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Catholic Officials Halt Activity for Kidnapped

  • Posted on: 22 April 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti is a religious country and social movements, when they take off, often have the participation of its faith communities.  The Catholic Church has closed its institutions for three days to demand the release of kidnapped priests and nuns.  Regardless of religious affiliation, nobody is safe until the present political crisis is resolved, the country has a government that actually governs, and security can be restored.  It is time for the faith communities to work together in making that happen. The full article on the strike by AP journalist Evens Sanon follows. 

UN Calls on Haiti to Settle Differences and Hold Elections

  • Posted on: 26 March 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The UN Security Council may not agree on much but it is unanimous in urging Haiti to settle political differences and hold elections.  The conditions for having an election are challenging - and flawed elections have made Haiti's situation worse in the past.  Still, the current political impasse is untenable.  As insecurity increases, gangs once again fill the void.  Protests are frequent, the economy is not growing, and basic services do not reach those most in need.  In short, the risk of collapse is real.  An article by Miami Herald journalist Jacqueline Charles folllows. 

Haitian Court Orders UN Peacekeeper to Pay Child Support in Landmark Case

  • Posted on: 15 March 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

There is a long history of peace-keeping operationa in Haiit - as well as a long history of peace-keepers exploting women and children.  A Haitian court has ordered a former UN peacekeeper from Uruguay to pay child support to a women he impregnated in 2011. This case is a step towards justice for the mother and the child but it could also encourage more court cases nationally and globally.   In Haiti alone, hundreds of children may have been fathered by UN peacekeepers. The full article by New Humanitarian Journalist Paisley Dodds follows. 

Miami Haitian Woman Feeds Thousands

  • Posted on: 11 March 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

One of the most distinctive aspects of Haitian culture is generousity.  If you are well and truly screwed, somebody will step up to help you.  Since the start of the pandemic, Haitian immigrant and Miami resident Doramise Moreau has cooked 1,000 meals a week on top of her job as a janitor.  The next time a politician disparages Haiti or the Haitian Diaspora, let us remember and share stories about the kindness and decency of people like Doramise.  The article in the Miami Times follows.  

HELP Haiti Alumni Webinar (26 February 12:00 EST)

  • Posted on: 23 February 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti often seems to be perpetually instable, at a crossroads, at an impasse.  It is important to remember though that Haiti is full of talented young people who, if given the opportunity, go on to do great things.  Haiti is sorely in need of new leaders in government, in civil society, and in the private sector.  The Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP) has long provided scholarships to high performing students in Haiti who would not otherwise be able to pursue higher education.  On 26 February, HELP Haiti will hold a webinar in which several successful alumni will speak about their experiences with the program.  Think about participating and supporting their work.  More information follows as well as the registration link

Strikes, Violence Overwhelm Haiti's Crumbling Judiciary

  • Posted on: 29 January 2021
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

There is no justice without a functioning judicial system and Haiti's is broken.  Prisons are sorely over-crowded in part due to 80% of inmates being held for years with no trial.  In addition, activists report a distrubing increase in illegal preventive detentions.  Judges are few, overwhelmed, and often threatened.  Haiti remains a fragile democracy and will remain so without justice and the rule of law.  If the judicial system improves, then we will know that Haiti is, at last, changing for better.  The full article by AP journalists Evens Sanon and Danica Coto is linked and follows below. 

The Legacy of a Human Rights Champion

  • Posted on: 11 December 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Part of the reason we made this website was to highlight good work being done by good people, especially Haitians, for the betterment of the country.  Haiti has many overlooked heroes, too many of whom pay the ultimate price for trying to bring about a more just society.  Monferrial Dorval, former head of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association and international human rights champion, was assassinated on August 28, 2020.  His legacy was remembered on 10 December which is International Human Rights Day.  He was committed to the rule of law, human rights, and drafted a bill that would prevent Haitians in Haiti and abroad from not having citizenship due to gaps in civil registration and documentation.  May his example be an inspiration to others. 

Haitian Dictator's Money Remains Tough Nut to Crack

  • Posted on: 11 November 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

During their years in power, the Duvaliers led a kleptocracy - stealing from the people to maintain extravagant lifestyles.  They did not do so alone.  Being anti-communist, they were long supported by the United States while Swiss banks hid millions of dollars from the Duvaliers and those close to them.  In 2002, Duvalier funds in Geneva, Vaud and Zurich were frozen.  In 2009, the Federal Office of Justice announced the money would be returned to Haiti although this was overturned the following year.  These funds, which belong to the Haitian people, have yet to be returned.   Doing so is long overdue. 

In Outrage Over Haitian Student's Killing, Focus Turns to Artists and Influencers

  • Posted on: 11 November 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haitian women hold together families, communities, and the country.  Despite this, violence against women and girls remains a persistent problem.  The kindnapping, torture, and murder of a high school girl has infuriated civil society who are pushing artists, influences, and politicans to do more to prevent and respond.  The girl, Evelyne Sincère, has become a symbol of injustice - but not indifference this time.  If Haiti is to change, both civil society and the government will need to work tirelessly for the protection of women and girls.  The best way to honor Evelyne is to prevent it from happening to anyone else.  The full article by Miami Herald journallist Jacqueline Charles follows. 

Documentary: Deadliest Roads (Haiti)

  • Posted on: 26 October 2020
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Many of Haiti's roads are terrible - some major routes have been improved but overall it is far behind its Latin American and Caribbean neighbors.  Roads are important for the economy, getting goods to and from regional markets, for public health, getting people to health care facilities when they need care, and for disaster preparedness/response, being able to get national and international responders/commodities to where they are most needed.  Due to the rough conditions, travel is more difficult and expensive than it should be. To get a better sense of what it is like to be a passenger or driver in Haiti, check out the documentary "Deadliest Roads: Haiti".    

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