Mentoring/Leadership Training Program
The Mentoring/Leadership Training Program of the International University Center Haiti (“Uni Haiti”) originated as an Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW Haiti) program begun shortly after the earthquake of January 12, 2010 to train college-age Haitian mentors for the children in OIWW Haiti’s orphan care program. The second academic year (2011-12) was assumed by Uni Haiti. Two graduates of this training program have now been hired to direct Uni Haiti and OIWW Haiti. Fifty students entered the 2010-11 program, 34 completed it, and 15 graduated with honors. A sampling of their edited stories may be found here.
I would like to write about the people who survived the earthquake of January 12, 2010 – how it changed their lives, what they are up to now, and how these survivors fit into the context of Haitian history and society.
“Haiti” is but a small corner of the globe that possessed in her extraordinary power to leave us with the overwhelming memory of earthquake devastation on January 12, 2010. This date, now burned into us sons and daughters of Haiti, represents a tragedy that weakened us as citizens and forever changed our lives.
The Republic of Haiti has been gifted with a tropical climate, shaped with mountain chains, surrounded mostly by coast, with agriculture the main exportation. Divided into ten Department (like states or provinces), the combined population is assessed at around nine million inhabitants. Three of Haiti’s Departments were been stuck by the earthquake, primarily in the west including the Haitian capital. Towns with the highest human concentration – including enormous shantytowns – had the most anarchic conditions which resulted in around 300,000 dead and 1.5 million without shelter.
Talking of hope for Haiti today is often qualified as this country was the poorest in the Americas to begin with. This is due to the underdevelopment of our middle class, an unhealthy condition which need to change to give our country a chance and to set a good example for the future of Haitian society.
After more than one year, the Haitian population has had little true assistance, physically or psychologically. There remain hundreds of thousands still living in camps, under tents in inhuman conditions in spite of the many, many organizations here claiming to be humanitarian yet profiteer like gangs wherever they pass.
Jean Fédris AUGUSTE
Sometimes, a tragedy may bring about good fortune. We can consider the case of Haiti before and after the earthquake of January 12, 2010. Before the earthquake, the Haitian situation was already bad: more than 70% of the active population was unemployed. Many children couldn’t go to school.
The young who reached high school level named in Haiti Baccalaureate Two (bacc 2) couldn’t frequent a college. These things occurred because there is not a regulator State. There are cloths a lack information and formation.
With the earthquake, we have a new Haiti, a new reality, with new thinking and objectives. More people visit Haiti now and our country has become known all over the world. Even though we don’t have official numbers, more people are working here now than in the past.
It is true that nothing can equal a life. We lost many lives in the earthquake. But there is hope that some lives are already changed, especially mine. Before the earthquake, for example, I didn’t know English. Nowadays, I can write, read, understand and speak better English thanks to this program.
Furthermore, the international organizations continue to bring support to Haiti. There are more young people who are working now, and more children are going to school. This is why I hope to be, in the context of Haitian history and society, a volunteer. To help sensitize our Haitian people to change their mentality and to educate themselves for the good of our nation. Finally, I think that it’s time at last for Haiti to start with her development – especially in her rebuilding.
As a young student, I always believe that Haiti can know a better day and it’s necessary for everybody to know what they can do to realize that dream. My name is Belange Louiner and I’m talking an English mentoring course to assist with orphaned children through Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW).
After the earthquake, the international community never stops mentioning Haiti. Their aid for our nation’s reconstruction is massive and we Haitians now should rebuild Haiti. I think this context require more and more qualified people such as interpreters, cement brick masons, plumbers, electricians, and so on.
The reconstruction we’re talking about won’t come true if first we don’t organize ourselves and if we don’t learn from our past mistakes. We have to see the bad side of the earthquake because it permits us to realize something that we could never have realized. For example, some areas that should never have been inhabited to begin with and many, many ill-built homes.
We have now the opportunity to build new structures: roads, building, houses. While it’s true that the earthquake devastated our country and took too many Haitian lives, but as a result, we have begun to develop a sense of solidarity and collaboration with each other and the world.
It is not that I cannot write this essay, it is that I have decided for many reasons not to. I see my colleagues write their own essays, but I sincerely believe they are not better in English than me. As far I am concerned, I have not learned to write an essay in this course, but from what I have learned on the web I could if I wished to.
I have always wanted and tried to be clear, sincere, and honest in everything that I do. Yes, I could look for an essay on the web and send it to you, and yes, I could have someone doing it for me as well. But I choose not to. I choose the opposite.
So briefly, I want to tell you, that I am and will be always there to help and support whoever who wants to help the country that I love; my Haiti. Good luck.
Marie France CÉSAIRE
Today I have the pleasure to talk about life in Haiti, particularly mine after the earthquake. As everybody knows life is a fight, a fight with the hope that you will realize your dreams but in Haiti we fight without know why we fight cause we live without hope there’s nobody who think about us.
Before the earthquake me and my family were living together without trouble we were very happy. Suddenly, on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 everything changed: people died, houses and cars were destroyed – it was very nasty. Fortunately, there were no victims in my own family or among my friends. But nonetheless it was very difficult for everybody. Up until now there’s people living under tents in very bad conditions of life. Before it was just my dream to become an engineer, but now I feel the obligation to be an engineer to help my country to rise again. It is for that reason that I now try to give myself fully, to work hard and study harder. All of us have to put hands together to work for Haiti.
Finally, I thank everyone who thinks about Haiti – particularly Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) that has helped the youth of Léogâne. I hope OIWW’s team won’t be discouraged even among difficulties. God will bless you and everyone who think positive for Haiti.
Metrics & Priorities
The goal of The International University Center Haiti (“UniHaiti”) is to promote development of a New Haiti that is built from hearing the voices of a broad cross-section of its population who must have a say as to their needs and how their country should look in 3, 5, 10 years’ time and beyond. To this end, we are making an initial effort to do a qualitative and quantitative assessment of needs and resources and create a roadmap for our contribution to Haiti that is driven and informed by Haitians as well as our partners.
The survey is being conducted with the input and cooperation of the Mayors of Léogâne and Petite-Goâve. Their participation will augment the potential for the survey to be a viable tool in encouraging the solicitation of Haitian voices across a broad spectrum of society and serve as a model for inclusive decision making as the new Haiti takes shape. Global Advisor Annette Swierzbinski has agreed to spearhead this first effort to define our goals, Haitians’ visions and the outcomes we are working to achieve in the short and long run. We will be setting up an initial sequence of benchmarks that will allow us to measure outcomes, impact, and effectiveness as we continue to go forward, as well as a hierarchy of priorities for our goals and outcome measures. Given the instability that is Haiti, these objectives will be fluid, but provide us with some parameters to better deal with potential partners.