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Media Advisory

University of Minnesota College of Design students to fly kites for children of Haiti

230 kites will be flown over university's East Bank campus

What: University of Minnesota students fly 230 kites to show solidarity with the children of Haiti
When: Approximately 3:55 p.m. Tuesday, May 4 
Where: Mississippi River bank behind Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis

Contacts: Laura Weber, College of Design,, (612) 625-6566
Jeff Falk, University News Service,, (612) 626-1720

May 3, 2010

University of Minnesota College of Design students will fly 230 kites to raise awareness and show their solidarity with children of Haiti who have been displaced by the Jan. 12 earthquake. The kites will be then be brought to Haiti by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) and distributed among children living in displaced people camps.

The 230 students will gather at 3:35 p.m. in the Bell Museum auditorium, 10 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis, and then walk down Church Street to the riverbank behind Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. The kites will be up and flying by approximately 3:55 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the kite flying will be postponed to Wednesday, May 5, or Thursday, May 6.

The students are members of architecture professor Leslie Van Duzer’s Design Fundamentals class. Van Duzer and her fellow professors Ozayr Saloojee and John Comazzi traveled to Haiti April 16-20 as volunteers with the Minneapolis-based ARC to assess camps for displaced people.

While in Haiti, they assessed the shelter and community living conditions of two camps managed by the ARC. Based on their observations, the three faculty are currently consulting with the ARC on how to best help displaced people rebuild their communities.

There are officially 1.3 million people displaced by the magnitude-7 earthquake. Hundreds of thousands of people currently live in settlement camps that evolved with little or no planning. These Haitians live in makeshift tarp homes and shanties, a condition that is further threatened by the approaching rainy season.

For more information about the ARC and its efforts in Haiti, visit

Tags: College of Design

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