Walk for Haiti

The Tulane School of Social Work, together with the Run for Third organization, will host the RaRa for Haiti walkathon on Saturday (May 22) to benefit survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. Proceeds from the event will be split between Partners in Health, a provider of healthcare to indigent groups, and HeARTS with Haiti, a therapeutic arts-based program for traumatized children.

Pascale Gerdes, a Tulane staff member and native of Haiti, discovered the Run for Third organization while researching ways to lend a hand to her family and friends in Port-Au-Prince after the earthquake. Run for Third specializes in organizing walk/run events to benefit third-world countries.

Soon after, Gerdes joined forces with Tulane School of Social Work graduate students Jordan Matevich and Tuyl Fletchinger, who shared a similar interest in raising funds for the Haitian people.

"We are all very excited about the event, and we are looking forward to receiving the support of the community this weekend," says Gerdes. "I've become the New Orleans representative for Run for Third, and Jordan and Tuyl were really helpful in getting the support of faculty, staff and students in the School of Social Work."

The event name comes from the Haitian term "RaRa," which is a type of festival music played during street processions similar to the New Orleans second line. Beginning at 9 a.m., participants will enjoy second-line lessons and a flag-making activity, followed by a walk through Audubon Park at 10 am.

Pre-registration is open now at the RaRa for Haiti website. Adult registration is $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. Child registration is $7 beforehand and $10 the morning of the walk. Children under age six participate free of charge.

HeARTS with Haiti is organizing cultural programs to build resilience for that nation's citizens, especially its children. The organization was formed by the Tulane Institute for Psychosocial Health and social work students.