnotes

[1] Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 1, 2017 at www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.), Government of Canada; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Governor General of Canada Academic Awards; Yukon Commissioner Award; Finalist, Young Women Impacting Social Justice, The Berger-Marks Foundation; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Impact, Rotary International; Keynote Speaker (2013), United Nations Youth Assembly.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Morgan Wienberg.

Appendix III: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five) [Online].October 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, October 1). An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five)Retrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, October. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (October 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):October. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Five)[Internet]. (2017, October; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-five.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: September 22, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,006

ISSN 2369-6885

1

Abstract

An interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. She discusses: modern examples 5 years into the development of Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization’s three components; number of corrupt orphanages; number of orphanages completely shut down with assistance of Morgan; the general process of shutting down corrupt orphanages; nuanced on-the-ground aspects of the problems in family reintegration and aftercare programs; best ways to empower women and girls to flourish; and the involvement of fathers and birth control.

Keywords: Humanitarianism, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Morgan Wienberg.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C.: Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization (Part Four)[1],[2],[3],[4]

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

*Images in Appendix I: Photographs.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization works from three components: child well-being and development, family and community involvement, and advocacy of child rights.[5] What are some modern examples of this – 5 years into its development?

Morgan Wienberg: Some children have been reunited for several years. We are focusing on education and medical care for the kids. That’s one clear example with child well-being and development. When speaking about family and community development, the community trainings as part of the working group for child protection. Community education regarding child abuse and sexual assault.

Also, education regarding abandonment once people give their children to orphanages. Some children have been reunited longer. We will invest in helping a parent start a small business or raise livestock. That does overlap into child wellbeing and development because the objective is to help that parent be able to care for the child.

In addition to it, that family can invest in their local economy, which can affect the whole community. When we talk abut advocacy, some examples include parents who try to reclaim their child from a corrupt orphanage. They find out that the child has been sold. We met one parent whose child died in the orphanage. We accompany those parents to take legal action and get an arrest warrant for the orphanage owner.

I have been involved in shutting several orphanages down. We have some of the kids involved in advocacy. When we have meetings with certain partners to educate international community about corrupt orphanages and the importance of family reunification, we have some of the youth that went through the phase of living in an abusive orphanage.

Now, they are with their families or in a state house. We have those children speak at the meetings or speak with partners, or on radios. We try to get them involved in that as well. In addition, other advocacy cases include kids who are sexually assaulted. We accompany them to the hospital for medical care. We try to arrange mental health care as well.

We have the child see a psychologist. We have them removed from the dangerous situation. We accompany them to the police system and to court if necessary.

2. Jacobsen: In a prior interview, you mentioned 600 orphanages were corrupt in Haiti. However, it is hard to track them. You posited more.

Wienberg: There are more.

(Laughs)

There are thousands of orphanages in Haiti. Social Services has tried to monitor them. However, when you talk about the entire Southern department, which is equivalent to a province or a state, there are only 7 social workers for the entire region who are with social services. Those 7 social workers don’t have contracts. They haven’t had contracts for the last 3 months.

They haven’t been paid. They go to work because of commitment to the kids. There are only 2 paid social workers at present for the entire region. They have one vehicle. How can they monitor those orphanages? They did try to do some statistics about it. Definitely, I believe there are more than 600.

3. Jacobsen: How many have you been involved in shutting down?

Wienberg: I have been involved in shutting down three orphanages, completely.

4. Jacobsen: What is the process to shutting them down? If people are reading this 1, 5, or 10 years from now, what is the general process to shut them down directly or indirectly through support/advocacy to shut them down?

Wienberg: It is important to be in contact with IBESR. If you see orphanages that do not treat children well or up to standards, you should report it. If it is not too severe, they will not shut it down, but will pressure the orphanage to improve its standards. It is important to notify them about it. That is the first step. Also, you can go to the police, UNICEF, or Save the Children.

In terms of prevention, if you want to support abused children, you should know orphanages are more likely to cause more problems. You can consider supporting families or community development projects, foster homes, or support IBESR if you’re going to support an orphanage. IBESR can list the official ones. If it is an orphanage that you are part of now, you can contact IBESR to see if it is registered.

First of all, international sponsors for these orphanages are not aware of the exploitation happening. Also, they might not be aware of the alternatives. Haiti is on another level. Even if an orphanage is well run, the children are healthy. It has sufficient funding. A child raised in an institution is not going to develop the same as a child in a family setting. S.O.S. Village is a good example.

This is a good orphanage that we’ve placed children when they can’t be with their families because it is set up as a family setting. It is broken into different households with a mother and a limited number of kids. I appreciate that some kids need orphanages, but the setup should be in a family dynamic. There is research to prove this. Kids raised in institutions are more likely to be involved in prostitution, crime, and so on.

They feel like they are lacking something. If you look at Haiti as a whole and want to help Haiti advance, I do not see how taking children away from their communities and leaving them in that one spot, and leave them there until they are 18, will help the country advance.

You have teenagers completely disconnected from the community. They do not know how to survive in their own country. They do not have the connections to community for reintegration into the community. I have seen those kids at 18. They grow up well in an orphanage, but are put out on the street at 18. Literally, there have been kids that die because of malnutrition. They do not know how to survive.

Once they turn 18, they can not keep them in the orphanage. They put him on the street. They did not reunite him with the family at that point. If the child has been at the orphanage for several years, who knows if the family will accept them? If they do live with the family, they do not have the connection. They are not used to surviving. A lot of the time, they do not have the skills to look after themselves and the community.

Haiti is lacking in aftercare programs for transitioning youth into more self-sufficient adults. Many people are eager to support little kids. Sometimes, it is difficult to acquire funding for teenagers or young adults. It is important because those are some of the most at-risk people in Haiti. Those young adults. They have the potential to turn the country around and contribute to the economy, and to create industry.

They can look after themselves and other people. Few people are investing in that age group. Those are the people turning to crime or remaining dependent on adults or orphanages, and so on. So, definitely, the investment in families and communities is the way to go; if you have to support and institution, you should have it based in family units with aftercare programs to help youths transition out.

5. Jacobsen: Statistically, those that will become involved in crime, drugs, inability to support themselves, and have a negative impact on society are young men more than young women. The reintegration of young men into families is important for the reduction of those negative impacts. I love your comprehensive perspective. Aside from family reintegration and after care programs, what are the nuanced on-the-ground aspects of the problem?

Wienberg: With the aid coming to Haiti, I notice this does not focus on empowerment and sustainability of the locals. Those giving the aid need to ask the locals what they are not good at and then work on improving that for them. That can help them become more sustainable.  Also, it creates a culture of dependents. The Haitian people are receiving handouts or people are coming to them and asking, “What do you need?”

Rather than, “What qualities do you have that we can help you build?” That mentality, even once healthier, they will not realize that they can impact or improve those in their community. They see themselves as receivers rather than contributors. It is about coming with an open mind and being culturally sensitive asking, “How can we help you become more sustainable?” Then, you can invest in that.

When you look at the US aid approach of sending subsidized rice into Haiti, local farmers can not sell rice. The street rice in more expensive than bleached white American rice. Even a portion of the money invested in shipping the rice over here, if those funds were invested in helping local farmer grow crops and training them in effective methods of doing it, it would have an exponentially greater impact here than the standard method.

6. Jacobsen: You are touching on something deep there. I note young men being more likely to head into crime, and so on, if disenfranchised, alienated, and so on. The sociological term is anomie. If you take the suggestion of having some of the money used to ship the subsidized white American rice and give this to women – daughters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, that can be taken as a form of empowerment of women at one level.

Furthermore, empowerment of women is the strongest force for raising the ‘floor’ of the entire society – any society. This has been shown by the UN repeatedly on international metrics. You mentioned a women’s rights governmental organization that you are working with as well. What are the best ways to empower girls and young women to flourish?

Wienberg: Women’s independence is a huge aspect of it because a lot of women and girls depend on men for finance. Sometimes, even if they are able to go to school or have other opportunities, because their opportunities are being paid for by men, they become pregnant or influenced by those men and not making their own decisions. Mothers need to be able to look after their children would address the issue.

Women being economically independent would help them take their futures into their own hands. I work with kids in the streets. Primarily, they are boys. I think that’s because the girls, even suffering domestic abuse, will stay at home because they depend on it. Even with women, with wives, their husband can be abusing their children. They will stay at home because the men rent the house for them.

Even if we look at what is going into the streets, they are being introduced to crime. There is a gang environment, where older people and young men will pressure children into doing certain crimes. I have 13-year-old boys tell me about how a man has put a gun in their hands and pressured them to rob a store. If they are accused, they will be beat up or have to leave the area.

If mothers are able to look after their kids, those kids will be able to look after them. Primarily, kids will enter the streets because there is nothing going on at home. There is no food. They are not in school. They might as well go out and find a way to feed themselves. If parents are able to provide for their kids, that is ultimately the biggest way to address these issues.

In particular, we need to invest in women. Many men do not take responsibility for their families or their children. We had a father of a girl, who we reunited, sell the family’s home. He had five kids – four boys and one daughter. This was a girl in the corrupt orphanage.  The mother is an incredibly strong woman. She stays with the man.

This man sold the home. Now, they live in a mix of tarp and metal sheets put together. They do not know what he did with the money. He has other girlfriends. Many men do not take responsibility for their families. We had the mother start a small business. We saw a difference in the children’s health at that point. So, the empowerment of women is a powerful thing to do now.

There are fathers who care about their kids and family. However, primarily, we see mothers being more sensitive for their children.

7. Jacobsen: The main message was economic empowerment of women and the involvement of fathers. Another aspect of United Nations empowerment of women has to do with reproductive rights. We have Margaret Sanger in North America for the pill. It provides more women the control over when and how many children.

Wienberg: [Laughing] I have a few stories. I can share them. It is an issue, which is a challenge. We are attempting to approach it. Another major issue in Haiti is people have too many children. Birth control is free. If a woman goes to take birth control and can not afford it, they will give it to her. They have injections available, pills, something placed under the skin renewed every 5 fives, and hysterectomies.

Women can do this without anyone knowing about it. It is discreet and free of charge. The majority of people are not doing it. It is a huge challenge for us because you can help the family without the ability to support their children. Families with five kids. Four of them in school. We are the one sponsoring the education. All of the sudden, the family has another child.

[Laughing]

It is frustrating because they can not support their current children. It is something we have been working towards for the current families through LFBS. I am working on training staff to work on family planning and its importance. Hopefully, we will be able to do the new training in the new year with the families that LFBS works with in Haiti.

There is another woman. She approached the working group for child protection. She has 14 children. This woman is in her 40s. She does not have a husband or man living with her. She is a single mother with 14 kids, in a 1-bedroom home, and no job – no source of funding. She depends on handouts from people in the community.

The kids are malnourished and hospitalized, and the woman has no quality of life. She was not on birth control at the time of approaching us. She started birth control. However, that is not a unique case. My friend, who works in the public health department, explained a conversation with a young woman. A young woman had five children, she was 25-years-old. She had a kid each year of the marriage. He was asking her about birth control.

She did not want it. We asked, “Why not use a natural method? Why not have the husband pull out?” According to her, the young woman, half of the time, she was sound asleep and wakes up. Her husband is having sex with her. The young woman, 25, is becoming pregnant while asleep. Part of the issue is women do not feel in control of their own bodies.

I thought about the woman working with me. I work with them. How can people feel out of control of their bodies to such a degree? It terrifies me. We have been working on this with the community training on sexual assault. Often, there is a belief that when a couple marries the man owns the woman’s body. They truly believe this.

We have been doing community trainings, where a pastor will stand and say, “No, according to the Bible, when I marry my wife, I can do what I want with her body.” They do this in front of the whole community training. It is a mentality women accept too. They do not understand that it is rape if you say, “No,” to your husband. There are radio emissions about it. However, when woman marry, they do not feel control over their bodies.

If a woman is not able to have a child, it makes her have less worth to a man. Or, he will not want to marry her. There is a mentality of men. Men want to leave their legacy.

[Laughing]

They want to have a lot of kids.  If they have a lot of kids, those kids will look after you in old age. They forget about raising the kids first. It is a major part of the issue.

References

[David Truman]. (2016, March 9). Morgan. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWbgIF1NO5E.

[DevelopingPictures]. (2012, March 25). Sponsor a Child: Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjzncB3HsmA.

[James Pierre]. (2016, April 5). Morgan Wienberg goes one-on-one with James Pierre. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VMeKKTxkM.

[Morgan Wienberg]. (2014, June 3). Congratulations, FH Grad 2014!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQ7PB95aYA.

[Ryan Sheetz]. (2015, February 20). Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fdPx1srGI.

Bailey, G. (2013, December 31). Catch Yukoner Morgan Wienberg tomorrow on CBC’s Gracious Gifts. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/airplay/features/2013/12/31/catch-yukoner-morgan-wienberg-tomorrow-on-cbcs-gracious-gifts/.

Baker, R. (2016, March 4). PHOTOS Governor General recognizes exceptional Canadians in Vancouver. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/governor-general-recognizes-exceptional-canadians-in-vancouver-1.3476960.

Broadley, L. (2014, August 1). Meet the Yukoner reuniting Haitian ‘orphans’ with their families. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1482839/one-yukoners-work-reuniting-haitian-orphans-with-their-families/.

Bruemmer, R. (2011, April 8). Haiti: Little Paul gets it done. Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/haiti+little+paul+gets+done/5214066/story.html.

CBC News. (2015, November 29). Morgan Wienberg awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/morgan-wienberg-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.3340295.

ca. (n.d.). 23-year-old receives Meritorious Service Cross Medal. Retrieved from http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=804018&playlistId=1.2769055&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1.

ca Staff. (2016, February 8). 23-year-old awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/23-year-old-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.2769013.

Dolphin, M. (2015, December 4). Yukoner’s work in Haiti draws governor general’s attention. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/life/yukoners-work-in-haiti-draws-governor-generals-attention/.

Gillmore, M. (2012, July 18). Helping to reunite families in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-to-reunite-families-in-haiti.

Gillmore, W. (2013, August 16). Wienberg gives New York a glimpse of Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/wienberg-gives-new-york-a-glimpse-of-haiti/.

Gjerstad, S. (2014, April 8). Morgan (22) vier livet sitt til å gjenforene barn med foreldrene sine på Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.tv2.no/a/5852686/.

Joannou, A. (2016, March 7). Governor general gives nod to Yukon’s champion of Haitian children. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/governor-general-gives-nod-to-yukons-champion-of-haitian-children/.

Langham, M. (2012, October 10). Just Like Us: An Interview with Morgan Wienberg of Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from http://aconspiracyofhope.blogspot.ca/2012/10/just-like-us-interview-with-morgan.html.

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(2014, July 8). Joven canadiense decide gastar sus ahorros en rescatar niños de Haití. Retrieved from http://www.elpais.com.uy/vida-actual/joven-canadiense-reune-huerfanos-haitianos.html.

Rodgers, E. (2015, January 12). Meet the 22-Year-Old Who Skipped Out on College—to Offer a Helping Hand in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/12/meet-morgan-wienberg-little-foot-big-step.

Schott, B.Y. (2012, September 13). Making a Difference One Child at a Time. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/making-a-difference-one-child-at-a-time/#sthash.CeS656Xm.2r1eJsAW.dpbs.

Shiel, A. (2011, November 17). McGill students host third annual TEDxMcGill even. Retrieved from http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2011/11/mcgill-students-host-third-annual-tedxmcgill-event/.

Thompson, J. (2011, December 23). Helping Haiti for the holidays. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-haiti-for-the-holidays.

Thompson, J. (August 12). Hope and hard lessons in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/hope-and-hard-lessons-in-haiti.

Thomson Reuters. (2014, July 27). 22-year-old Yukoner reunites Haitian ‘orphans’ with parents. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/22-year-old-yukoner-reunites-haitian-orphans-with-parents-1.2719559.

Waddell, S. (2015, November 27). For decorated Yukoner, home is now Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/for-decorated-yukoner-home-is-now-haiti.

Whitehorse Star. (2016, March 2). Yukoners to receive honours from Governor General. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/yukoners-to-receive-honours-from-governor-general.

Wienberg, M. (2013, November 22). Age Is Not an Obstacle in Changing the World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-wienberg/age-is-not-an-obstacle_b_4324563.html.

Wienberg, M. (2014, January 23). Courage of a Mother. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/courage-of-a-mother/#sthash.hy1QzF0S.ZA1StSZz.dpbs.

Woodcock, R. (2013, September 26). Back to School in Haiti. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/back-to-school-in-haiti/#sthash.TMqQNkLX.dpbs.

Yukon News. (2013, February 6). Incredible acts of kindness in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/incredible-acts-of-kindness-in-haiti.

Appendix I: Photographs

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Appendix II: Footnotes

[1] Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 22, 2017 at www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.), Government of Canada; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Governor General of Canada Academic Awards; Yukon Commissioner Award; Finalist, Young Women Impacting Social Justice, The Berger-Marks Foundation; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Impact, Rotary International; Keynote Speaker (2013), United Nations Youth Assembly.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Morgan Wienberg.

[5] About Us (2016) states:

1. Child Well-being and Development

Our child well-being and development program focuses on literacy, numeracy and vocational learning. LFBS runs a Transitional Safehouse for those children who temporarily cannot live at home, or do not have a home.  We offer protection and healing of children victimized by abuse, neglect, exploitation and homelessness.

2. Family and Community Development

Our outreach program helps families receive the training and resources they need to begin a sustainable source of income through micro-business start-up, farming or a trade.   Earning money means that families can stay together or reunite.  Education and opportunity for self-sufficiency and sound housing helps break the cycle of poverty, poor health, abandonment in Haiti by helping build strong families and communities and keeping families together.

3. Advocacy of Child Rights

LFBS works in collaboration with local authorities and media to take a stand for the rights of children and parents. We raise awareness against child abandonment in vulnerable communities and help victims of abuse to find their voice to speak out.

WE restore vulnerable Haitian children and youth to health, family and community. OUR programs emphasize direct relationship with Haitian people. WE act to empower rather than replace families and local social structures. OUR focus is on sustained change in the lives of the people we work with. ENHANCING the capacity of locals to create change means that we embrace partnerships and cooperative relationships with local authorities and other agencies.

Little Footprints, Big Steps. (2016). About Us. Retrieved from https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/about-us/.

Appendix III: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four) [Online].September 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, September 22). An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four)Retrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, September. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (September 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):September. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Four)[Internet]. (2017, September; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/an-interview-with-morgan-wienberg-m-s-c-part-four.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: September 15, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,688

ISSN 2369-6885

1

Abstract

An interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. She discusses: ethic that drives the work; benefits in interpersonal interactions with Haitians through speaking English and Creole; partnerships with organizations; tasks and responsibilities as the Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations for Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization; best personal aspects of the position; most emotionally ‘taxing’ part of the work for her; relevant preparation from high school for the humanitarian pursuit; easiest and hardest aspects of coordination of a diverse, multi-disciplinary team; strengths in a diverse team; main differences between Haiti and Canada and being culturally sensitive; and benefits and downsides of each culture.

Keywords: Humanitarianism, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Morgan Wienberg.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C.: Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization (Part Three)[1],[2],[3],[4],

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

*Images in Appendix I: Photographs.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the ethic that drives this for you?

Morgan Wienberg: [Laughing] I see all people as having the same rights. The fact that these children can be so stripped of their rights. I do not feel I can accept it. I need to do something about it. I am reminded of the conditions of the kids in the beginning. It is upsetting that children who are supposed to be protected by society can be badly hurt and abused by the adults.

Adults who are supposed to be protecting them. That many people can see it and accept it. Part of the issue is people go to Haiti and, because it is Haiti, will accept that this child is emaciated or too weak to stand up. Or that the adult is whipping the child with a metal cord. Child rights are universal. There’s the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

If a country is not developed or has some cultural undertones, that does not change the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We should not accept the ill-treatment of the young. They need more support to be implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Some people when they go to Haiti accept and forget it because “it’s Haiti.”

2. Jacobsen: You speak English and Creole. How does this benefit interpersonal interactions with Haitians?

My speaking English and Creole influenced my abilities to better understand Haitian culture and the things happening at the moment, especially with street children in particular. I learned about street children by sitting with them in the afternoon and talking with them. I had a communication barrier, which made building relationships and trust difficult.

I dealt with a fair share of deception and corruption. My speaking the language helps me learn my lesson or be aware of risks, especially of repeats of deception and corruption. In terms of managing staff and being fully communicating expectations with them, and to understand their perspective, it plays a huge role. I cannot express it.

Even in the integration into the community, I needed to understand the culture and family dynamics. I would not know without knowing Creole. When I went to Haiti in 2010, I knew French and got by with it. When I went to the orphanage in 2011, the children didn’t speak French. I began to speak Creole by communicating with them.

My understanding of the real situation came from speaking the language and with the children. They spoke of the families back home. The kids could be coming to orphanages for years and the parents would not know the truth. I found out about the situation for the kids and their families, and the details of the abuse, is from the children talking to me.

3. Jacobsen: Did learning Creole/Kreyol improve trust and camaraderie with Haitians?

It makes me stand out. Haitians are surprised when I speak to them. I have been able to present in a court house, in the legal system, to participate in meetings with other local authorities, and so on. I am able to fully express myself. It helps them understand my objectives and way of thinking. In the beginning, when they don’t fully understand my objectives, I met hostility from the authorities.

They were better able to understand what I am doing. We are partners now. When people in the community see me speaking Creole, they like it.

4. Jacobsen: You mentioned partnerships. What organizations?

We partner with the local child protection authorities. In particular, IBESR (Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches), which is the equivalent of Haitian social services. So, they are the child protection authority. Other government departments include the Ministry for Women’s Rights, Ministry for Handicapped People’s Rights, and Social Affairs.

All of those institutions are part of a network, which is the Groupe du Travail pour la Protection des Enfants (GTPE-Sud) in Haiti. It is a regional network that covers the entire Southern department of Haiti, but it’s based on Les Cayes. This group was originally formed in 2010 following the earthquake as the cluster group for child protection. Now, it has a different name. LFBS is part of the group. Same with the governmental departments.[5]

We have meetings with IBESR once a month, even every two weeks. We work with IBESR about once-a-week. Also, with the Child Protection Brigade of the Police, we help each other out. In particular, where a child has been sexually assaulted, we will be working with the police and the Ministry for Women’s Rights. Other organizations focus on children in conflict with the law.

We work with them, for years now. We help them work with specific case studies. They offered us psychologists to see some children, which we have in the program. They have a social worker doing weekly training with my staff. They let us use their space for different activities. Similar to Haitian social services. Before we had a truck, they let us use their vehicle.

Now, we let them use our vehicle. They help us with children. They place children in the state houses. For example, last week, IBESR had a lost girl. We took her into our girls’ home until they could reunite her with her family. We have good, close working partnerships with the organizations. We have collaborative initiatives too. One main initiative is community training for prevention of sexual assault.

We will go into rural communities and train people about sexual abuse, how they can protect children, and how to react if you’re a victim or someone that you know is a victim. We create committees in those communities. So, community members can keep with the initiative and in contact with us. We are doing this as a group.

5. Jacobsen: You remain the Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations for Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization. What tasks and responsibilities come with this station?

When I started the organization, it was one outreach worker and me. Literally, I would walk with the child to their family, sitting down, having meetings with the family, doing mediation, and helping the child purchase school supplies and go to the hospital. Now, we work to make the support more sustainable, able to expand, and less dependent on me.

Now, I coordinate staff schedules. My staff does those things. They work on their tasks. I do the follow-up afterward. Also, I coordinate with partners. If there is a particularly vulnerable family, I will ask a social worker from social services to accompany my staff to work with that child. Now, I focus on coordinating staff activities in following up with the kid and working on longer-term development or expansion of the programs.

However, I see first-hand things with the kids. My personal connection with the children motivates me. If I was the only one rather than my staff doing the work, I would be limiting the number of people potentially impacted.

6. Jacobsen: What seem the best aspects of this position on a personal level?

I am able to see the growth and empowerment of people. When working intimately with them, you see them every day. I see growth and empowerment with the kids. I look at staff at times. It motivates me. I see them grow. I see them passionate about child protection issues, too. Also, it is exciting to get involved in the big picture in everything we can accomplish.

We gain momentum in working with others. The biggest thing that I love most about this position is dreaming big and making those dreams a reality.

7. Jacobsen: Big dreams are big risks. What seems like the most emotionally ‘taxing’ part for you?

It is extremely, extremely stressful. I struggle with choosing. You have to choose. It is a huge privilege to be able to choose to help someone. However, there are many, many people asking and needing help. You have to choose the person. It is a constant battle within me. You can not anticipate who will advance the most with the support given to them by you. It is difficult.

Sometimes, there are kids who abuse the support in the beginning. Believing in the child, when they do not believe in themselves, it is part of what will result in change. At the same time, in choosing to help the child, you are telling others “no.” Constantly, I wonder if these are the right decisions among competing ones. Also, who am I to choose over people’s lives?

The task is immense. I have to make the decision. It is hard. Also, the trauma for the kids. It might be over. However, it’s hard, emotionally. It is a slow process for the kids to heal from trauma.

8. Jacobsen: You mentioned some board member work before. What other preparation from high school was relevant from this humanitarian pursuit?

Everything from childhood prepared me. Also, it is not something that you could have looked at and prepared yourself for, or have expectations. I had the extreme motivation and inner strength (the biggest thing) to be able to do this. In knowing the activities of the board, my work seeing the meetings help me. I can know what to present.

9. Through the coordination of Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, you work with numerous personalities.[6] What seems like the easiest and hardest aspects of coordination of a diverse, multi-disciplinary team?

My staff on the ground and the board of directors are different groups. They deal with different aspects of the organization. I am the on tying them together. I feed information to both of them. It’s interesting to me. It is unique to be able to connect the two different worlds. It is powerful, especially for the staff on-the-ground to be heard and considered on a team with people like Pamela Hine.

It can be difficult to communicate the reality on-the-ground to the Board of Directors at times. It is hard to give a full picture.

[Laughing]

At the same time, they are understanding and encouraging. With the local staff, there are some cultural challenges at times. I have been attempting to focus on their wellbeing. I went to a conference in India earlier this year.

One theme was about caring for the caretakers. When you think about it, they have been through trauma, work through stressful days, and the kids are not always respectful. I want to focus on the wellbeing and training of the local staff. I have seen them be more independent, motivated, and engaged because they feel value and potential for themselves.

I have worked closely with the local staff compared to the board of directors. I communicate with them more because I am in primarily Haiti. However, the staff needs the constant presence and communication more than the board of directors.

10. Jacobsen: You noted the difficulties run one way. Not from local workers in Haiti to the board members, but from the board members understanding the situation on the ground for the LFBS staff. That’s an interesting note. If you have a diverse team split in team streams, what strengths does this diverse team bring to the organization?

Definitely, there is a strength. My local staff completely understand the culture and the reality of what we are dealing with in Haiti. I have the international board. They have a level of education and contacts, and perception. That can be applied to Haiti. When you combine the two, it works really well. When you bring people on board, you are developing contacts Haitians would not think about for LFBS.

I am being fed contacts from the international side and am able to bring that to LFBS staff. I can then apply this in a culturally sensitive way. It is subtle. We can bring unique methods and contacts, but make them work for the community.

11. With respect to cultural sensitivity and differences, or a careful ‘trotting’ around or between the two, what are the main differences between Haiti and Canada? How would you be culturally sensitive?

Those are some difficult questions. To be culturally sensitive, it is about being open-minded and recognizing when going to Haiti s a different culture and system. You should not have expectations in Haiti as if it’s North America. You should be willing to learn, pick up on the culture, and see how people interact here. That can be ‘easier said than done’. People take many expectations from North America.

It is about bringing something to Haiti rather than learning and taking in Haiti. The biggest difference is communication. I find communication different. Communication has been something work with the local staff a bit. Another major difference is people in Haiti value relationships over time. For instance, if you are in a meeting, and come across someone with an issue, a Haitian would not even think twice about stopping and talking to that person to help them with the issue, and then arrive late to the meeting.

They would not think twice about it. A North American might feel stressed about being 15 minutes late. It depends on the person. (Laughs)

[Laughing]

In North America, we are time focused. In Haiti, they are relationship focused. It has its strengths. (Laughs) It has its difficult moments as well.

12. Jacobsen: With time, it makes the society more productive. With relationships, it benefits mental well-being. Downsides are the reduction of well-being and lost time, respectively.

It is something that I notice coming back to North America. It is part of the enjoyment and connectedness with Haitian society (more than North America at times). Human interactions are lacking at times in North America. We have materialistic values. That has taken the place of human contact and interaction. In Haiti, if something happens to me in the middle of the street, even if I did not know the area, I know 20 people will work to help me.

In North America, you can be part of a community in North America and not be a part of their life, and so be ignored by them – or they are stressed about meeting timelines. I can be affected by it. It works well with LFBS work. When you’re working with families attempting to build trust with these traumatized children, it is about the relationships and the interactions.

Often much more than timelines.

References

[David Truman]. (2016, March 9). Morgan. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWbgIF1NO5E.

[DevelopingPictures]. (2012, March 25). Sponsor a Child: Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjzncB3HsmA.

[James Pierre]. (2016, April 5). Morgan Wienberg goes one-on-one with James Pierre. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VMeKKTxkM.

[Morgan Wienberg]. (2014, June 3). Congratulations, FH Grad 2014!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQ7PB95aYA.

[Ryan Sheetz]. (2015, February 20). Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fdPx1srGI.

Bailey, G. (2013, December 31). Catch Yukoner Morgan Wienberg tomorrow on CBC’s Gracious Gifts. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/airplay/features/2013/12/31/catch-yukoner-morgan-wienberg-tomorrow-on-cbcs-gracious-gifts/.

Baker, R. (2016, March 4). PHOTOS Governor General recognizes exceptional Canadians in Vancouver. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/governor-general-recognizes-exceptional-canadians-in-vancouver-1.3476960.

Broadley, L. (2014, August 1). Meet the Yukoner reuniting Haitian ‘orphans’ with their families. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1482839/one-yukoners-work-reuniting-haitian-orphans-with-their-families/.

Bruemmer, R. (2011, April 8). Haiti: Little Paul gets it done. Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/haiti+little+paul+gets+done/5214066/story.html.

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ca Staff. (2016, February 8). 23-year-old awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/23-year-old-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.2769013.

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Gillmore, W. (2013, August 16). Wienberg gives New York a glimpse of Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/wienberg-gives-new-york-a-glimpse-of-haiti/.

Gjerstad, S. (2014, April 8). Morgan (22) vier livet sitt til å gjenforene barn med foreldrene sine på Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.tv2.no/a/5852686/.

Joannou, A. (2016, March 7). Governor general gives nod to Yukon’s champion of Haitian children. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/governor-general-gives-nod-to-yukons-champion-of-haitian-children/.

Langham, M. (2012, October 10). Just Like Us: An Interview with Morgan Wienberg of Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from http://aconspiracyofhope.blogspot.ca/2012/10/just-like-us-interview-with-morgan.html.

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(2014, July 8). Joven canadiense decide gastar sus ahorros en rescatar niños de Haití. Retrieved from http://www.elpais.com.uy/vida-actual/joven-canadiense-reune-huerfanos-haitianos.html.

Rodgers, E. (2015, January 12). Meet the 22-Year-Old Who Skipped Out on College—to Offer a Helping Hand in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/12/meet-morgan-wienberg-little-foot-big-step.

Schott, B.Y. (2012, September 13). Making a Difference One Child at a Time. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/making-a-difference-one-child-at-a-time/#sthash.CeS656Xm.2r1eJsAW.dpbs.

Shiel, A. (2011, November 17). McGill students host third annual TEDxMcGill even. Retrieved from http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2011/11/mcgill-students-host-third-annual-tedxmcgill-event/.

Thompson, J. (2011, December 23). Helping Haiti for the holidays. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-haiti-for-the-holidays.

Thompson, J. (August 12). Hope and hard lessons in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/hope-and-hard-lessons-in-haiti.

Thomson Reuters. (2014, July 27). 22-year-old Yukoner reunites Haitian ‘orphans’ with parents. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/22-year-old-yukoner-reunites-haitian-orphans-with-parents-1.2719559.

Waddell, S. (2015, November 27). For decorated Yukoner, home is now Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/for-decorated-yukoner-home-is-now-haiti.

Whitehorse Star. (2016, March 2). Yukoners to receive honours from Governor General. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/yukoners-to-receive-honours-from-governor-general.

Wienberg, M. (2013, November 22). Age Is Not an Obstacle in Changing the World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-wienberg/age-is-not-an-obstacle_b_4324563.html.

Wienberg, M. (2014, January 23). Courage of a Mother. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/courage-of-a-mother/#sthash.hy1QzF0S.ZA1StSZz.dpbs.

Woodcock, R. (2013, September 26). Back to School in Haiti. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/back-to-school-in-haiti/#sthash.TMqQNkLX.dpbs.

Yukon News. (2013, February 6). Incredible acts of kindness in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/incredible-acts-of-kindness-in-haiti.

Appendix I: Photographs

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Appendix II: Footnotes

 

[1] Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 15, 2017 at www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues.

[3] Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.), Government of Canada; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Governor General of Canada Academic Awards; Yukon Commissioner Award; Finalist, Young Women Impacting Social Justice, The Berger-Marks Foundation; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Impact, Rotary International; Keynote Speaker (2013), United Nations Youth Assembly; Finalist (2012), Edna Award, International Women’s Rights.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Morgan Wienberg.

[5] Co-Founder/Head of Haiti Operations: MORGAN WIENBERG, M.S.C. (2016) states:

Raised in Canada’s far northern city of Whitehorse, Yukon, throughout her youth, Morgan volunteered with non-profit organizations and developed an all-consuming interest in human rights. In 2010, six months after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, this high school valedictorian traded her snow boots for sandals and set off for the devastated country. What was meant to be a short trip changed her life – and countless others – forever.

Morgan volunteered in an orphanage and found the conditions to be appalling. She witnessed children that were neglected, beaten, and starved. In some cases, children were used as slaves or sold, as if they were property. Although it was sorely needed, the children were denied medical attention. Morgan discovered that children had been sent to the orphanage by their parents in the mistaken belief that their children would be offered food, education, and loving care. Morgan began to work towards reuniting children with their families.

In 2011, Morgan co-founded Little Footprints, Big Steps (LFBS). Morgan continues to live in Haiti, leading the organization with integrity, creativity and perseverance. Forging partnerships and collaborations with other non-profits and with Haitian government; spearheading initiatives and piloting programs; hiring and guiding Haitian staff; managing the program administration; tirelessly pouring love and encouragement into all of the children and families that come her way.

Little Footprints, Big Steps. (2016). Co-Founder/Head of Haiti Operations: MORGAN WIENBERG, M.S.C.. Retrieved from http://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/about-us/meet-mogan/.

[6] CTVNews.ca. (n.d.). 23-year-old receives Meritorious Service Cross Medal. Retrieved from http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=804018&playlistId=1.2769055&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1.

[7] Ibid.

Appendix III: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three) [Online].September 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, September 15). An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three)Retrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, September. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (September 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):September. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-three>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Three)[Internet]. (2017, September; 15(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

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An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,875

ISSN 2369-6885

1

Abstract

An interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. She discusses: jobs to save money for Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization; origination and development of the relationship with the nurse; meaning of parental support and encouragement; parental support in spite of parent hesitancy about travels of their child; responsibilities with public recognition; content and purpose of the film Morgan’s Kids; meaning of the exposure; and well-meaning, but misguided, foreigners giving aid, volunteer time, support, and exposure in the media to corrupt organizations.

Keywords: Humanitarianism, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Morgan Wienberg.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C.: Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization (Part Two)[1],[2],[3],[4]

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

*Images in Appendix I: Photographs.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization (LFBS) is a registered charity, which emerged out of this endeavour based on collaboration with a nurse, Sarah Wilson. However, you needed finance. You mentioned one job. You worked three jobs to save enough money. What two other jobs?

Morgan Wienberg: I had about $25,000 saved for university at the time. I started with personal savings. I went in 2010 for 2 ½ months. Before I left to return to Canada, I decided to come back. I deferred university. I went back to Canada, but worked 3 jobs for 6 months before going back to Haiti. I intended to go to Haiti. I went to work to save additional funds.

I worked at a bakery. It was a bakery, restaurant, and yoga studio in one. I worked there for a few years. The community gave generous tips. I worked at the local animal shelter looking after the dogs, e.g. cleaning the cages. If I worked at the bakery starting at 5 in the morning, I would work at the animal shelter in the afternoon. Also, I did a lot of babysitting. I worked in a women’s gym through exercise classes and so on. I cleaned houses for neighbours too.

2. Jacobsen: How did this relationship with the nurse originate and develop for you?

Wienberg: My first time in Haiti, in 2010, staying in a compound with Mission of Hope. There many other volunteers there. I was there for 2 ½ months. During those 2 ½ months, Sarah Wilson came for a few weeks. She was working in the medical clinic. I was going off to the orphanage. We were sleeping in the same living quarters. We met that way.

She visited the orphanage a couple of times. I tried to get medical teams to see the sick kids. She saw the orphanage at that point. Further down the road, when I returned to Haiti and was working with the orphanage, we kept in touch on social media. She followed me. When I was back in Haiti living in the orphanage with the kids, she sent an email.

She said, “I’ve been following what you’ve been doing. You need support. I did this course. Do you want create an organization to support what you’ve been doing?” Of course, I said, “Yes!” We completed the forms to become a formal charity.

3. Jacobsen: Your mother remains part of Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization as the Director/Chair of the Board. She supports this endeavour. Many mothers, and fathers, might feel hesitant to permit their gifted child to pursue this endeavour. For instance, the possible risk of sexual assault or abuse in a foreign country. What does parental support and encouragement mean to you?

Wienberg: She is a huge part of the organization. In the beginning, I had to do fundraising with donors. She took that on for us. It allows me to be in Haiti for the long-term. I can work with the local staff and develop programs while here. In the beginning, I wasn’t able to do it. I had to focus on fundraising and communicating with sponsors.

4. Jacobsen: She has graduate level training relevant to this, too.

Wienberg: Yes.

5. Jacobsen: Many parents with gifted children or a gifted child, even a child for that matter, might feel hesitant to permit their child to pursue this endeavour.

Wienberg: [Laughing].

6. What does that parental support mean to you?

Wienberg: It has allowed me to succeed because she is there for me if I need her. There are instances where talking to mom is a comfort. At the same time, she does not restrict me. I never knew that I would have thought that I could have accomplished what I have or influence this number of people. I never would have been able to push myself or explore capabilities if she had limited me.

It is something extremely hard as a parent. You want to protect your child. At the same time, there are physical risks, a new country, being on your own, emotional pain and struggles, and so on. Knowing that, it can be hard sometimes. At the same time, going through it, I grew a lot and achieved more than I realized is possible. As a parent, it is allowing the child to grow and learn, and become an individual and explore their capabilities.

Also, it is being there to support them. If they do need to call on you, they can call on you and are there for them. It has been hard for her. In the beginning, I didn’t communicate much with her. I didn’t have internet access. The living conditions, I didn’t let her know about it. It might or might not have changed things. After the first couple of times, I was sick coming back to Canada.

Her allowing me to pursue these things was self-less and truly supporting me rather than reacting based on her own feelings, which would have limited me.

7. Jacobsen: You have profiles and representation in numerous outlets including text publications and video interviews.[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36],[37] What responsibilities come with this public recognition?

Wienberg: It’s not only being in the media, internationally. For example, in the community in Haiti (Les Cayes), I am well-known to them. I represent an organization. It is a situation where every single thing I do is being watched as a representation of an organization. I have to make decisions, conscientiously. On an international level, when I go back to Whitehorse, it can be hard to relax or have ‘down time’.

It is about responding, community events, and so on. Everyone recognizes you. It is wonderful to have the recognition. It is encouraging with the support, but it can be hard to have personal time. With decisions made by me, I have to think about the influence on the people supported by me and the organization. Oftentimes, I am making decisions on a representative-of-the-organization level. People are counting on me.

8. Jacobsen: Jimmy Arrant and Ryan Sheetz work on Morgan’s Kids.[38] A documentary film about the work by you. What’s the content and purpose of the film?

Wienberg: The purpose of the film is to raise awareness about Little Footprints Big Steps and the kids in the program, who I work with in Haiti. Also, the larger theme of the orphanage system and family reunification. Family care is much better for vulnerable children. That is the huge issue in Haiti. Also, it is an issue in other developing countries. International aid will support orphanages and institutions.

That is in opposition to family care. It is to raise awareness about the general concept. Multiple international entities do not know. The international community is unaware. The content of the film is based in Haiti with focus on the families, children, and my staff. Jimmy and Ryan came to Haiti 3 or 4 times. They visited and spent time in the safe houses.

They visited families with the staff. Also, they came to Miami, when I travelled with one of the former children. The child was having surgery, Ysaac. I brought him to Miami twice for surgery. It was Ysaac’s first time travelling to the States. Ryan and Jimmy were there at the airport for the arrival. They captured the child’s first experiences travelling.

They were there for the first surgery. They captured that part of the story. It is a powerful example of the possible change when a child’s environment changes. He’s a great example for everything we work for here. Ryan and Jimmy came to Whitehorse, Yukon to film the community. It was to look into the influences on me, which lead to personal accomplishments. They have thorough coverage of the whole story.

For example, with some of the parents with children that were in the corrupt orphanage, the parents went to reclaim them from the orphanage because of the mistreatment. We have stories with the parents explaining the reason for giving their children to the orphanage. They talk about how things changed when the children came back.

It includes messages coming from the parents and children themselves.

9. Jacobsen: What does this exposure mean to you?

Wienberg: I am excited to have their stories heard by others because many children have been taught that they need to be silent to protect themselves. I have been trying to teach them their power to influence others and to help others, especially with them in a better situation now. It is an example of the negative things happening to them that hurt them can be used to tell the stories, raise awareness, and help other people.

These children and families telling the stories have the opportunity for exposure and influence others. It makes me incredibly proud and excited about them. Also, I am hoping this will continue the shift. There is a shift in Haiti on the institutionalization at the moment. It is moving away from orphanages and back to family-based care, e.g., foster homes. I want the rest of the global community to be aware and support of it.

There is a lot of work to be done on raising awareness that the children face exploitation and abuse in orphanages, which is supported by foreigners. I hope this will accomplish raising awareness.

10. Jacobsen: What about well-meaning, but misguided, foreigners giving aid, volunteer time, support, and exposure in the media to these corrupt organizations?

Wienberg: That allows them to thrive. It is common – so incredibly common. This orphanage was identified by the local authorities as ‘Code Red’ and needing to be shut down. Children died inside. Children were being trafficked. The owner offered five kids to me for $800 each. There are children whose parents refuse to give them up. The orphanages took them, kidnapped them.

There were at least 6 different foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) supporting the orphanage with money, donations, and time. It was perpetuating the problem. This woman was able to run her ‘business’, the orphanage, for over 20 years. I advocated to shut it down. Hundreds of thousands of people, foreigners, visited the orphanage before me.

They cried over kids’ conditions, but did not do anything to change or question it. It is like you said before. They are “well-intentioned.” It is a vicious cycle. If the kids are more sick, then the more urgently foreigners will want to help them. This has the orphanage owner neglecting the kids, keeping them as sick as possible, keeping them barefoot and with as little clothing as possible, and so on.

That will get more support. If you are at an orphanage with well-fed, well-dressed kids, and not emotionally damaged and lacking attachment, if you walk into an orphanage and the kids seem healthy and are not crying, you will not feel as pushed, urgently, to give support or aid to the orphanage. However, that orphanage is taking better care of the children.

It is counterintuitive. Those orphanages that treat children worse will get more aid. That makes orphanages good business to have there. Also, it is undermining the efforts of local authorities, which is another issue. Foreign aid coming into Haiti does not approach the government or the local authorities because there is a level of mistrust and the perception of the Haitian government as corrupt.

I have dealt with corruption. I have developed a strong relationship with local government institutions and have worked together with the police. There is corruption, but it is not all of them. The social services have social workers who have not been paid for 3 months or do not have a contract. They go to work, even on Saturdays.

You would not find that in North America. So, the government workers are genuinely committed. They are committed to the children. If the local government is looking to shut down the orphanage and international NGOs come in without approaching the authorities and support the orphanage, then they are undermining the efforts of the local authorities.

There is a huge need for increased communication between NGOs coming into the country and the local authorities, which requires a level of open-mindedness and trust for international entities to work with the local authorities. The only way to address the issues is on a long-term scale. If it is all NGOs coming in here, and if we do not work to increase the capacity of the local authorities, then we’re working on a short-term solution.

We need to work on a long-term solution.

References

[David Truman]. (2016, March 9). Morgan. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWbgIF1NO5E.

[DevelopingPictures]. (2012, March 25). Sponsor a Child: Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjzncB3HsmA.

[James Pierre]. (2016, April 5). Morgan Wienberg goes one-on-one with James Pierre. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VMeKKTxkM.

[Morgan Wienberg]. (2014, June 3). Congratulations, FH Grad 2014!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQ7PB95aYA.

[Ryan Sheetz]. (2015, February 20). Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fdPx1srGI.

Bailey, G. (2013, December 31). Catch Yukoner Morgan Wienberg tomorrow on CBC’s Gracious Gifts. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/airplay/features/2013/12/31/catch-yukoner-morgan-wienberg-tomorrow-on-cbcs-gracious-gifts/.

Baker, R. (2016, March 4). PHOTOS Governor General recognizes exceptional Canadians in Vancouver. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/governor-general-recognizes-exceptional-canadians-in-vancouver-1.3476960.

Broadley, L. (2014, August 1). Meet the Yukoner reuniting Haitian ‘orphans’ with their families. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1482839/one-yukoners-work-reuniting-haitian-orphans-with-their-families/.

Bruemmer, R. (2011, April 8). Haiti: Little Paul gets it done. Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/haiti+little+paul+gets+done/5214066/story.html.

CBC News. (2015, November 29). Morgan Wienberg awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/morgan-wienberg-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.3340295.

ca. (n.d.). 23-year-old receives Meritorious Service Cross Medal. Retrieved from http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=804018&playlistId=1.2769055&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1.

ca Staff. (2016, February 8). 23-year-old awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/23-year-old-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.2769013.

Dolphin, M. (2015, December 4). Yukoner’s work in Haiti draws governor general’s attention. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/life/yukoners-work-in-haiti-draws-governor-generals-attention/.

Gillmore, M. (2012, July 18). Helping to reunite families in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-to-reunite-families-in-haiti.

Gillmore, W. (2013, August 16). Wienberg gives New York a glimpse of Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/wienberg-gives-new-york-a-glimpse-of-haiti/.

Gjerstad, S. (2014, April 8). Morgan (22) vier livet sitt til å gjenforene barn med foreldrene sine på Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.tv2.no/a/5852686/.

Joannou, A. (2016, March 7). Governor general gives nod to Yukon’s champion of Haitian children. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/governor-general-gives-nod-to-yukons-champion-of-haitian-children/.

Langham, M. (2012, October 10). Just Like Us: An Interview with Morgan Wienberg of Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from http://aconspiracyofhope.blogspot.ca/2012/10/just-like-us-interview-with-morgan.html.

Little Footprints, Big Steps. (2016). Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com.

Neel, T. (2013, May 16). Reaching the Hearts of Children in Need. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/reaching-the-hearts-of-children-in-need/#sthash.YCSvg1aM.oVLAQE3j.dpbs.

Peacock, A. (2016, February 27). Haiti has her heart. http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/news/local_news/article_beb828d0-ddcf-11e5-851b-8b09487f61ce.html?mode=story.

(2014, July 8). Joven canadiense decide gastar sus ahorros en rescatar niños de Haití. Retrieved from http://www.elpais.com.uy/vida-actual/joven-canadiense-reune-huerfanos-haitianos.html.

Rodgers, E. (2015, January 12). Meet the 22-Year-Old Who Skipped Out on College—to Offer a Helping Hand in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/12/meet-morgan-wienberg-little-foot-big-step.

Schott, B.Y. (2012, September 13). Making a Difference One Child at a Time. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/making-a-difference-one-child-at-a-time/#sthash.CeS656Xm.2r1eJsAW.dpbs.

Shiel, A. (2011, November 17). McGill students host third annual TEDxMcGill even. Retrieved from http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2011/11/mcgill-students-host-third-annual-tedxmcgill-event/.

Thompson, J. (2011, December 23). Helping Haiti for the holidays. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-haiti-for-the-holidays.

Thompson, J. (August 12). Hope and hard lessons in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/hope-and-hard-lessons-in-haiti.

Thomson Reuters. (2014, July 27). 22-year-old Yukoner reunites Haitian ‘orphans’ with parents. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/22-year-old-yukoner-reunites-haitian-orphans-with-parents-1.2719559.

Waddell, S. (2015, November 27). For decorated Yukoner, home is now Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/for-decorated-yukoner-home-is-now-haiti.

Whitehorse Star. (2016, March 2). Yukoners to receive honours from Governor General. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/yukoners-to-receive-honours-from-governor-general.

Wienberg, M. (2013, November 22). Age Is Not an Obstacle in Changing the World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-wienberg/age-is-not-an-obstacle_b_4324563.html.

Wienberg, M. (2014, January 23). Courage of a Mother. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/courage-of-a-mother/#sthash.hy1QzF0S.ZA1StSZz.dpbs.

Woodcock, R. (2013, September 26). Back to School in Haiti. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/back-to-school-in-haiti/#sthash.TMqQNkLX.dpbs.

Yukon News. (2013, February 6). Incredible acts of kindness in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/incredible-acts-of-kindness-in-haiti.

Appendix I: Photographs

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Appendix II: Footnotes

[1] Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2011 at www.in-sightjournal.com; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018 at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

[3] Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.), Government of Canada; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Governor General of Canada Academic Awards; Yukon Commissioner Award; Finalist, Young Women Impacting Social Justice, The Berger-Marks Foundation; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Impact, Rotary International; Keynote Speaker (2013), United Nations Youth Assembly.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Morgan Wienberg.

[5] CBC News. (2015, November 29). Morgan Wienberg awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/morgan-wienberg-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.3340295.

[6] Waddell, S. (2015, November 27). For decorated Yukoner, home is now Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/for-decorated-yukoner-home-is-now-haiti.

[7] Rodgers, E. (2015, January 12). Meet the 22-Year-Old Who Skipped Out on College—to Offer a Helping Hand in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/12/meet-morgan-wienberg-little-foot-big-step.

[8] Thomson Reuters. (2014, July 27). 22-year-old Yukoner reunites Haitian ‘orphans’ with parents. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/22-year-old-yukoner-reunites-haitian-orphans-with-parents-1.2719559.

[9] CTVNew.ca Staff. (2016, February 8). 23-year-old awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/23-year-old-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.2769013.

[10] Joannou, A. (2016, March 7). Governor general gives nod to Yukon’s champion of Haitian children. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/governor-general-gives-nod-to-yukons-champion-of-haitian-children/.

[11] Baker, R. (2016, March 4). PHOTOS Governor General recognizes exceptional Canadians in Vancouver. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/governor-general-recognizes-exceptional-canadians-in-vancouver-1.3476960.

[12] Thomson, S. (2015, January 11). IN DEPTH Haiti quake’s effects still felt by Canadians on anniversary of disaster. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/haiti-quake-s-effects-still-felt-by-canadians-on-anniversary-of-disaster-1.2893435.

[13] Wienberg, M. (2013, November 22). Age Is Not an Obstacle in Changing the World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-wienberg/age-is-not-an-obstacle_b_4324563.html.

[14] Shiel, A. (2011, November 17). McGill students host third annual TEDxMcGill even. Retrieved from http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2011/11/mcgill-students-host-third-annual-tedxmcgill-event/.

[15] Bruemmer, R. (2011, April 8). Haiti: Little Paul gets it done. Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/haiti+little+paul+gets+done/5214066/story.html.

[16] Gjerstad, S. (2014, April 8). Morgan (22) vier livet sitt til å gjenforene barn med foreldrene sine på Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.tv2.no/a/5852686/.

[17] Reuters. (2014, July 8). Joven canadiense decide gastar sus ahorros en rescatar niños de Haití. Retrieved from http://www.elpais.com.uy/vida-actual/joven-canadiense-reune-huerfanos-haitianos.html.

[18] Gillmore, M. (2012, July 18). Helping to reunite families in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-to-reunite-families-in-haiti.

[19] Thompson, J. (2011, August 12). Hope and hard lessons in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/hope-and-hard-lessons-in-haiti.

[20] Thompson, J. (2011, December 23). Helping Haiti for the holidays. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-haiti-for-the-holidays.

[21] Langham, M. (2012, October 10). Just Like Us: An Interview with Morgan Wienberg of Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from http://aconspiracyofhope.blogspot.ca/2012/10/just-like-us-interview-with-morgan.html.

[22] Schott, B.Y. (2012, September 13). Making a Difference One Child at a Time. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/making-a-difference-one-child-at-a-time/#sthash.CeS656Xm.2r1eJsAW.dpbs.

[23] Yukon News. (2013, February 6). Incredible acts of kindness in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/incredible-acts-of-kindness-in-haiti.

[24] Neel, T. (2013, May 16). Reaching the Hearts of Children in Need. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/reaching-the-hearts-of-children-in-need/#sthash.YCSvg1aM.oVLAQE3j.dpbs.

[25] Gillmore, W. (2013, August 16). Wienberg gives New York a glimpse of Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/wienberg-gives-new-york-a-glimpse-of-haiti/.

[26] Woodcock, R. (2013, September 26). Back to School in Haiti. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/back-to-school-in-haiti/#sthash.TMqQNkLX.dpbs.

[27] Bailey, G. (2013, December 31). Catch Yukoner Morgan Wienberg tomorrow on CBC’s Gracious Gifts. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/airplay/features/2013/12/31/catch-yukoner-morgan-wienberg-tomorrow-on-cbcs-gracious-gifts/.

[28] Wienberg, M. (2014, January 23). Courage of a Mother. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/courage-of-a-mother/#sthash.hy1QzF0S.ZA1StSZz.dpbs.

[29] Dolphin, M. (2015, December 4). Yukoner’s work in Haiti draws governor general’s attention. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/life/yukoners-work-in-haiti-draws-governor-generals-attention/.

[30] Peacock, A. (2016, February 27). Haiti has her heart. http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/news/local_news/article_beb828d0-ddcf-11e5-851b-8b09487f61ce.html?mode=story.

[31] Whitehorse Star. (2016, March 2). Yukoners to receive honours from Governor General. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/yukoners-to-receive-honours-from-governor-general.

[32] [Ryan Sheetz]. (2015, February 20). Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fdPx1srGI.

[33] [James Pierre]. (2016, April 5). Morgan Wienberg goes one-on-one with James Pierre. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VMeKKTxkM.

[34] [DevelopingPictures]. (2012, March 25). Sponsor a Child: Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjzncB3HsmA.

[35] [Morgan Wienberg]. (2014, June 3). Congratulations, FH Grad 2014!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQ7PB95aYA.

[36] [David Truman]. (2016, March 9). Morgan. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWbgIF1NO5E.

[37] [TEDxTalks]. (2011, December 12). TEDxMcGill – Morgan Wienberg – Will You Choose to Destroy the Web?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NRq7lLjw_k.

[38] [Ryan Sheetz]. (2015, February 20). Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fdPx1srGI.

[1] Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2017, at www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018, at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.), Government of Canada; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Governor General of Canada Academic Awards; Yukon Commissioner Award; Finalist, Young Women Impacting Social Justice, The Berger-Marks Foundation; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Impact, Rotary International; Keynote Speaker (2013), United Nations Youth Assembly; Finalist (2012), Edna Award, International Women’s Rights.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Morgan Wienberg.

[5] Co-Founder/Head of Haiti Operations: MORGAN WIENBERG, M.S.C. (2016) states:

Raised in Canada’s far northern city of Whitehorse, Yukon, throughout her youth, Morgan volunteered with non-profit organizations and developed an all-consuming interest in human rights. In 2010, six months after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, this high school valedictorian traded her snow boots for sandals and set off for the devastated country. What was meant to be a short trip changed her life – and countless others – forever.

Morgan volunteered in an orphanage and found the conditions to be appalling. She witnessed children that were neglected, beaten, and starved. In some cases, children were used as slaves or sold, as if they were property. Although it was sorely needed, the children were denied medical attention. Morgan discovered that children had been sent to the orphanage by their parents in the mistaken belief that their children would be offered food, education, and loving care. Morgan began to work towards reuniting children with their families.

In 2011, Morgan co-founded Little Footprints, Big Steps (LFBS). Morgan continues to live in Haiti, leading the organization with integrity, creativity and perseverance. Forging partnerships and collaborations with other non-profits and with Haitian government; spearheading initiatives and piloting programs; hiring and guiding Haitian staff; managing the program administration; tirelessly pouring love and encouragement into all of the children and families that come her way.

Little Footprints, Big Steps. (2016). Co-Founder/Head of Haiti Operations: MORGAN WIENBERG, M.S.C.. Retrieved from http://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/about-us/meet-mogan/.

[6] CTVNews.ca. (n.d.). 23-year-old receives Meritorious Service Cross Medal. Retrieved from http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=804018&playlistId=1.2769055&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1.

[7] Ibid.

Appendix III: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two) [Online].September 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, September 8). An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two)Retrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, September. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (September 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):September. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part Two)[Internet]. (2017, September; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/morgan-wienberg-part-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 15.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Nine)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2017

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2017

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,147

ISSN 2369-6885

1

Abstract

An interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. She discusses: geographic, cultural, and linguistic background, source of giftedness; early indications of general ability and motivation; support from Karen Wienberg; advice for gifted kids in pursuit of their dreams; recommendations on parenting; influence of an Anglophone home; support from the school for giftedness; executive function research and implications for school performance on average; community support for giftedness; the appeal of Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake; and emotional connections with the children.

Keywords: Humanitarianism, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization, Morgan Wienberg.

An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C.: Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization (Part One)[1],[2],[3],[4]

*Footnotes in & after the interview, & citation style listing after the interview.*

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.*

*Images in Appendix I: Photographs.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your personal and familial background reside?[5]

Morgan Wienberg: I was born in Terrace, British Columbia. Since I was 9, I developed in Whitehorse, Yukon. My primary language Is English. During school for me, French is a second language. At home, I was speaking the English language. (Laughs) My family lineage is German. My grandparents are from Yugoslavia and Germany. They emigrated to Canada after the war and met in Vancouver.

2. Jacobsen: You were a gifted child and adolescent. Now, you are a gifted adult. Your accomplishments and personality show this, and I interviews, correspondence, and interaction here. For instances, the personal high independent moral standard of conduct and being valedictorian for high school. What seems like the source of this to you?

Wienberg: I was always very, very highly motivated, very ambitious, and a perfectionist. It was to an unhealthy point. I was hard on myself. I had the desire to surpass expectations. If there was something for me, then I wanted to do it. That came from me. There was not an outside pressure.

My mother and teachers wanted relaxation from me, to be a kid. In fifth grade, my mom put a timer on me. So, I could not do more than an hour of homework. It upset me. I was bothered by it. It was an inner desire to overachieve. I am an overachiever.

3. Jacobsen: Were there early indications of this general ability and motivation?

Wienberg: On an academic level, since primary school, I remember in 4th and 5th grade. If I was writing and did not like the look of the handwriting, I would rewrite it. In high school, it was extreme. I wanted to get 100%. Once, in biology, I earned more than 100% for doing bonus work. Also, I was particular about food. I was a purist.

As a child, which is bizarre, I was particular about consumption, the environment around me, and treatment of people. I wanted to be a perfect daughter from mom. In school, I wanted to be the model student. I was obedient. I had personal growth through work in Haiti. I have placed personal history in perspective. I am ambitious. However, I am healthier with the perfectionism.

I had a sensitivity to animals and the environment. In 4th grade, I formed a group with best friends. We were advocates for the environment. We advocated against pollution and for animal rights.  I was in 4th grade! (Laughs) I would write a logo at the top of each assignment. It was about being nice to animals.

I did a lot of volunteering in high school for the community. I was the youngest in multiple volunteering activities. I was a Board Member of the Anti-Poverty Coalition. I was a Board Member of the Human Society of Yukon. I was the youngest board member for each of them. There was a campaign to raise awareness about homelessness. Participants would spend one week homeless.

They were not allowed home for the week, or to have a backpack with them. It was in October. That is a dangerous time in the Yukon. (Laughs) I participated in it. I was sleeping on the street in Yukon. I was in 10th or 11th grade. I went to school. I attempted to find a place to sleep. I developed empathy for the homeless.

Same thing with the street kids in Haiti. I spent the night with them. At that point, I spent the time with the homeless in the Yukon and the street kids in Haiti. People in the Whitehorse community were candidates for local government positions. Age was never an obstacle for me. I had mature interests than individuals around the same age as me.

I thought about animals. I thought about the environment. I thought about people around me. I was extremely focused on academics.

4. Jacobsen: Your giftedness, focus on academics, and sensitivity and compassion for “beings” around you were nurtured by Karen Wienberg. Your mother nurtured these gifts and talents. Although, based on the story about the timer to reduce hours spent on homework, your mother might ‘nurture’ via disincentivizing extremes. We have narratives about gifted individuals going to extremes. For other examples, what support came from her?

Wienberg: Absolutely, she nurtured me. my mom is a very strong and independent woman. She is intelligent and hardworking. She is open-minded. She is a role model for me. Later, this arose in me. It helped me. I overcame obstacles starting in Haiti. She always believed in me. It was not about her. That was one of the biggest supports from her.

If I changed my mind, she would not be persistent on the first thing. She encouraged trying new things. Even with my younger brother, she wanted him to know about other religions. She wanted him to volunteer in different things. Whether volunteering or other things, she encouraged me. She joined the Humane Society of Yukon and involved with the volunteering, too.

I would cook food for the homeless shelter. I was excited. She said, “We need food in our house as well!” (Laughs)

(Laughs)

Take, for example, age 5 or 6, she asked about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would list a bunch of occupations. She would think, “Okay…” (Laughs) She supported any endeavor for me. She would back me up. That helped me. I didn’t see obstacles, at least easily. (Laughs)

5. Jacobsen: I want to parse two perspectives: gifted kid and parent. Any advice for gifted kids in pursuit of their dreams?

Wienberg: Do not allow other people’s perceptions to limit you. Do not allow your thoughts about what others think about you limit you. Age, gender, and happenstance of geography should not be a factor in personal success. I strongly believe this: mentality and ambition have the greatest influence on your ability to accomplish personal dreams.

However, if you question your ability to do it, or let outside influence the doubt of your ability, then that will be an obstacle for you.

6. Jacobsen: Any recommendations on parenting?

Wienberg: I am in a position of parenting. I work with many different types of parents. I am working with kids now. Some of them have developed without parental influence. I see their different development. I work with kids with irresponsible parents. They influence the children in a negative way. Things are taken for granted by me. These children lack proper parenting.

I see them develop in a different way with different support. It gives insight into my childhood and how my mother influenced me. When I say “mother,” I mean mother alone, single mother I never met my biological father in person. I have been in touch through e-mail. I knew about him. I never thought of being raised by a single mother because I never felt in need of anything. An independent woman raised me.

I never saw being an independent woman as any type of weakness. My mom was a strong role model for it. One important thing with parenting. You need to accept the mentality of supporting the child. You’re there for them, not you. You should want them to develop into an individual. You are there to offer guidance. However, the ambitions and the dreams of the child need to come from within the child.

You need to remove yourself. Whatever that child develops a liking to or an interest in, or sees as something to strive to achieve, your role is to support them in being a strong enough individual to have those dreams and attempt to approach them. Oftentimes, parents focus more on influencing their own aspirations for the child as opposed to building the child’s personal strengths. The child can take on their own ambition.

7. Jacobsen: You developed in a majority Anglophone home. How did this influence perspective? For those without the cultural heritage of Canadian provinces and territories, in Canada, we have the Anglophone and Francophone split.

Wienberg: Although, my family was Anglophone. My community was a heavy Francophone influence around me. Some friends were French speaking. I enjoyed learning French in school. I enjoyed using French on a personal level. I do not know if this affected me, at least not too much. In Haiti, it helped me, but I did not know Creole.

8. Jacobsen: Back to the main line of thought from the personal and parental perspective, what about the school for support?

Wienberg: I always felt the school was supportive. My teachers allowed me to advance as well. There could be an improvement with schools networking more. If students are gifted or ambitious, then they could make suggestions to connect those students with real-life situations, where the students could influence accomplishing something with the gifts as opposed to funneling things into academics.

9. Jacobsen: Tier 1 Canada Research Chair at The University of British Columbia Professor Adele Diamond researches executive function (EF). She finds the counter-intuitive educational focus is the correct thing. Her research shows the need to focus on things around education to improve educational performance and completion rates on average: play, dance, extra curricular, social life, and so on. EF is twice as predictive as IQ in educational outcomes based on the research.

Wienberg: When I was in school, I was less involved in extra curricular activities because I was pouring time into academics. Experiential knowledge helps a lot. Also, certain skills acquired through socialization and taking on responsibilities/positions like confidence, public speaking, networking, and so on. Those can allow for greater impact with the gifts that you have in life. It allows them to go further.

10. Jacobsen: What about the community?

Wienberg: I grew up in a unique community. It was a small town in Yukon. It is full of creative people. It was good for me. I had a lot of opportunities for involvement. There are many groups of people doing many things. The majority of people are open-minded.  I showed up at 16 or 17 to be on the Board of Directors for the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition

All of the older people in the group were excited about and supportive of it. I did not receive criticism. I was not told that I was too young, that it was silly, and so on. Everyone was excited about involvement from me. From the first job, it was the same thing. I was young. However, I was respected and encouraged. It was in this socially responsible bakery.

I was embraced as part of the family there. I worked there for 5 years. The same for the community. They supported me. Support from the community permitted the foundation of an organization. They knew me. They trusted me. I started the organization with tips from the community while working at the bakery.

11. Jacobsen: When the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti, you noted the prominence in the media of the event as a salient thing for you.[6] You said, “I wanted to help. I wanted to help in a bigger way than just sending money. I wanted to connect with the people.”[7] From 2010, after graduation from high school, you traveled to Haiti for a trip. You interned with Mission of Hope Haiti. What seemed like the appeal of Haiti at the time?

Wienberg: At the time of the earthquake in January of 2010, I was about to graduate from high school. I planned to attend university in the Fall. I had this freedom during the Summer to travel. I always wanted to travel to Africa and work with kids. When the earthquake hit, my attention turned to Haiti. It was closer. It seemed in desperate need at the time. The timing coincided with the freedom to travel.

12. Jacobsen: The children seemed like the core connection for you. What emotional connections came out of this first trip for you?

Wienberg: I always, always, always, loved children. Since I was 12 years old, I would babysit a lot. I always loved looking after animals or children. Actually, from grade 5, my name was “mom” because I loved being maternalistic and looking after other people, even as a child. When I went to Haiti the first time in 2010, I had three roles as an intern.

I was working with patients in a prosthetic lab. When they received new prosthetic legs, they would stay for about a week in the compound. I stayed there too. I would look after them. I made sure food and hygiene items were there. I helped them with practicing their walking. Also, I was involved in teaching an English class to a group of young adults in the community.

I did not speak Creole at the time. I used French to teach the class. I was afraid at the thought of teaching a class. I did not feel qualified to do it. I graduated from high school two weeks prior to the experience. I thought, “They do not know English. I have English to offer them. They are eager to learn from me.” It helped build the confidence in the beginning.

The third role was starting interacting with this Haitian-run orphanage. I found out about the orphanage through an organization. I worked with the organization. When I visited the orphanage for the first time during the first visit, it was the worst conditions for human beings. I had never seen anything like it. I’d visited ten villages. All inhabitants were amputees. I visited other orphanages, where things were horrific. It needed more sustainable support.

Candy and holding the kids are not enough. People would cry about the horrific conditions and then leave. They did not do anything about it. I could not observe the children’s livelihood and then leave them. This specific group of children living in the orphanage became the motivation to return to Haiti. They changed my whole life. The thought, I could not forget about them and continue with life without changing the situation for them.

That’s changed my future forever.

References

[David Truman]. (2016, March 9). Morgan. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWbgIF1NO5E.

[DevelopingPictures]. (2012, March 25). Sponsor a Child: Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjzncB3HsmA.

[James Pierre]. (2016, April 5). Morgan Wienberg goes one-on-one with James Pierre. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1VMeKKTxkM.

[Morgan Wienberg]. (2014, June 3). Congratulations, FH Grad 2014!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQ7PB95aYA.

[Ryan Sheetz]. (2015, February 20). Little Footprints Big Steps. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fdPx1srGI.

Bailey, G. (2013, December 31). Catch Yukoner Morgan Wienberg tomorrow on CBC’s Gracious Gifts. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/airplay/features/2013/12/31/catch-yukoner-morgan-wienberg-tomorrow-on-cbcs-gracious-gifts/.

Baker, R. (2016, March 4). PHOTOS Governor General recognizes exceptional Canadians in Vancouver. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/governor-general-recognizes-exceptional-canadians-in-vancouver-1.3476960.

Broadley, L. (2014, August 1). Meet the Yukoner reuniting Haitian ‘orphans’ with their families. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1482839/one-yukoners-work-reuniting-haitian-orphans-with-their-families/.

Bruemmer, R. (2011, April 8). Haiti: Little Paul gets it done. Retrieved from http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/haiti+little+paul+gets+done/5214066/story.html.

CBC News. (2015, November 29). Morgan Wienberg awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/morgan-wienberg-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.3340295.

ca. (n.d.). 23-year-old receives Meritorious Service Cross Medal. Retrieved from http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=804018&playlistId=1.2769055&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1.

ca Staff. (2016, February 8). 23-year-old awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/23-year-old-awarded-meritorious-service-cross-for-work-in-haiti-1.2769013.

Dolphin, M. (2015, December 4). Yukoner’s work in Haiti draws governor general’s attention. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/life/yukoners-work-in-haiti-draws-governor-generals-attention/.

Gillmore, M. (2012, July 18). Helping to reunite families in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-to-reunite-families-in-haiti.

Gillmore, W. (2013, August 16). Wienberg gives New York a glimpse of Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/wienberg-gives-new-york-a-glimpse-of-haiti/.

Gjerstad, S. (2014, April 8). Morgan (22) vier livet sitt til å gjenforene barn med foreldrene sine på Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.tv2.no/a/5852686/.

Joannou, A. (2016, March 7). Governor general gives nod to Yukon’s champion of Haitian children. Retrieved from http://www.yukon-news.com/news/governor-general-gives-nod-to-yukons-champion-of-haitian-children/.

Langham, M. (2012, October 10). Just Like Us: An Interview with Morgan Wienberg of Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from http://aconspiracyofhope.blogspot.ca/2012/10/just-like-us-interview-with-morgan.html.

Little Footprints, Big Steps. (2016). Little Footprints, Big Steps. Retrieved from https://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com.

Neel, T. (2013, May 16). Reaching the Hearts of Children in Need. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/reaching-the-hearts-of-children-in-need/#sthash.YCSvg1aM.oVLAQE3j.dpbs.

Peacock, A. (2016, February 27). Haiti has her heart. http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/news/local_news/article_beb828d0-ddcf-11e5-851b-8b09487f61ce.html?mode=story.

(2014, July 8). Joven canadiense decide gastar sus ahorros en rescatar niños de Haití. Retrieved from http://www.elpais.com.uy/vida-actual/joven-canadiense-reune-huerfanos-haitianos.html.

Rodgers, E. (2015, January 12). Meet the 22-Year-Old Who Skipped Out on College—to Offer a Helping Hand in Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/01/12/meet-morgan-wienberg-little-foot-big-step.

Schott, B.Y. (2012, September 13). Making a Difference One Child at a Time. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/making-a-difference-one-child-at-a-time/#sthash.CeS656Xm.2r1eJsAW.dpbs.

Shiel, A. (2011, November 17). McGill students host third annual TEDxMcGill even. Retrieved from http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2011/11/mcgill-students-host-third-annual-tedxmcgill-event/.

Thompson, J. (2011, December 23). Helping Haiti for the holidays. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/helping-haiti-for-the-holidays.

Thompson, J. (August 12). Hope and hard lessons in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/life/hope-and-hard-lessons-in-haiti.

Thomson Reuters. (2014, July 27). 22-year-old Yukoner reunites Haitian ‘orphans’ with parents. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/22-year-old-yukoner-reunites-haitian-orphans-with-parents-1.2719559.

Waddell, S. (2015, November 27). For decorated Yukoner, home is now Haiti. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/for-decorated-yukoner-home-is-now-haiti.

Whitehorse Star. (2016, March 2). Yukoners to receive honours from Governor General. Retrieved from http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/yukoners-to-receive-honours-from-governor-general.

Wienberg, M. (2013, November 22). Age Is Not an Obstacle in Changing the World. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/morgan-wienberg/age-is-not-an-obstacle_b_4324563.html.

Wienberg, M. (2014, January 23). Courage of a Mother. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/courage-of-a-mother/#sthash.hy1QzF0S.ZA1StSZz.dpbs.

Woodcock, R. (2013, September 26). Back to School in Haiti. Retrieved from http://whatsupyukon.com/Lifestyle/making-a-difference/back-to-school-in-haiti/#sthash.TMqQNkLX.dpbs.

Yukon News. (2013, February 6). Incredible acts of kindness in Haiti. Retrieved from http://yukon-news.com/letters-opinions/incredible-acts-of-kindness-in-haiti.

Appendix I: Photographs

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Appendix II: Footnotes

[1] Co-Founder, Coordinator, and Head of Haiti Operations, Little Footprints Big Steps International Development Organization.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2017, at www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2018, at www.in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.), Government of Canada; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Governor General of Canada Academic Awards; Yukon Commissioner Award; Finalist, Young Women Impacting Social Justice, The Berger-Marks Foundation; Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Impact, Rotary International; Keynote Speaker (2013), United Nations Youth Assembly; Finalist (2012), Edna Award, International Women’s Rights.

[4] Photograph courtesy of Morgan Wienberg.

[5] Co-Founder/Head of Haiti Operations: MORGAN WIENBERG, M.S.C. (2016) states:

Raised in Canada’s far northern city of Whitehorse, Yukon, throughout her youth, Morgan volunteered with non-profit organizations and developed an all-consuming interest in human rights. In 2010, six months after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, this high school valedictorian traded her snow boots for sandals and set off for the devastated country. What was meant to be a short trip changed her life – and countless others – forever.

Morgan volunteered in an orphanage and found the conditions to be appalling. She witnessed children that were neglected, beaten, and starved. In some cases, children were used as slaves or sold, as if they were property. Although it was sorely needed, the children were denied medical attention. Morgan discovered that children had been sent to the orphanage by their parents in the mistaken belief that their children would be offered food, education, and loving care. Morgan began to work towards reuniting children with their families.

In 2011, Morgan co-founded Little Footprints, Big Steps (LFBS). Morgan continues to live in Haiti, leading the organization with integrity, creativity and perseverance. Forging partnerships and collaborations with other non-profits and with Haitian government; spearheading initiatives and piloting programs; hiring and guiding Haitian staff; managing the program administration; tirelessly pouring love and encouragement into all of the children and families that come her way.

Little Footprints, Big Steps. (2016). Co-Founder/Head of Haiti Operations: MORGAN WIENBERG, M.S.C.. Retrieved from http://www.littlefootprintsbigsteps.com/about-us/meet-mogan/.

[6] CTVNews.ca. (n.d.). 23-year-old receives Meritorious Service Cross Medal. Retrieved from http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=804018&playlistId=1.2769055&binId=1.815911&playlistPageNum=1&binPageNum=1.

[7] Ibid.

Appendix III: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One) [Online].September 2017; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2017, September 1). An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One)Retrieved from www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A, September. 2017. <www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2017. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A. www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 15.A (September 2017). www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A. Available from: <www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2017, ‘An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 15.A., www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 15.A (2017):September. 2017. Web. <www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Morgan Wienberg, M.S.C. (Part One) [Internet]. (2017, September; 15(A). Available from: www.in-sightjournal.com/morgan-wienberg-part-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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