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Check Out Garry Aime’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Garry Aime.

Hi Garry, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Garry Aime, I’m the president and Founder of Komite Ayite Inc. (KAI). in 2010 after the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, We appreciated the outpoure support from Baltimore city residents ,local government and stakeholders

We began with a small group of Haitian Americans volunteering throughout the city, from feeding the homeless, providing rides to immigrants for court appointments, and conducting community clean-ups.

In 2018, Komite Ayiti Inc. officially as registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3). KAI is a grassroots organization geared towards connecting the community to educational, social, and cultural resources that promote and support community development in the Baltimore area.

We have forged alliances with many organizations in the city that share an interest in the educational and social growth of Baltimore city – organizations like the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Creative Alliance, Friends of Patterson Park and Mayor’s Office of Immigrants Affairs (MIMA)

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
In the beginning, we struggle to forge alliances with major stakeholders in the city. One of our challenges is the narrative that Haitians always need some form of empathy and charitable contribution.

After taking control of our narrative and educating the public about the first black republic and the impact of Haiti’s revolution on local and international, people started to see us as a voice for the Haitian Americans in the DMV

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
KAI has successfully implemented multiple programs in Baltimore City. Prior to COVID, KAI regularly facilitates Haitian Kreyol language classes for all levels.

To build community and eliminate the negative stigma of Haiti, we hold a Pale Kreyol happy hour session where attendees get an opportunity to engage. This event is held as a monthly get-together to introduce the music and dance to those who would not have it readily available to them.

In addition to these great introductions, we’ve had an opportunity to infuse our culture and brand into the community. Here is a list of a few programs/events that we have:

– Haitian Kreyol Language classes: )
– Soup Joumou – (Pumpkin Sou) Haitian Independence Day Celebration
– Annual Mayor’s Spring Clean Up throughout Baltimore City
– Haitian Flag Day Celebration with citations from the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland

– Annual Caribbean Baltimore /DC Carnival
– Annual Community Cookout – food, fun, games, and local vendors providing goods and service for the
community.
– Meals on Wheels

o In 2016, we held a Hurricane Matthew Relief drive to assist the Houston Haitians United organization and their community.

o In 2018, we partnered up with the Creative Alliance Performing Arts Center to host and promote a popular Haitian folk music band as they tour North America.

Also, in 2019, we with The Creative Alliance Performing Arts Center and Friends of Patterson Park to provide kite-making seminars for Baltimore’s first-ever Kite Festival. It was an absolute success! Baltimore’s 9th Annual World Refugee Day celebration to provide attendees with the history, art, and music of Haiti. Since 2020 Komite Ayiti, participates monthly on Immigrants outreach for COVID Information, Hesitancy and Clinic, facilitated by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrants Affairs. Up to date KAI hosted three (3) COVID clinic and information.

We have many more exciting events and initiatives that we are looking to bring to the community. We hope to keep you informed about our events and plan to keep you and your events on our radar.

Any big plans?
Komite Ayiti, Inc. (KAI) plans for the future to have a safe place for all residents of Baltimore to come and share Haiti’s rich history and culture.

We are hoping to have a commercial building for the community to use for after-school tutoring, art activities (Haitian Cultural Dance) , health services,community centers, and a museum. We are a small organization with big goals and inspirations,however, in order to accomplish these goals we need the help of local leaders, the community,local and state government. I believe its possible because in Baltimore is where dreams do come true. This upcoming August 14th from 2-8 we are hosting our second Annual Haitian Caribbean Festival and Concert at Patterson Park. Featuring: Live entertaiment, Taste of Haiti Experience, Cultural Activites and Dances, Food vendors, and Covid Information and clinic to the public. This event is open to all Baltimorean and Marylanders. Please Join us. Mesi

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