The Academy for Peace and Justice Opens New Wing of Classrooms: USC Professor Dr. Reza NabavianBrings Health and Education to Haiti
On Friday, November 18, 2011, Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) celebrates the opening of a beautiful new wing of classrooms at Haiti’s first free secondary school, The Academy for Peace and Justice.
7th and 8th grades are in action for this academic year, set in the new school building. The next phase of construction of the school will start in the spring.
“This is why we fight for Haiti. We are now educating nearly 800 secondary students,” said APJ board member Dr. Reza Nabavian.
Another APJ board member, Paul Haggis, was in Haiti with the organization to mark this benchmark in the ongoing efforts to rebuild Haiti.
APJ continues to support the medical relief projects at St. Damien hospital.
“We are having a series of donor trips to Haiti over the next few months to attract new support for our ever-expanding projects,” says Dr. Nabavian
No Schools for the Masses
“APJ’s main project is to deliver free education because so many kids have no access to school.” In Haiti, education is not free – and as one of the world’s poorest countries, many Haitians simply can’t afford to educate their children. “We created a free middle and high school for kids in the slums. We are building campuses to provide free education.” The curriculum includes music, art, film, community service and computer, leadership and vocational training. “APJ could take up 200% of my time, if I could give it. There’s just so much need down there.”
“I’ve worked on some high profile people, making them look better. But there is a higher level of personal fulfillment when you realize that what you have learned can make such a huge impact on people that have so much need.”
“I’ve always seen myself as a doctor first and a plastic surgeon second,” says Dr. Reza Nabavian, Los Angeles plastic surgeon and USC professor.
Passion to Rebuild Haiti
Dr. Nabavian’s time is in high demand. As a private practicing plastic surgeon, Dr. Nabavian has some pretty high profile clients. And as the Director of Aesthetic Surgery Education at USC, his expertise is a critical component of the university’s residency program. As if serving on multiple panels and maintaining two full time jobs weren’t enough, Dr Nabavian is on the Artists for Peace and Justice Board of Directors. He shares the board with Paul Haggis, Ben Stiller, Olivia Wilde and Dr. Bob Arnot.
Artists for Peace and Justice is a star studded charity that focuses primarily on providing schools for Haitians and secondarily for delivering medical aid. Since the 2008 earthquake, Dr. Nabavian has gone to Haiti over a dozen times to lend a medical hand, “There are two components to our efforts: general and medical relief. I go there to perform surgeries, support hospitals and rehab centers and to help kids with prosthetics.”