Three years ago I wrote a reflective post in Haitian Creole on Facebook, while I was visiting my hometown of Fermathe on hills of Kenscoff, Haiti. The post was based on some thoughts that were going through my mind regarding how young Haitians can take advantage of lifelong learning opportunities that exist today.
During various informal conversations with a few young people, they shared their professional aspirations as well as their dream for the country. They face many challenges pertaining to the lack financial means, lack of access to educational resources, lack of opportunity to connect with Haitian professionals as role models, and many more.
I remember how some of them were so eager to share their willingness to be lifelong learners. That was quite amazing. Those moments gave hope that the ones who are younger than me will cause positive changes to take place in Haiti.
Today, there is an increased availability of internet connection and access to more technological resources. That was not the case for me when I was living in Haiti 20+ years ago. However, there is considerable amount of work to be done to provide them with more access to tangible learning resources.
Today, a growing majority of young Haitians, who have finished high school, can somehow communicate in three languages (French, English, Spanish) in addition to Haitian Creole. Additionally, due to recent opportunities to travel to Brazil, a growing number of them are learning Portuguese.
There is no doubt in my mind, the costs of formal education and the challenges associated with pursuing it are real barriers. Nonetheless, I believe, young Haitians have more opportunities today than yesterday to take advantage of lifelong learning resources that are available through technology. They must also be more proactive in terms of being the ones to seek out these opportunities for growth.
The lack of leadership stability in recent years is a proof that young Haitians should now play a much bigger role in terms of their own individual efforts in order to experience educational and career advancement.
Who is helping empower students and young professionals in Haiti?
I am always pleased to observe that there is a growing number of them who realize that’s what it take to make real change happen. They have become more proactive in terms of owning their efforts to succeed. They realize that they will wait in vain if help is solely to come from someone other than themselves.
Haiti can change if young people change their mindset, their attitude, their approach, and their personal strategies. Haiti can change if young people keep on learning to be better so they can do better.
Haiti can change if you and I are willing to support the young people by networking with them, mentoring and coaching them according to their needs.
Regardless where we live, Haiti can change if we all:
- Stop waiting for someone else to do what needs to be done,
- Learn to grow together,
- Make individual decisions that can be beneficial for the whole country,
- Value and respect one another
- Care enough about leaving behind, for our children, a country that is much better than what we have inherited.
Written by Garry Moïse, on March 20, 2019 • Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA
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