Previously, we have expressed our dissapointment in MINUSTAH after 108 Sri Lankan peacekeepers were accused of sexual misconduct, or more specifically, paying minors for sex. We do not believe this was limited to one brigade and were concerned that there would be few consequences for these violations.
The New Year is a special time in Haiti. The houses are re-painted, the soup joumou is cooked, and the church services run even longer than normal. It is a holiday of hope. With that in mind, Haiti Innovation hopes that you and your families will have a healthy and happy holiday season.
The International Crisis Group, an NGO with expertise on preventing and responding to emergencies, has released a report entitled "Peacebuilding Haiti: Including Haitians from Abroad" The report argues that the Haitian government needs to implement a long term disaspora policy with the support of the international community. With the Diaspora being over three million strong and possessing skills, connections, and resources that would be useful in the reconstruction of the country, we could not agree more. Seeting aside one day a year for the Diaspora is not enough - we need ongoing engagement.
I recently came across a very interesting blog called "Black Gives Back", which focused on the activities of black philanthropists and black philanthropic organizations. It is well-designed and prominently features Wyclef Jean.
Websites do more than give information. They tell stories. Unfortunately, the website of the Haitian Embassy in Washington DC is not doing a good job of conveying, what is one of the most interesting histories in the Western Hemisphere.
We should be discussing the Restavek situation in Haiti. It is neither new or a simple issue. A restavek (comes from the phrase 'to stay with') is a child who is sent from one family to live with another family. Considering Haiti's history as the only people to lead a successful slave rebellion for independence, discussing restaveks can be a sensitive issue. However, I believe that we must.
When we write about China, it usually involves whether the government will protest renewal of MINUSTAH's mandate as a result of Haiti's pro Taiwan stance. But let us give credit where credit is due. China has provided well trained, and much needed, peacekeepers for the Haiti Mission. In fact, soon China will deploy its sixth team of 125 specially trained riot police.
Auctions can be an excellent way for small organizations to raise seed money with which to start pilot programs. Sometimes these new programs will work, and can be expanded. Other times, the decision will be made to discontinue but it will still have been an important learning experience for the organization.
MINUSTAH got off to a bad start. Initially, the force was content to sit back and guard government buildings while Port au Prince became increasingly unstable. The rationale was that they were there to keep the peace, not to be the national police.