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lundi 24 mars 2014

Il fallait oser et on a osé.
Pour sauver une vie.
Avec un peu de recul cela a paru si simple. Comme si on devait juste pousser des portes entr’ouvertes. Les difficultés rencontrées n’ont pas de commune mesure avec la satisfaction basée sur la coopération de tout le monde.
Muralda était condamnée à être opérée dans de bonnes conditions ou mourir. Elle souffrait depuis deux ans d’une hypertension intracrânienne provoquée par une tumeur bénigne de la fosse temporale. Après deux ans de maux de tête à crever, elle décida de voir un ophtalmologue, Docteur Ritza Eugène Cadet, car en plus de céphalées, elle voyait de moins en moins. Nous avons été contactés et mis au courant de cas de Muralda par cette ophtalmologue amie.
Les associations constituant le COLLECTIF HAITI PROVENCE MEDITERRANEE, par l’intermédiaire de leurs représentants : Anne-Marie STRABONI, Marie-Dominique OHRESSER, Valérie RANCHIN, les VERS A SOIE, se sont lancées dans la réalisation de ce miracle.
Grâce à la générosité des médecins intervenant au niveau de la clinique et à la direction du Centre Hospitalier CLAIRVAL dans la personne de Monsieur RIT le miracle a été rendu possible.
Il a fallu l’intervention de personnalités importantes de la région pour faciliter l’obtention des Visas. Dans ce sens, nous manifestons l’expression de notre gratitude à Monsieur Le Consul Jean Claude LEVY et l’ancien ministre Monsieur Gérard Bissainthe dont les apports ont été plus que prépondérants.
Aujourd’hui, trois jours après l’intervention chirurgicale, Muralda se porte bien, a récupéré une bonne partie de sa vision.
Merci pour elle !

mercredi 12 mars 2014

1500 victims in Haiti sue UN over cholera epidemic - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video

1500 victims in Haiti sue UN over cholera epidemic - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, Video

Episcopal Church’s Haiti rebuilding effort gets major boost

Episcopal Church’s Haiti rebuilding effort gets major boost

Pincott embarks on Haiti mission to consult with local governments on reconstruction efforts

Next week promises to provide an eye-opening experience for Coun. Brian Pincott.
As the city’s representative to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Pincott leaves Monday for a 13-day trip to Haiti, where he will consult with local governments on reconstruction efforts.
“We are working to help local governments down there put governance processes in place and build resilience so they can manage their own affairs,” he said.
“We do this far too often where we go build a water plant but we don’t actually put the processes in place for the locals to manage the water plant and make sure it keeps going.
“We don’t put processes in place so they can build it themselves, that’s what we’re doing.”
This is the start of a five-year municipal co-operation program between the FCM and Haiti.
“I’m going to be working with the locals to basically set out what we hope to accomplish over the next five years,” he said adding work has been ongoing around revenue generation.
“The municipal government has no control over revenue, so we worked with them to help them set up a billboard tax because they were relying completely on the federal government giving them money. “Working out things like keeping street lights operating, really basic stuff, and the goal is to build resilience so they can start taking care of it themselves so they’re not constantly looking to the federal government or foreign governments.”
Pincott was chosen as he is fluent in French, the predominant language in Haiti. He will be based in the capital of Port-au-Prince and work with five surrounding towns known as Région des Palmes.
It’s being funded by the city of Montreal, Union of Quebec Municipalities, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the FCM.
http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/03/11/pincott-embarks-on-haiti-mission-to-consult-with-local-governments-on-reconstruction-efforts

lundi 3 mars 2014

Marc Collat. À Haïti, la vie d'après

Il y a un peu moins de 15 ans, il entraînait le Stade Briochin en D2, jusqu'à la liquidation brutale du club, le 17 mars 1997. Depuis le mois de janvier, Marc Collat a changé d'univers : il est le sélectionneur national de l'équipe d'Haïti, qui livrera mercredi un match historique au Kosovo. Le premier que cette république d'ex-Yougoslavie livrera sous l'égide de la FIFA.
Quand le deuil l'a frappé, l'été dernier, Marc Collat s'est raccroché à ce qui lui restait : un ballon, le même que celui qu'il chérissait dans les ruelles de Fort-de-France. « Pour essayer de panser un peu les plaies », dit-il. Après trois années passées au chevet de sa femme, épousée en seconde noce, « j'ai eu la volonté de retravailler », raconte l'ancien joueur du Racing Paris, de Malakoff et du Stade Français. Plus qu'une volonté d'ailleurs, « un besoin », devine Julie, sa fille. Comme sa mère, elle est restée vivre à Plérin après la liquidation du Stade Briochin. En habitué de la Bretagne, son père est passé la voir, ce week-end, avant de s'envoler pour le Kosovo.
« C'est tout ce qu'il me fallait »
Marc Collat entraîne depuis 30 ans. « Ma première expérience, c'était en tant qu'entraîneur-joueur, à la fin de ma carrière, avec la Celle-Saint-Cloud. On était monté de PH en DH. » Trois décennies plus tard, le voici à Haïti. Au plus près de ses racines antillaises. Face à sa nouvelle vie. « Quand ils ont su que j'étais disponible, ils m'ont tout de suite appelé. Ils pensaient que j'avais arrêté. » Au bout du fil, Yves Jean-Bart, le président de la fédération l'a vite convaincu. « Le courant est bien passé. Il m'a invité, je suis resté là-bas une semaine. » Le court séjour a suffi à l'emballer. « Je voulais voir notamment dans quelles conditions on allait s'entraîner. Elles sont assez bonnes, avec un terrain synthétique dernière génération. » Contacté en décembre, Marc Collat a officiellement été présenté à la presse locale le 15 janvier. Il s'est engagé pour deux ans. « Je n'avais jamais été responsable d'une sélection, sauf celle des moins de 20 ans du Qatar. Ce challenge, c'est tout à fait ce qu'il me fallait. »
« Offrir à ce pays un peu de bonheur »
Depuis sa nomination, l'homme se partage entre l'État insulaire des Grandes Antilles et dans l'Hexagone. Vendredi soir, il était encore à Caen où évolue Jean-Jacques Pierre, le joueur en activité le plus capé. « Sur place, avec mes deux adjoints, Jérôme Velfert et Marc Cheze, nous avons commencé à travailler avec les joueurs de première division haïtienne pour situer leur potentiel. Certains sont intéressants.
Nous avons également ciblé plusieurs jeunes, de 17 à 21 ans, qui devraient faire des essais en avril dans des clubs français. J'ai déjà pris des contacts avec les centres de formation de Nice et Montpellier. » Touché par un séisme dévastateur en janvier 2010, d'une magnitude de plus de 7,1 sur l'échelle de Richter, Haïti est toujours engagé dans une lente reconstruction et redevient tout juste une destination touristique. « Mon ambition, c'est aussi d'offrir à ce pays un peu de bonheur grâce au football », avoue le Martiniquais de naissance.
Dans les rues de Port-au-Prince, la capitale, qui regroupe deux millions d'habitants, « on voit encore les stigmates de la catastrophe. Le pays est l'un des plus pauvres au monde, plus de 70 % de la population vit en dessous du seuil de pauvreté. » À Haïti, l'espérance de vie moyenne est de 61 ans, 500.000 enfants en âge de l'être ne sont pas scolarisés...
« La population a énormément souffert. » Mais, depuis peu, Haïti revit. Et, avant comme maintenant, sur ce morceau d'île des Caraïbes, « ils sont dingues de foot. Par exemple, les gens sont persuadés que si leur sélection joue un jour contre le Brésil, elle va l'emporter. »
« Entraîner, c'est comme le vélo »
Successeur du Cubain Blake Cantero, limogé après l'élimination prématurée lors de la Gold Cup 2013 aux États-Unis, Marc Collat est le quatrième technicien engagé en six ans par la fédération haïtienne.
« J'aurais pu partir comme adjoint en Afrique mais ma motivation n'était pas financière. Cela fait trois ans et demi que je n'avais plus entraîné. Finalement, c'est comme le vélo, ça revient vite ! » Sa dernière étape l'avait mené au Stade de Reims. Une deuxième fois, il avait extirpé le club champenois du National. Avant de partir, Marc Collat avait oeuvré pour qu'Hubert Fournier, son adjoint, lui succède.
Avec le succès que l'on sait. « Dans ma carrière, il y a eu plus de joies que de peines. Je pense aux deux montées en Ligue 2 avec Reims, à toute la période passée au Paris Saint-Germain. Et, bien sûr, à la montée du Stade Briochin en D2. »
Forcément, la liquidation du club costarmoricain, en mars 1997, est aussi son pire souvenir. « Il s'agit de ma plus grosse déception d'entraîneur.
Il y avait tout à faire dans ce club, des jeunes d'un excellent niveau, un vrai potentiel pour réussir. » La vie l'a dévié de ce destin tout tracé. La nouvelle qui commence sera un beau chemin. 63 ans. Né le 24 mai 1950 à Fort-de-France (Martinique)
Carrière de joueur :
RC Paris (1969-1972), USM Malakoff (1972-1980), Stade Français (1980-1982), Versailles FC (1982-1983).
Carrière d'entraîneur :
La Celle Saint-Cloud (1983-1986, entraîneur-joueur, de la PH à la DH), Paris SG (1986-1993, centre de formation), Créteil (1993-décembre 1994, D3), Le Tampon (La Réunion, janvier-juin 1995), STADE BRIOCHIN (1995-mars 1997, National et D2), Amiens (janvier-juin 1998, directeur sportif), Paris SG (1998-2000, centre de formation), Reims (novembre 2000-décembre 2002, National et D2), Qatar (2003-octobre 2004, sélection nationale U19), Clermont (2005 - mai 2006, Ligue 2), Île Maurice (2009, DTN), Reims (2009-2010, National), Haïti (depuis janvier 2014, sélection nationale).
Haïti : un groupe de 19
Rassemblés hier soir à Paris, les Haïtiens s'envolent aujourd'hui pour le Kosovo. Marc Collat a convoqué 19 joueurs mais pourrait en exempter certains, dont Jeff Louis (Nancy) et Jean-Jacques Pierre (Caen) concernés par la prochaine journée de Ligue 2, vendredi.
LA SÉLECTION HAÏTIENNE. Gardiens : Placide (Reims, L1), Jean-Zéphirin (Fréjus, Nat.). Défenseurs : Alcénat (Petrolul, Roumanie), Lambèse (Paris SG), Lafrance (Widzew Lodz, Pologne), Bertin (Apollon Kalamarias, Grèce), Meschalk (Kansas City, USA), Jaggy (FC Aaarau, Suisse), Pierre (Caen, L2) ?. Milieux : Mustivar (Petrolul, Roumanie), Metellus (Ivry, CFA), Guerrier (Wisla Cracovie, Pologne). Vorbe (FC Edmonton, Canada), Ambroise (AFC Tubize, Belgique), Louis (Nancy, L2) ?. Attaquants : Belfort (FC Sion, Belgique ; prêté jusqu'au 30 juin à Grenoble, CFA), Nazon (Roye, CFA), Maurice (Paris), James (Sablé-sur-Sarthe, CFA 2). http://www.letelegramme.fr/football/marc-collat-a-haiti-la-vie-d-apres-03-03-2014-10061355.php

Cine haitiano en la Cinemateca de Ecuador

La Cinemateca Nacional de la Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana (CCE) y la Embajada de la República de Haití presentan la muestra fílmica ‘El arte haitiano, la otra cara’, que se desarrolla en la Sala Alfredo Pareja hasta mañana, con entrada libre.
Hoy, a las 17:00, se proyectará ‘Cédor, la estética de la modestia’, que narra la historia de Dieudonne Cédor quien, inspirado por la llama de la poesía y la fantasía, se convirtió en uno de los más recientes representantes de la época dorada del arte haitiano.
A la misma hora se ofrecerá el cortometraje de 28 minutos ‘Tiga, Rêve, Possession, Création, Folie’ (2001), dirigido por Arnold Antonin, que repasa la vida de uno de los artistas más importantes de la historia haitiana, considerado un renovador del arte cerámico, músico y poeta.
A las 19:30, se proyectará ‘Préfete Duffaut, pietat y la fantasía urbana’, un documental sobre un destacado pintor del arte naif, cuyas obras se exhiben en museos de Europa y Estados Unidos de América.
A partir de la misma hora se apreciará otro cortometraje, ‘André Pierre, el que pinta lo que es bueno’, de 27 minutos, dirigido por Arnold Antonin.
Programa del sábado
Para mañana, a las 17:00, se podrá ver ‘Boss-Metal’, un documental que rinde homenaje a los herreros que en la ciudad burguesa llamada Noailles mantuvieron vivo su arte y hoy en día 200 artistas siguen allí la tradición del genio herrero Georges Liautaud.
También se proyectará el largometraje ‘Herby, el jazz y la música haitiana’, de 100 minutos, con la historia del destacado músico Herby Widmaier, quien grabó a músicos y orquestas durante casi 40 años en Haití, y tocó y cantó junto a varios grupos nacionales e internacionales..
A las 19:30, se apreciará el corto de 7 minutos ‘Había una vez Péricles’, de 2010, del director Arnold Antonin, que muestra la vida de un personaje que, luego de estudiar un tiempo en el seminario, descubrió temprano su vocación de mago. En 2004, su galería fue saqueada y ocupada por invasores, por lo que Haití y la humanidad perdieron un tesoro que se aspira a encontrar de nuevo.
El Dato
El ingreso a las funciones es libre, hasta agotar aforo.
http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1101640287/-1/Cine_haitiano_en_la_Cinemateca.html#.UxRiEON5NGY

Dominicanos en EU rechazan desnaturalización de haitianos

Por: Prensa Latina | 10:04 PM
WASHINGTON, 28 febrero, 2014 (PL).- La comunidad dominicana de la ciudad de Nueva York, en el noreste de Estados Unidos, se movilizó contra la decisión de su país de quitarle la ciudadanía a miles de coterráneos que tienen ascendencia haitiana, informaron hoy medios de prensa.
Cientos de personas aprovecharon el 170 aniversario de independencia del país caribeño y realizaron anoche una vigilia en la plaza Duarte Square de la llamada Gran Manzana, en rechazo al fallo judicial del 23 de septiembre último.
El Tribunal Constitucional de República Dominicana acordó negar la nacionalidad a los hijos de extranjeros indocumentados y en tránsito, una sentencia con carácter retroactivo hasta 1929 y que, en consecuencia, dejaría a unas 200 mil personas sin ciudadanía.
Los participantes en la manifestación calificaron la medida de arbitraria, racista y xenófoba, y exigieron su revocación inmediata.
Denunciaron, además, que pese al rechazo mundial los afectados ahora deben presentar una solicitud de residencia para permanecer en el país donde nacieron.
Agrupaciones internacionales como la agencia de refugiados de Naciones Unidas y la Organización de Estados Americanos, entre otros, condenaron el dictamen del Tribunal y consideraron que ese proceso conllevaría a que tres generaciones de dominicanos de ascendencia haitiana se conviertan en apátridas.
http://www.barrigaverde.net/?q=node/36897

vendredi 28 février 2014

LE DOSSIER DE MURALDA AVANCE A GRAND PAS…

 Hier nous avions vécu des moments intenses et très fructueux avec le dossier de Muralda.
Comme vous le saviez, nous nous sommes rencontrés face à une impasse de taille après le refus des autorités consulaires de l’ambassade d’Haïti à délivrer les visas pour soins médicaux à Muralda et à Ilmide sa sœur comme accompagnatrice pour l’aider lors de son voyage, ses déplacements et surtout pour la rassurer durant cette épreuve de taille pour elle.
Pour nous, ce refus nous avait frappés à la figure comme une gifle très douloureuse. Il nous était impossible de comprendre et d’accepter comment cette femme pouvait ainsi être condamnée à mourir en Haïti avec une maladie curable juste par le simple fait de ne pas avoir une situation économique stable, malgré cette débauche de générosité manifestée en sa faveur par des médecins et surtout la direction de la clinique.
Cependant, si on veut rester logique et ne pas tomber dans des condamnations trop insensées, il faut se mettre dans la peau des autorités qui voient apparaître deux « malheureuses » - (dans le sens haïtien du terme) – qui viennent solliciter deux visas pour soins médicaux en France en affirmant avec ou sans certificat que tous les frais seront exonérés ! Ca relève presque de l’inimaginable ! Une fable !
En fait les autorités voulaient obtenir deux garanties essentielles. Parce que, selon elles, dans la grande majorité des cas, des demandes de visas pour soins médicaux sont agréées et souvent ou les malades se font soigner dans un hôpital public gratuitement aux frais du gouvernement français ou les malades disparaissent dans la nature pour rester clandestinement en France.
Après la nouvelle du refus, de notre côté nous avons compris qu’il fallait qu’une personnalité crédible se porte garant de notre action. Nous avons multiplié les contacts tout en nous gardant de ne pas tomber dans un déballage public qui pourrait faire le buzz mais passerait complètement à côté de nos intentions et de l’intérêt primordial de cette activité.
Les membres du Collectif Haïti Provence Méditerranée, et des bénévoles se sont mobilisés et de très bons contacts ont été établis.
Hier nous sommes entrés dans une phase décisive. En effet un ancien ministre haïtien résidant en France, Président du Collectif a contacté un Consul d’Haïti très actif habitant notre région. (Les noms seront précisés au moment opportun). Ce Consul, qui avait en mai dernier organisé une magnifique exposition de peintures naïves de grands maîtres haïtiens au parc du XVI centenaire, a établi immédiatement un contact permanent entre le ministère des affaires étrangères françaises puis avec l’ambassadeur de France à Port-au-Prince. Sous sa dictée presque, nous avons écrit des documents, établi des attestations que nous avons faxés, puis expédiés par email etc…
Il nous a rapporté ce que nous avons signifié plus haut comme justification du refus. Donc lui il s’était porté garant que les frais seront couverts par la clinique et surtout que les femmes retourneront en Haïti après les soins. Il nous a gentiment suggéré de prévoir la possibilité de les raccompagner à l’ambassade de façon à rendre plus facile les actions du même genre que nous aurions à réaliser ultérieurement.
Nous avons donc pris sur nous formellement cet engagement moyennant une attestation.
Il nous a aussi proposé de lui envoyer les documents originaux par lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception et qu’en qualité de Consul il était apte à certifier que les originaux sont conformes.
Pour l’anecdote, Nous avions quitté la clinique vers 20 heures et en arrivant devant chez nous, nous eûmes un coup de fil nous demandant des fax complémentaires et une attestation. Pas pour demain mais pour tout de suite. Sans rentrer chez nous, nous fîmes demi-tour.
Une fois les fax envoyés, nous sommes restés jusqu’à 21 :30 au cas où d’autres sollicitations nous seraient parvenues.
Sur la route du retour, ce fut au tour de l’ancien ministre de m’appeler pour m’informer que le Consul lui avait laissé un message pour lui annoncer que le problème c’était réglé !
Hourra !
Muralda et Imeline seront probablement reçues en début de semaine à l’ambassade et sauf contre temps inespéré elles devraient recevoir leurs visas.
Une expérience déjà très enrichissante avec un nombre incalculable de leçons à tirer !
A SUIVRE !
Dr Jonas Jolivert

mercredi 26 février 2014

Rutgers director of football recruiting persuades players to join his Haiti rebuilding team

By Tom Luicci/The Star-Ledger


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on February 26, 2014 at 7:00 AM, updated February 26, 2014 at 7:29 AM
Tariq Ahmad makes his pitch and immediately breaks his first rule of business: Make no promises.
The director of recruiting operations for the Rutgers football program starts talking to players about an opportunity to visit an exotic locale where they can make a difference. They’ll live in primitive conditions and spend all day doing physically demanding work.
And — here’s the promise — it will be a “life-changing experience.”
“You come back a different person,” says Chris Muller, a starting offensive lineman on the Rutgers football team. “I know I did. You hear a lot of the guys say the same thing.”
Every time Tariq (pronounced Tark) Ahmad hears that, he smiles.
So this month, for the third straight year, Ahmad will head to Haiti with about a dozen Rutgers players to help with the continuing effort to rebuild the country following the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked the island on Jan. 12, 2010.
“One of the goals is to assist in the recovery efforts, to help people who desperately need help,” he says. “The other goal is to provide an opportunity for our players to see what another part of the world is like, a part of the world where they can have an impact.”
So far, 18 Rutgers players have participated in the project, with each player raising the $1,700 cost for the trip through donations.
"One of the goals is to assist in the recovery efforts . . . The other goal is to provide an opportunity for our players to see . . . where they can have an impact."
TARIQ AHMAD, director of recruiting operations for the Rutgers football program, on bringing players to Haiti to help with the rebuilding effort following the 2010 earthquake
Shortly after the Haiti disaster, which resulted in an estimated 272,000 deaths and $7.8 billion in damage, according to International Red Cross accounts, Ahmad knew he had to get involved in the recovery efforts.
His mother, Kathleen Ahmad, provided the impetus, having gone to Haiti on a humanitarian mission in 2008 after Hurricane Gustav caused widespread destruction to one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest countries. At the time, she tried to persuade her son to go with her, but Ahmad’s Rutgers schedule didn’t offer extended breaks.
Soon after the 2010 earthquake, however, he says, he had to somehow find time. So Ahmad came up with the idea of making the trip during spring break, accompanied by as many Rutgers football players as he could round up.
It was probably the best recruiting pitch he’s ever made, because there’s usually only two things on players’ minds when break time comes — fun and relaxation. “As a football player, spring break is a big deal. We really don’t get much time off all year, so it’s a big sacrifice,” says Brandon Coleman, a star wide receiver for the Scarlet Knights. “The little time you do get off, you want to take advantage of it and have some fun. “But I saw this as an opportunity I might never get again. And when I was there, I knew I made the right decision because it felt to me that this is what I was supposed to be doing.”
The players spent most of their first two trips knee-deep in masonry work, rebuilding churches and schools in the towns of Mellier and Petit-Goave, while living modestly, as the locals do, with only the bare essentials.
“Growing up in Hunterdon County, I never saw anything like the conditions I saw in Haiti,” says Bryan Leoni, an offensive lineman from Flemington who is making his third trip to Haiti with Ahmad. “Just the lack of basics — clothing, food, bathrooms. They still don’t have a lot of the things we take for granted.”
Muller, from Perkiomenville, Pa., says it was culture shock at first.
“Seeing what is considered normal living for Haitians is very eye-opening. They were just so happy to have people around who cared and were willing to help,” he says. “My first reaction when I saw the devastation was that there was nothing we could possibly do that could help. It was overwhelming. But the people were so grateful just to have us there. I came back and I remember thinking, they helped us much more than we helped them. That’s how much the experience meant to me.”
Ahmad stays in touch with several people he has come to know in Haiti, having made eight other trips there by himself. He says he doesn’t try to prepare the players for what they will see when they arrive. He believes it’s better to let them experience it first-hand.
“Essentially, it was like seeing a war-torn country,” Ahmad says of the first two player-accompanied trips. “The magnitude of the destruction and the need is just overwhelming. You can’t believe anything can be fixed. But after going back several times now, after four or five months between trips, I can see there is progress being made.”
Ahmad, 32, says he can’t remember his life without being involved in some sort of volunteer project. From an early age, his parents instilled in him the need to lend a hand to others.
“My mother is a farmer from upstate New York. She’s Christian. My father is a Muslim from Pakistan,” says Ahmad, who grew up in Holmdel and was a three-sport standout (football, basketball and track) at Ithaca College. “They’re very different people from very different backgrounds, but they share the value of helping others and trying to help people in need.
“As a child, I remember my family working for Habit for Humanity in Trenton. We did a trip every year where we would help build a home somewhere in the United States. We did a lot of local volunteer work. So the need to help others has always been part of my life. It’s something that was ingrained in me. That’s my parents’ influence.”
Both of Ahmad’s parents have doctoral degrees — his mother’s is in mathematics, his father (Zafar) has one in sociology. Ahmad already has a master's degree in sports psychology; he is working toward a second one, in education administration.
At some point, perhaps in the next few years, Ahmad says, his goal is to be an administrator at an inner city school. But it’s likely Rutgers will do all it can to persuade him to stay. He also happens to be very good at his job.
“Since he became the director of recruiting, Rutgers has had a couple of the best recruiting classes in school history,” says Brian Dohn, the national recruiting analyst for Scout.com. “People — recruits, their families, high school coaches — always say he’s an easy guy to talk to, and that’s because he can relate to them regardless of their background or upbringing.”
Ahmad is as surprised as anyone that he has adapted so well to a college football recruiting job.
“I did not think I would fit in this role from the standpoint that I do not see myself as a salesman,” he says. “I really enjoy the relationships that we develop during the recruiting process. That’s my favorite part of the job. I love the process of meeting different people, learning about people and sharing what I love about Rutgers and why I am in graduate school here.”
His ability to relate apparently has no boundaries. Ahmad also speaks Haitian Creole, one of the two official languages (French is the other) of a country he has spent so much time in that it has almost become a second home.
But it wasn’t easy, initially, for Ahmad to convince the people he deals with every day — Rutgers football players — to join him in the relief effort. Then, as word spread throughout the team, with players relating their experiences following the first trip, there suddenly was no shortage of volunteers. He now has more volunteers than spaces for them.
“I was nervous about going at first,” says Coleman. “Now I think about the people I met there and what that experience was like all of the time. It’s been over a year since I was there. Our project was to build the foundation of a church. There wasn’t much there, even after we left.
“But Tariq showed me a picture of the finished product not long ago and I remember thinking `Wow, I helped build that.’ It’s a great feeling to know you helped.”
Because they are unskilled laborers, the players usually take on jobs such as digging foundations and similar work.
The volunteers slept in temporary huts covered by mosquito nets, rising early to work on their rebuilding projects.
The bathroom and water situation? That was another story.
“Water came from a well we had to pump from,” Coleman says. “The bathroom was an outhouse. But we only had to live that way for a week. The people there live that way all of the time. It really makes you appreciate what you have.”
Muller says he still has a vivid image of the children, giddy and squealing, laughing and enjoying themselves around the oversized strangers from America. “We played with the kids for hours after we were done working,” he says. “We had so much fun with them. They didn’t want anything except for people to give them a little attention. I can’t begin to tell you how much that impacted me. To help someone so much in need was the ultimate gratification for me.”
Ahmad says he doesn’t try to sell the players on the value of volunteer work. He just wants them to experience it — and then decide.
“I’ve found that it’s an amazing experience to have that kind of impact on people’s lives. I think the players feel the same way when they go to Haiti and then come back. It’s as rewarding as anything you can do in life.”
And that’s a promise.
http://www.nj.com/inside-jersey/index.ssf/2014/02/rutgers_director_of_football_recruiting_persuades_players_to_join_his_haiti_rebuilding_team.html

State Dept Again Announces $95K Grant to Teach Haitian Inmates How to Sew

(CNSNews.com) – The State Department did not have success finding a grant recipient last year, so it decided to again announce a $95,000 grant opportunity for a pilot program to train Haitian inmates in textile production and assembly so that they can sew uniforms for other inmates.
“The objective of the program is to provide training to inmates that will provide them with valuable skills for employment in textile production and assembly, which they will then use to create standardized uniforms for Haiti’s inmate population,” the grant announcement said.
“The grantee will need to work closely with the Haitian Department of Prison Administration (DAP) to hold trainings within DAP facilities, involve DAP personnel through a ‘train the trainer’ model, and coordinate details on inmates’ uniform production,” the announcement said.
“Having standardized uniforms is important for DAP, because corrections officers cannot differentiate between inmates and civilians. Differences in inmates’ street clothes can prompt discrimination in how they are treated by corrections officers, or can incite theft from other inmates,” the grant said.
The grant recipient “should aim to train at least 100 DAP inmates in textile production skills, and at least one DAP personnel in each participating prison.” The training is expected to be delivered to “at least four prison facilities in Haiti’s Ouest Department, including the Youth Offenders’ facility in Delmas 33 and the PetionVille Women’s facility.”
Applicants are expected to propose “key personnel and trainers who are fluent in French and/or Haitian Creole, and all course materials must be delivered in French and/or Haitian Creole (not through interpretation).”
Haiti’s prisons are severely overcrowded with the current prison population exceeding the intended capacity by 5,487 inmates. “Women, men, juveniles, and serious/petty offenders are not separated consistently across the system,” the grant announcement said.
Not only is the program an effort to alleviate “severe overcrowding and improve humane conditions” within Haiti’s prison system, but it is expected to provide inmates with skills they can use to re-enter society and reduce recidivism. Inmates can use these skills to “facilitate their entry into the job market.”
“Inmates targeted for participation should be convicted prisoners with remaining sentences between 2-5 years, with higher priority on those with less time remaining.”
The grant is being issued by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. One grant is expected to be awarded with an award floor of $40,000 and an award ceiling of $95,000.
“The award may be extended up to two years based on INL’s program priorities, good performance on the award, and pending funding availability,” the State Department said.
CNSNews.com previously reported on the grant on July 16, 2013, but the grant was never awarded, according to a State Department spokesman, who told CNSNews.com Tuesday that the grant opportunity posted on Feb. 3, 2014 is a continuation of the grant announced on June 3, 2013. Since that grant was never awarded, the grant opportunity was announced again.
- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/state-dept-again-announces-95k-grant-teach-haitian-inmates-how-sew-0#sthash.0g1HGREy.dpuf

'A Night in Haiti' offers guests a glimpse of daily life at sister parish in Haiti

For the second year in a row, a Mary, Queen of Peace party will give guests a glimpse of daily life at St. Benoît Dessources, the Mandeville church’s sister parish in Haiti. “A Night in Haiti,” being presented by the church’s Haiti Solidarity Partnership Ministry, will take place March 15. The goal is to increase awareness of the ministry’s efforts to transform St. Benoît and help its people ultimately become self-sustaining.
Since 2011, Mary, Queen of Peace has partnered with St. Benoit Dessources in Haiti. Funds contributed by parishioners and community members have gone toward construction projects at the church, seen here before its reconstruction.
“We offer this as a thank you to all of the people for their generosity throughout the years,” said Muguet Bolotte, the ministry’s leader. “The people of St. Benoît are very grateful to them for changing the face of Dessources.”
Since 2011, the Mandeville church has partnered with the Haitian parish, located in the impoverished nation’s rural mountains. St. Benoît serves more than 5,000 families, who live without electricity, running water or healthcare and walk an hour or more to celebrate Mass at either its main church or one of its six outlying chapels.
The buildings were significantly damaged during the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, and the many of the donations collected by the ministry have gone toward construction projects.
Mary, Queen of Peace first funded a new roof for St. Benoît’s main church, which has now been transformed with plaster, paint, a new fence and more. They also have contributed to the construction of new classrooms, a kitchen and cafeteria, and toilets for St. Benoit’s elementary school, along with other projects.
Proceeds from last year’s “A Night in Haiti” went toward digging a water well in Dessources. It is now operational, meaning that St. Benoît’s students do not have to carry heavy jugs of water during their long journey to school each day.
"“All donations, large and small, make an impact in the lives of the people of St. Benoit," said Muguet Bolotte, ministry leader. But the impact of the partnership goes beyond construction projects. Ministry funds also have paid for a hot school lunch program, the creation of a pre-K program with a certified teacher, the hiring of additional teachers, and the consistent payment of those teachers’ $100 to $125 per month salary.
Last year, the ministry received a grant from the nonprofit Vitamin Angels to distribute vitamins to children ages 5 and under for five years. It also has established funding pages through the nonprofit Food for the Poor for the remainder of its water well costs and for a program to buy goats for St. Benoît’s families.
In return for Mary, Queen of Peace’s efforts, St. Benoît’s parishioners continually offer prayers and gratitude. The partnership has grown into a deep kinship – St. Benoît’s pastor, Mgsr. Wildor Pierre, has traveled to Mandeville four times. Mission teams from Mary, Queen of Peace have visited Haiti twice; a third mission team will travel there April 24 to 30.
Since everyone can’t see St. Benoît’s dramatic transformation firsthand, the main goal of “A Night in Haiti” is give people a sense of daily life in Dessources through pictures and displays, Bolotte said. It also will show a progression of the work accomplished with donations from Mary, Queen of Peach parishioners and community members.
“All donations, large and small, make an impact in the lives of the people of St. Benoît, especially the students who are able to attend school for the first time,” Bolotte said.
The event will feature a menu of Caribbean fare – pulled pork, black beans and rice, and tres leches cake – along with beer, wine and a special rum drink. Guests also will have a chance to dance to Haitian music and purchase Haitian crafts such as masks, jewelry, paintings, and decorative items.
Guests will be able to contribute directly to the fund during the party or sponsor one or more backpacks – at $10 each – to be sent to St. Benoît’s elementary school students.
All proceeds from the night will go into a scholarship fund to pay for educating St. Benoit's children. Although Catholic elementary school education is free, the church’s yearly costs of providing lunch, uniforms and supplies totals $90 per child, Bolotte said.
“They are just thrilled because they have an elementary school to go to. There are all different ages in all the grades because many have never had the opportunity to go,” Bolotte said.
The cost for middle school tuition jumps significantly, and Bolotte said she’s not sure why. Attending 7th grade is $500; 8th grade is $600; and 9th grade is $700.
Currently, middle school is taught at the church in the afternoons, although a building constructed by a Canadian and Mexican consortium is ready for middle school students once it has power and water and qualified teachers are found.
Last school year, donations from St. Scholastica Academy paid the tuition for Nerline Chapotain, the first St. Benoît student to attend middle school. Now, they are once again paying Chapotain’s tuition and are sponsoring a second middle school student.
“Our longer-term strategy … is to move into microfinance area to stimulate the local economy, so people can launch businesses, produce more, sell more and save more to send their children to school. Once the money begins to circulate within the community, all will benefit,” Bolotte said.
"A Night in Haiti" will take place March 15 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Mary, Queen of Peace School cafeteria, 1501 W. Causeway Approach, Mandeville. Cost for the event is $25 person, and the public is welcome to attend.
Reservations for the night can be made at any time in the church's Parish Center, after all Masses March 8-9, and after the church's mission March 10-12.
For more information on the night, call ministry leader Muguet Bolotte at 985.705.1846 or e-mail mqphaiti@gmail.com. For more information on Mary, Queen of Peace, call 985.626.6977 or visit www.maryqueenofpeace.org.
To see the ministry’s Food for the Poor funding pages, go to www.foodforthepoor.org/stbenoit for the water well or http://support.foodforthepoor.org/site/TR/Events/Champions?pxfid=10090&fr_id=2091&pg=fund for the goat program.

Dance party benefit to help Eben Ezer School in Haiti

February 26, 2014 2:00 AM
PORTSMOUTH — The fifth annual Caribbean Nights Dance Party to benefit the Eben Ezer School in Haiti will take place Saturday, March 22, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 168 in the city.
Money raised will be used to pay teachers, buy uniforms and educate children at the school in the rural town of Milot, Haiti.
Latin and reggae tunes will be provided by Combo Sabroso, a Boston band that plays the event each year.
"We love playing this gig because not only are the people who come ready for an awesome dance party, but also because we are all learning about and helping kids in Haiti who might not ever learn to read or write without our help," said Matt Jenson of Arlington, Mass., band leader and University of New Hampshire alumnus who is currently on the piano faculty at Berklee College of Music.
Local restaurants will contribute Indian and Mexican food, as well as chowder, baked goods, meatballs and flatbread pizza.
A Latin dance instructor will be available to teach a few steps early in the evening for those who want to pick up the basics.
This year's dance will also include a video production by local high school student Georgia Barlow of South Berwick, Maine, who traveled during a recent school vacation week to the Eben Ezer School.
The dance party begins at 7 p.m. with the video and a short update on the progress made thanks to the hundreds of Seacoast residents who have been involved, including about a dozen who have been to the school.
Dancing starts at 8 p.m.
The first Caribbean Nights Dance Party was held in 2010, when the Eben Ezer School had only 100 students and four classrooms. Since then it has grown threefold. Dozens of families in the Seacoast and beyond have signed up to sponsor students at the school, and through the dance provide the operating funds that allow the school to continue.
The video and slide presentation will include an update on efforts to build a guesthouse to help the school create its own income and train vocational students. York Rotarian Paul Salacain, who was in Milot in February, met with Rotarians there and investigated options for building a water tank and buying materials.
The guesthouse is being designed by Mike Lassel of Lassel Architects in South Berwick.
Tickets are being sold at Black Bean in Rollinsford, Ceres Bakery in Portsmouth, Nature's Way in South Berwick, Full Circle Community Thrift Store in Eliot, Maine, G. Willikers! in Portsmouth and RiverRun Books/Lils in Kittery, Maine.
Checks made out to Life and Hope Haiti can be mailed to 37 Highland Ave., South Berwick, ME 03908. Tickets cost $20.

mardi 25 février 2014

Haiti’s true charm revealed

Cruise ship passengers get chance to take in beauty of nation’s north coast
BY STEVE MACNAULL, SPECIAL TO THE PROVINCE FEBRUARY 24, 2014
Tour guide Rosie flashes her brilliant chipped-tooth smile and asks if we want to see the real Haiti.
Of course we do.
So, our small group of just a dozen culture-and-sun-seekers piles aboard the modified catamaran La Belle Kreyol to glide over the crystal clear Caribbean Sea to aptly-named Paradise Cove.
“This is Haiti today,” says Rosie, in charming French-accented English with a Caribbean-Creole lilt.
“This is my Haiti.”
Rosie is so adamant because the stereotype of Haiti is of a poverty-stricken, earthquake-ruined and crime-ridden island nation.
True, Haiti was devastated by the 2010 earthquake that hit the south coast capital of Port-au-Prince.
The country remains the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.
And crime is rife in the slums.
But, Paradise Cove is on Haiti’s jungle north coast where the earthquake was hardly felt and tourists can enjoy themselves in the quaint villages and pristine beaches.
Plus, this outing is a safe excursion offered by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line from its private port in nearby Labadee.
Three generations of my family are on this trip of a lifetime to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary while having fun in the sun.
So, after playing on Royal Caribbean’s private beach with the 3,600 other guests from the Liberty of the Seas mega-ship and relaxing in cabanas amid pillowed-splendour and billowing white curtains, we opt for some culture.
Rosie, which is short for Fleurema Roselic, loves Royal Caribbean and its extensive offerings at Labadee: Think ziplines, jet skis, parasailing, restaurants and bars.
After all, Royal Caribbean has paid for a lot of infrastructure at Labadee and provides employment and economic benefits for locals and suppliers.
“But it’s not representative of Haiti,” she says.
“So follow me.”
And we’re glad we do.
La Belle Kreyol anchors in knee-deep translucent water and we get off the boat to splash to the white-sand beach.
Here the only amenities are blue-and-white-striped lounge chairs, a floating raft and a rustic bamboo bar with only four offerings — water, fruit punch, Haitian rum and the national beer, Prestige.
After downing the welcome fruit punch and sipping Prestiges while sunning ourselves, we conclude Paradise Cove has the formula just right.
But there’s more.
An easy hike with Rosie and sidekick Pierre Raymond, who is Caribbean-cool with his eyebrow ring and newspaper boy cap, through the mangroves reveals a typical Haitian village with fishermen and artisans at work.
My wife buys a straw hat and dark-wood jewelry box. We pick up some candy for the kids and we taste the yucca and coconut bread with homemade peanut butter prepared in the outdoor kitchens along the way.
We’re even serenaded by Toto, Rosnald and Da on the tambou drums.
The drums spark a conversation about voodoo, Haiti’s national religion.
Rosie says the drums are played during the Tuesday and Friday voodoo ceremonies where they also eat fish and drink beer. “Seventy per cent of Haitians still practise voodoo,” she says nonchalantly.
“It can be used for good. It can be used for bad.”
More and more, multiple generations are choosing cruises for celebrations and family reunions as boomers become grandparents, parents become experience-seekers and kids become world travellers.
For instance, while the Liberty of the Seas was docked in Falmouth, Jamaica, all 10 of us were game for the Dolphin Cove-Dunn’s River Falls excursion.
It’s an incredible two-in-one bucket list day to swim with dolphins and then climb through the many waterfalls and pools that make up Dunn’s River.
Both my 70-something parents and my 11-year-old daughter declare it the best day ever.
Back on the ship, dinners are elegant in the main dining room Botecelli and the specialty restaurant Portofino.
Even better, the family spends time together and no one has to plan, shop, cook or clean up.
Sea days are also family days and we spend ours taking full advantage of all of the Liberty of the Sea’s activities from pools, surfing and rock climbing to cupcake decorating, the figure skating and Saturday Night Fever musical shows and even high-stakes shuffleboard on the promenade deck.
Royal Caribbean’s five-night Western Caribbean getaway is a round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with stops in Haiti and Jamaica.
See RoyalCaribbean.com for more information.
http://www.theprovince.com/travel/Haiti+true+charm+revealed/9545473/story.html

lundi 24 février 2014

Nurse joins humanitarian mission to Haiti


Lending a hand: Registered Nurse Alisa Anguine
 leaves for Haiti this week on a humanitarian mission.
By Joseph Chin
MISSISSAUGA — On Wednesday, Alisa Anguine will be boarding a plane to the Caribbean.
Don’t, however, expect to find her on a sunny beach soaking up the rays and sipping a piña colada.
As tempting as that might be, the assistant director of nursing care at The Village of Erin Meadows in Mississauga isn’t trying to escape the harsh winter. Rather, she’s on a humanitarian mission to Haiti.
“No resort for me,” she laughs. “I’ll be working the entire 10 days.”
More than four years after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Caribbean nation, killing a reported 250,000 people and leaving a million and a half homeless, Haiti still needs outside assistance to get

Last November Anguine, along with 26 other members of Schlegel Villages, which owns the Mississauga long-term care home, was presented with just such the opportunity.Lending a hand: Registered Nurse Alisa Anguine leaves for Haiti this week on a humanitarian mission.back on its feet.
“I was ecstatic when I was chosen,” says the 32-year-old Brampton resident, who moved to Canada from Jamaica when she was just 8. “It will be life-changing for me.”
The Canadian volunteers will be assigned roles based on their areas of interest and expertise. A registered nurse, Anguine will be working in a Port-au-Prince orphanage.
Before she could start packing her bags, Anguine had to raise nearly $1,900 to cover the cost of her trip. Three fundraising events — a 50/50 draw and two dinners — were held within The Village.
“It amazed me how willing everyone was — not only to participate in the planned events but also to give freely. I received donations from $5 to $250 from people who simply wanted to be a part of it,” she says.
“In total our team raised $2,620, far surpassing what I anticipated. Not only will this cover my trip but also allows us to give a sizeable donation of $760 to Haiti Communitere to use towards their various initiatives.”
Located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Communitere is an agency that provide logistics for international groups to launch aid projects. It also runs numerous community projects on its own.
Anneliese Krueger, the general manager of The Village of Erin Meadows, says Anguine is the ideal volunteer for the mission.
“She’s a wonderful, caring person who always has a smile on her face," said Krueger. "She makes everyone’s worries go away.”

Aspen students visit Haiti to both teach and learn

During the next week, five students from Aspen High School are prepared to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of Haitian children.
The effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti still are being felt as the country slowly recovers. More than 200,000 people were killed in the 7.0 magnitude quake, with 1.5 million people left homeless from the devastation.
The five Aspen students — seniors Ben Belinski, Dominique Wojcik, Jacob Kadota and Allegra Galli, a senior exchange student from Florence, Italy, along with sophomore Tiana Perry — all left Saturday and will return March 1 from Villard, Haiti, where they’ll be doing most of their work.
The students will deliver 150 school books in both English and French for the Villard school. They also plan to build a mini-library at the school to store the books in.
“We’re all super excited to go on this trip,” Ben said. “The goal is to make a difference and an impact in the people’s lives in Haiti, but I also understand it will be difficult at times. This is going to be eye-opening to experience a different culture. I’m hoping to gain some real life experience as well as help the Haitian kids as much as possible.”
The students will participate in conjunction with the Haiti School Project to work with instructors and students in Villard on a variety of educational activities, including student-to-student teaching.
Tim Meyers, a former Carbondale resident who learned about the lack of school buildings for children in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and wanted to help, founded the Haiti School Project. Meyers now lives in Haiti full time.
A local team of architects and builders flew to Haiti last year as part of the project to help complete the Villard school building.
Also going on the trip will be chaperones Mary Cate Hauenstein, a local counselor who visited Haiti when she was attending high school, and Richard de Campo, a local architect who visited Haiti last year as part of a team that helped build the school building in Villard.
“The brick and mortar part of the school is done,” de Campo said. “The real part of the school is the education. The Haitian students are pretty motivated. The desire is there, they just need some help and direction. It’s going to be a little jarring for our kids to see life in a third-world country, but this trip will likely influence the rest of their lives.”
After de Campo returned from Haiti last year, he spoke with Aspen resident Charla Belinski and the two came up with the idea that would involve some local students to help in Haiti. Charla asked her son, Ben, if he would be interested and Ben was more than enthusiastic. He approached some fellow Aspen High School students and those going on the trip all volunteered to participate.
The trip is backed by Aspen Chapel’s Kids for Kids and Snowmass Chapel’s Teen Action Council. Some of the goals of the program include teaching and learning beyond the classroom experience, understanding a very different socioeconomic environment, developing a sense of service to others and development of leadership and communication skills.
The students have put in countless hours fundraising and preparing activities. Ben said the students have now raised more than $4,000 for the trip through bake sales, fundraising within their church groups and pitching locally for donations.
“So many people have been extremely generous helping us raise money,” he said. “There’s been a lot of local enthusiasm behind the fundraising.”
Besides the books and the library project, the Aspen students have some science projects and geography lessons to share. They also hope to play some music together.
In addition to working at the Villard school, the students will visit the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, located in Deschapelles, a town in the Artibonite Valley of central Haiti. They’ll also spend some time at the Mercy and Sharing Orphanage that was started by Aspen residents Susie and Joe Krabacher.
Galli has traveled with her family, but hasn’t had an opportunity to travel to a country like Haiti by herself. She hopes to keep a journal and take many pictures to share with students in Aspen as well as to share her experiences with her friends in Italy.
“We’re hoping to build a connection with the kids in Haiti,” Galli said. “Hopefully this will be the first of many trips for Aspen kids to help out in Haiti.”
If people want to follow how the trip is progressing, they can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/aspenforhaiti, where the kids will be posting pictures and comments during the visit.
“I’m hoping this trip can plant the seed for the next generation of student leaders to think in broader cultural terms,” de Campo said. “I’m willing to bet that our students won’t be the same after this trip. It’s going to force them to look at the world in a different way.”
mmclaughlin@aspentimes.com
http://www.aspentimes.com/news/10336141-113/haiti-students-aspen-trip

Democratic Party arm criticized in Haiti project for spending on big foreign salaries and Washington office overhead

By George RussellPublished February 24, 2014FoxNews.com
EXCLUSIVE: An arm of the Democratic Party chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that aims to support democracy in foreign countries, has been sharply criticized by an important donor for spending nearly 40 percent of the budget of a project in disaster-battered Haiti on foreign salaries and Washington office overhead, rather than on the field staff and equipment the project required.
The National Democratic Institute is a non-profit arm of the Democratic Party that maintains more than 60 offices abroad and works in non-partisan fashion, according to its website, “to support democratic elections, political parties, parliaments, civic engagement and women’s political empowerment.”
But at least in Haiti, the institute commonly known as NDI has been the subject of tough criticism from evaluators hired by one of its most respected donors: Norway.
In connection with a program intended to boost civilian influence on the priorities of Haiti’s ramshackle government, the evaluators took a harsh swipe at the salaries handed out to top NDI personnel on the ground in connection with the money spent on NDI personnel and other overhead back at its Washington headquarters, and, most importantly, at what the evaluators declared was “the lack of anything that ordinary Haitians would consider results.”
NDI strongly disputes most of the conclusions of the evaluation study, forbiddingly titled, “Review of Norwegian Support to Strengthening Citizens’ Political Influence in Haiti through the National Democratic Institute,” and currently posted on the ministry’s website.
In all, the report declared, “roughly 4 out of every 10 dollars” in NDI’s $1.6 million budget for its civilian support exercise in Haiti went “to cover the cost of the Washington office and its in-country field director, an expatriate who received salary benefits and allowances (including a “hardship” payment ) more than $256,000.
Another $55,000 went toward salaries of six NDI staffers in Washington, along with nearly $120,000 in overhead costs and an additional amount of nearly $181,600 retained for NDI’s home office that was dubbed “program support.”
In the meantime, as a result of the cash squeeze brought on by high expenses, nearly half of the NDI program’s 13 local field coordinators were fired after half a year, while the remainder had to provide their own computers for work, do work from home, and, when they traveled to the far-flung regions under their supervision, take Haiti’s crude collective taxis or hitch rides on ubiquitous local motorcycles.
Only about one-third f more than $616,000 that went for Washington overhead and the expat director’s salary and benefits would have reversed the cutbacks, the study says.
Norway dropped its financing for NDI’s program shortly after the evaluation report was published in November 2012.
In response to questions from Fox News, Norwegian foreign ministry officials confirmed that “discussions” about NDI’s costs “were held” with the organization, and that “Norway no longer supports NDI’s activities in Haiti,” although it does so elsewhere, notably in Somalia.
In broader terms, the Norwegian evaluation was also a critique of too-optimistic assumptions about what it called “democracy-building goals”—what might be called internationally-funded community organizing-- in dysfunctional states like Haiti.
As the report put it: “Can MFA [Norway’s foreign ministry] feel reasonably assured that the finance of pressure groups and advocacy coalitions within civil society will lead to positive change, to enhanced responsiveness, on the part of the Haitian government ?”
Simply put, no. “The team found no evidence in this field review that the people really expect the government to come through” with goods and services as a result of civilian lobbying, the document stated. “And given the chronic, continuing chaotic state of the government,” it continued, “they are right.”
The essence of program that Norway’s evaluators found wanting had been in existence for more than a decade before Oslo’s checkbook came along, mostly supported by USAID. It consists of a non-partisan network of so-called citizens’ Initiative Committees, or ICs, developed by NDI through field work, and organized in parallel to local and regional government. According to the report, they now cover most of the country.
They are, according to the report, intended to “identify problems of local concern” and to “dialogue with elected officials concerning the resolution of these problems”—which for most of Haiti amounts to a catastrophic lack of infrastructure and basic services, even after billions in humanitarian and development aid poured in after the mammoth 2010 earthquake and ensuing cholera epidemic.
NDI’s role was to organize the ICs and support them through “event financing”—helping to rent meeting spaces, pay for food at encounter sessions with Haitian government officials, and sometimes pay for the transport and housing of people to attend the events.
As the report puts it, “The NDI program focuses on organizing the citizenry for advocacy purposes rather than directly trying to improve government performance.”
The events themselves drew praise from Norway’s evaluators, who say they were “impressed with the excitement and electricity generated” at one such gathering of “individuals who were happy to be interacting in an organized manner, perhaps for the first time in their lives, with government officials.”
But when it came to actual results, the evaluators were decidedly more skeptical. They saw the things that Haitians wanted to organize around as real and desperately needed services --“governmentally funded roads, water systems, electric systems, health centers, schools and the like,” as the document puts it at one point.
Instead, the reviewers noted that NDI’s own proposed benchmarks for evaluation included enlargement of the IC network, the establishment of “civic advocacy coalitions, “and the implementation of “visible advocacy campaigns,” i.e. dialogue meetings.
The problem is, the evaluators noted, that in NDI’s concept, “program activities are being defined as the program results.” By analogy, they argued, “NDI’s use of the term would define the ‘results’ of a vaccination campaign in terms of the quantity of vaccine distributed, rather than its impact on health outcomes. This terminological maneuver in effect frees program managers from the task of proving any impact of the delivered activities.”
Bottom line: “The concept of results in the NDI proposal is at odds with the common sense definition that ordinary Haitians (and probably most humans) have.”
In fairness, the evaluation report also underlines that the “absence of bona-fide results has more to do with the intractable nature of the Haitian State.”
The “intractable” problem is that no matter how much citizens lobby, in the reviewers’ opinion the Haitian state knows how to extract money and resources from its citizens and others, but has virtually no history at all of delivering services. “It has all the proper ministries in place, but they are like Hollywood sets in terms of what goes on inside them.”
But that only makes the issue of mobilizing civil encounter groups worse, and the issue of using those lobbying efforts as a benchmark of success, even worse.
As the report puts it, “If a lobbying group in Tampa, Florida, or in Berget in western Norway had failed to elicit a dollar or a kroner from the local government during 12 years of efforts, the undertaking would be declared a failure. Why should it be considered a success in Haiti?”
For its part, when queried by Fox News, NDI took issue with virtually every skeptical aspect of the evaluation report.
Among other things, a DNI spokesperson told Fox News, the Institute’s “overhead costs were approved at the onset of each program,” and noted that the report itself said NDI costs in Haiti were “not unusual in the context of U.S. NGOs and U.S. federal contracts, grants and cooperative agreements.”
So the report indeed says. But the investigation was carried out on behalf of Norway, not the U.S., and the report also notes that the overheads were “far above” Norway’s own 8 percent guideline for “office support. ”
And even though NDI’s cost structure may have paralleled the U.S. government’s, it was divided up in a different manner, as the report also notes: rather than consolidate its support figures up front, NDI buried the explanation for more than 14 percent of the overhead figure on the second-last page of a 14-page memo accompanying its budget.
Concerning the evaluation report’s conclusions about NDI’s lack of concrete results, the spokesperson declared that “NDI holds a fundamentally different development philosophy from that of the evaluator.”
She further claimed that the report itself declared that NDI “has admirably and effectively” fulfilled the requirements of the agreement and “strongly recommends” that Norway continue in partnership with NDI.
In fact, the report says something similar --but different.
It concludes that “NDI has effectively fulfilled its part of the agreement at least in terms of activities if not of results. We recommend that MFA [Norway’s foreign affairs ministry] and NDI deal with the conceptual, budgetary and managerial issues raised in the report and continue in partnership.”
Evidently, that did not happen.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/02/24/democratic-party-arm-criticized-in-haiti-project-for-spending-on-big-foreign/

vendredi 21 février 2014

PORT-AU-PRINCE ENTRE VILLE ET DEVILLE

21 février 2014, 13:57
Port-au-Prince, ville et déville. Thèse et antithèse. La ville qui crie sa vie au monde. Défiant l'univers et ses lois. Une ville nue se donnant aux regards. Sans fard maquillage ou chichi.
Une ville à prendre ou à laisser. A aimer ou à haïr. A fuir ou à chérir. Une ville qui ne laisse jamais indifférent.
Elle se réveille dans le bruit. Recouvre son intimité contre les murs du son. Au-delà du silence imposé comme gage de sérénité.
Elle se tient debout sur ses jambes frêles, Sur son sol aride et instable. Elle s’accroche et s’enracine dans les mornes jadis vierges aujourd’hui livrées au dépucelage anarchique.
Elle résiste.
Et le jeune soussafleur (oiseau mouche) sorti du vert feuillage, se met à bourdonner et à butiner. Chatouillant l’air autour d’une tête inconnue, d’un visage émerveillé et une oreille droite charmée et attentionnée.
J'entends comme jamais. Le battement vertigineux de ses ailles frêles et vigoureuses.
Me disait-il bonjour?
Jouait-il sa partition dans ce concert de bruit?
A-t-il perçu mon attitude figée devant ce tableau magistral et mon émerveillement puéril ?
Une ville verte dans un pays ou le déboisement se chiffre à 98.5 pour cent.
Il aura suffit de prendre de la hauteur, se placer au-dessus des idées reçues, au dessus des tableaux décrits, en dehors des cadres imposés pour respirer l'arôme du bruit, les senteurs du vide, la magie des connivences entre classes ordres,genres familles et espèces.
Et l'horizon se dessinant en forme lignes et reliefs. Des lignes entre ruptures et cassures. Des formes entre harmonie et cacophonie. Des pentes qui glissent et des césures qui surprennent.
Ici, l'horizon est autre chose que cette ligne accidentée ou généralement le ciel semble s'arrimer dans une étreinte à couper le souffle à la terre.
Elle est encore mieux que cette image de coucher de soleil ou la sphère jaunie d'incandescence se noie dans la mer sans éclaboussure ni grésillement.
Assimilant un alliage parfait entre l'eau et le feu.
Un mariage à la fois parfait et discordant.
Port-au-Prince entre ville et déville
Port-au-Prince entre bruits et silences
Jonas Jolivert
Juillet 2013

lundi 10 février 2014

AND NOW WHAT ?


Depuis quelques jours déjà, j’avais fait le choix d’éviter de commenter l’actualité politique haïtienne. J’avais opté pour prendre mon temps, et laisser libre cours à mon imagination et à mes sens pour réfléchir ouvertement à des sujets sans intérêt.  J’ai conçu dans ce contexte quelques pages qui, en jouant avec les mots qui sonnent bien.
Je les ai identifiés comme textes libres. Certains puristes les ont appelés de préférence poésie. Bientôt sortira donc mon premier recueil de poésie édité par EDILIVRE dont le titre sera « MAUX ENJOUES EN JEUX DE MOTS » (Petit premier coup de pub)
Entretemps, j’ai continué à scruter les médias en quête de nouvelles intéressantes traitant Haïti comme sujet.
Pendant de longues semaines, avant les fêtes de Noel et de fin d’année, il n’était que question de mobilisations manches-longues pour demander la démission de Michel Martelly, le président élu lors des élections organisées et gérées par la communauté internationale.
Pour moi ces informations et ces sujets ne présentaient aucun intérêt. Parce qu’elles n’apportaient rien de nouveau ni à Haïti ni à son histoire. Tous les gouvernements haïtiens ont fait face à des situations similaires. La politique chez nous se fait à coups de mobilisations, destitutions, coups d’état. Les seuls qui ont échappé à cette vérité sont les gouvernements qui ont pris naissance sous l’occupation américaine et pendant la mission de stabilisation de l’ONU.
Je ne vais pas quand même omettre de signifier que les anales du pays retiennent néanmoins le nom de Nissage Saget comme l’unique président qui a fini un mandat sans tutelle ni occupation et qui a rejoint le camp de simple citoyens.
Cette fois encore, comme d’habitude, une coalition de partis politiques, inconnus pour certains, avec des listes de membres et de partisans faméliques pour d’autres, - en restant généreux- a pris le sillage de cette option vieille comme la République et qui dans le temps n’avait généré qu’une déstabilisation et la création, comme des réactions à ces mouvements de dictatures ferrées.
Dans ce vacarme ou on avait du  mal à se retrouver, le gouvernement a sorti de son chapeau une proposition de dialogue avec les partis de l’opposition. Un dialogue qui sera parrainé par le nouveau cardinal haïtien, nommé par le Vatican.
On se garde de rentrer dans les détails qui ornent et agrémentent  ce dialogue qui dans son essence est une bonne solution. Certains partis politiques ont bien entendu boudé l’invitation et ont continué à prôner la poursuite des mobilisations pour la destitution du régime actuel.
Puis vint le moment M de la politique haïtienne : Le président haïtien est reçu par son homologue américain Barak Obama à Washington !
Cette rencontre est diversement interprétée. Il se dégage cependant l’impression qui voudrait que la classe politique montée et organisée contre l’actuel président n’avait pas vu venir ce coup qui pour moi reste un coup fatal porté contre cette tendance.
Les journalistes de « l’oppositionnisme »  aveugle, ceux-là qui s’appuyaient sur l’absence de réception du président haïtien à la maison blanche pour décréter que le président haïtien était infréquentable, ont préféré parlé d’une manifestation ridicule (40 personnes !) contre le président haïtien à Washington et critiqué l’attitude du Président américain qui n’avait jamais mis les pieds en Haïti.
Je ne supporte jamais l’ingérence dans les affaires des autres. Mais il faut reconnaître que l’évolution de la chose politique en Haïti ne ressemble plus à rien. Cette discipline devenue chez nous un office, une échelle à la promotion a été dénaturé à un point tel que quiconque peut entrevoir le chaos et des journées sombres sur le pays si cela continue.
Martelly se serait-il fait tirer les oreilles ?
On le saura un peu plus tard. Cependant cette rencontre de travail démontre l’appui –conditionné peut-être–  de l’administration américaine à l’administration de Martelly.
Ceci devrait servir de leçon pour pousser l’opposition à changer son fusil d’épaule et de faire preuve d’intelligence à travers une collaboration ouverte et positive et ainsi montrer que eux aussi, ils défendent les intérêts suprêmes de la nation.
Qu’ils le veuillent ou non, le changement de président passera par les urnes. A partir de ce constat, ils peuvent articuler leurs actions et leur démarche pour obliger à créer les structures permettant des élections crédibles et que le combat puisse se faire évidemment dans les urnes.
En attendant, cette velléité de destitution orchestrée par les partis politiques présente des allures d’ultime recours après l’échec cuisant d’autres tentatives visant toujours la tête du président de la République. Dans cette lignée on se rappelle l’acharnement d’un sénateur de la république voulant à tout prix se baser sur la pluri nationalité du chef de l’état, puis vinrent les démarches autour de la mort du juge, puis l’intronisation d’un homme de loi en messie et sauveur de la cause de la destitution d’un président élu  ou choisi…Il faudra un jour que nos politiciens reprennent leurs pense-bêtes sur les principes de lé démocratie et s’organiser  sans entraver la marche du pays.

Je ne pense pas donner la confession au président Martelly ni à son administration. Mes réserves et mes doutes existent encore. Mais il s’est présenté et il a été choisi. Malgré lui, malgré eux et malgré nous. 
Nous ne saurons lui demander monts et merveilles. Je déplore le fait que des dossiers cruciaux dans la vie de la nation doivent être gérés par l’équipe en place. Mais avons-nous d’autres personnalités plus capables et plus investies ?
Personnellement je reste attentif aux discours et aux démarches entreprises par le régime actuel.
J’ai l’impression que le pays a été désenclavé. Haïti serait de retour sur les cartes touristiques du monde. Haïti cherche et veut accueillir des investissements étrangers…
Pourquoi ces sujets là étaient tabous ou négligés pendant les régimes Aristide-Préval ?
Ce qui se fait aujourd’hui est-il bien fait ? On pourra toujours répondre selon que l’on se range avec ou contre le régime. Mais on ne pourra jamais nier cette volonté et cette dynamique qui semblent guider les autorités actuelles.

Donc je rêve d’une chose simple et saine. Que les politiciens utilisent d’autres armes pour récupérer le pouvoir par les voies démocratiquement établies.

Dakota Dunes Family Gives Haiti Man New Opportunity - News, Weather and Sports for Sioux City, IA: KCAU-TV.com

Dakota Dunes Family Gives Haiti Man New Opportunity - News, Weather and Sports for Sioux City, IA: KCAU-TV.com

lundi 3 février 2014

The Aid Industry Failed Haiti After Its 2010 Quake

Four years and billions of dollars since the devastating earthquake, the impoverished nation stands no better equipped to improve itself. How a new local model might work better.
It’s been just over four years since a devastating earthquake killed more than 100,000 Haitians and left 1.5 million homeless. An estimated 20 to 40 percent of civil servants died in 35 seconds, wiping out the government’s already shaky capacity. Only one government building withstood the 7.0 quake.
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the world prioritized relief and threw money at the suffering. Private donors gave $3.1 billion. The international community pledged around $10 billion and dispersed about $6 billion, the majority on relief.
GALLERY: Haiti Rebuilding Four Years After the Earthquake (PHOTOS)

So much money, so many players, so little progress. Four years later, a complete lack of essential public services and government functionality is the international community’s legacy. Today, about 150,000 men, women, and children still live in the 127 camps that remain, according to the International Organization on Migration. The billions of dollars still haven’t brought running water to most of the country.
Haiti had extreme problems far pre-dating the quake that should have been central to the planning for any realistic solution. It had virtually no industry or exports, farmland destroyed by deforestation, and the most privatized education system in the Western Hemisphere, condemning most of the population to a cycle of poverty. In Cap-Haitien, on the northern coast, a 70-year-old midwife told me that parents sometimes pay for the first semester but cannot afford the second term. These children will often dress in their uniforms and still show up every day, only to be turned away for tuition non-payment. Despite 30 years of war, Afghanistan, where I’ve traveled extensively, seems surprisingly better off than our Caribbean neighbor.
Over 10,000 NGOs have been documented operating in Haiti since the earthquake, according to the United Institute of Peace. Only 1 percent of donor funding has gone directly to the Haitian government. What did we expect to happen? That absurd funding imbalance guaranteed an addict/dependency state, where emergency needs are attended to by outsiders, but minimal effort is made to rebuild, train, or try out any sort of Haitian institutional infrastructure to attend to those same needs going forward. Instead of bankrolling an aid industrial complex that hasn’t worked, Haitians deserve a chance to fail or prosper on their own terms.
This is a situation that demands a greater percentage of relief funding channeled to long-term systematic assistance to build a foundation of an economy, not less. An industrialized power like Japan or even South Korea could withstand a disaster and just requires emergency assistance, because they have the groundwork laid for a successful economy to return to. When a shambles like Haiti is wiped out, it’s back to the drawing board after each disaster.
Some projects have rejected the paternalistic model and found striking success actually trusting the Haitians as long-term partners. Lack of transparency on how our development funding gets spent is a big part of the problem. There’s already scant oversight into how we spend our U.S. Agency for International Development funding budget. USAID spent $270 million in Haiti last year, and most of the spending went to for-profit American companies who do not publicly provide their budgets.
So while multilaterals, foreign donors, and nonprofits initially provided essential relief, other private companies and humanitarian organizations became very rich in the reconstruction phase. The for-profit Chemonics International has received more than $58 million in USAID funding for development projects in Haiti, with little quantifiable success, except ranking No. 45 in a 2012 list of Washington, D.C.’s most profitable contractors.
One Chemonics project was urban beautification in the towns near the much-lauded Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti. Project workers planted seedlings in the town center. The seedlings died. As the inspector general explained in a 2012 USAID audit, “residents did not understand how the activity led to the beautification of the area, nor did they associate it with the industrial park.”
But there are nonprofits who have made a difference in Haiti—and these projects overwhelmingly are partnered with the Haitian government.
Some projects have rejected the paternalistic model and found striking success actually trusting the Haitians as long-term partners. The University Hospital in Mirebalais is a case study in how to build lasting change while also attending to the immediate needs of the sick and dying. It’s a public teaching hospital administered and funded through public-health pioneer Dr. Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health, with such a high standard of care I’d be treated there any day. Instead of eschewing advanced medical care because there’s such limited access to the basics, they teach local doctors how to provide it via a residency program.
Partners in Health made a $25 million investment to build a world-class facility, which operates annually for $16.2 million. In the dark of night, a line of patients grows to the hundreds. An average of 700 patients are treated a day. The 200,000-square-foot facility is powered by solar energy so that frequent power outages do not disrupt care. Each bed has its own oxygen unit supplied in-house, and there’s neo-natal intensive care, and a post-partum recovery room with chairs that convert to beds so fathers or family can also stay overnight. The mental-health unit has helped earthquake survivors deal with grief and post-traumatic stress.
Partners in Health and its Haitian NGO counterpart are now in the lead, but the Haitian government has agreed to manage the hospital in 10 years.
NGOs that work locally to tackle the grittiest problems should also be encouraged. The 2010 cholera outbreak from sewage in a United Nations camp in Mirebalais underscores the need for improved sanitation. It’s perhaps the least sexy development project to tackle, and among the most basic and important. More than 20,000 Haitians have access to the SOIL project’s locally sourced compost toilet. The SOIL project, operating in Haiti since 2006, turns human waste into compost at the largest sanitation treatment site in Haiti. Paid local toilet managers in the community are responsible for upkeep, and the sale of the compost will hopefully allow the organization to become self-sustaining—and increasingly create more jobs in these communities. SOIL’s founder, Dr. Sasha Kramer, hopes to translate success on a small scale to a model where the private sector manages the compost and the government purchases it to re-sell to farmers at a subsidized price.
It’s the right instinct—demonstrate sustainable local success, and let the Haitians lead. Incrementally. Four, eight, or 50 years of doing it for them and then abandoning them to their own untrained, unsupported, unsustainable devices is a failed model.
Haiti has a chance to change post-earthquake, and so should our thinking when it comes to development.
There’s a moral argument that we should be just as accountable of do-gooder dollars as do-gooder bombs. If there’s a “responsibility to protect” civilians from genocide, shouldn’t there be a responsibility to not infantilize and doom an entire society to poverty? If bankrolling the aid industrial complex keeps the government powerless and otherwise broke, there is no hope for Haiti.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/03/the-aid-industry-failed-haiti-after-its-2010-quake.html

Lady from Haiti relocates again in Naples

PHOTO BY LEXEY SWALL // BUY THIS PHOTO
Melody Bales, owner of The Lady From Haiti art store walks out of her store Thursday. Naples City Council on Monday discussed several code issues on Fifth Avenue South. Among them was one about temporary lighting. Restaurants and shops up and down Fifth Avenue have in the past strung Christmas lights throughout the year to spruce up their shops. Naples City Council said they're going to crack down on these lights after the holiday season. Lights in Sugden Plaza are permitted because they were strung by the city and are on city property. Lexey Swall/Staff
The Lady From Haiti Boutique and Art Gallery has relocated again in downtown Naples.
The store formerly was on Fifth Avenue South but moved a couple of times in recent years. The new site is 110 10th Street N.
The new, larger location features vivid Caribbean-colored paintings and metal wall sculptures of palm trees, birds, sunbursts, sand dollars and starfish, as well as papier mâche parrots, toucans, fish, lobsters, monkeys, and crabs for your pool, lanai, kids’ room and other fun areas.
Information: 239-649-8607 or email: info@ladyfromhaiti.com