Steven Werlin was a faculty member at Shimer College, in Chicago, from 1996 to 2017. He taught widely through the curriculum and served as Dean of the College there from 2001 through 2004. In 1996, he also began traveling to Haiti, where he was invited to observe literacy classes and to talk with the people organizing them about ways to involve students in classroom discussions.
He has now been living in Haiti since January 2005, dividing his time between a room in a house in Kaglo, a village in mountains above Port au Prince, and three to four other residences. He’s taught classes for high school students, literacy center participants, primary school teachers, and groups as different as teenage boys from Port au Prince’s largest slum and women from a network of rape victims.
He started working with Fonkoze as an advisor to its literacy and education department in early 2005 and continued to help with various projects for its communications, grant writing, and education teams until March 2009, when he became the manager of its branch in the southeastern town of Marigot. Since 2010, he has been working for Chemen Lavi Miyò, or CLM, Fonkoze’s program for the extreme poor. He started as a regional director, but is now the communications and learning officer.
When he’s not in the field, he likes to sit on his front porch with his dog Lilly, drinking coffee and reading novels.
Werlin is the author of To Fool the Rain: Haiti’s Poor and their Pathway to a Better Life.
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