Haitian blogs

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine Présente!

HaitiAnalysis -


On the eve of Bwa Kay Iman (Bois Caïman, Aug. 14), and on International Youth Day (Aug. 12), we dedicate this forthcoming issue of Haiti Solidarity to this remarkable, powerful brother.  Father, husband, friend, psychologist, human rights activist, Lavalas leader—Lovinsky loved his people, and they love him.  Not a year has gone by that he hasn’t been sorely missed.
    On July 28, 2007, just three years into the 2004 coup and the 92-year anniversary of the first US occupation of Haiti of 1915-1934, a crowd of protestors and witnesses watched Lovinsky lead a demonstration in front of UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.  We listened to his speech, in which he made the connection between the current occupation and the first US occupation. Lovinsky invoked the Haitian revolutionaries, like Charlemagne Péralte, who fought to end the 1915 invasion, and he said that that legacy of revolutionary struggle lives on in the people today. He said the people would always fight to uproot neo-colonialism and exploitation—they would always fight for their freedom. Two weeks after this speech, Lovinsky was kidnapped.

    Lovinsky dedicated his life to fighting against the restoration of the Haitian Army.  Today and into the future, we honor his work with victims of the Haitian Military, police forces and of the United Nations troops, who have occupied Haiti since 2004.  We must hold the UN occupying force accountable for the disappearance of Lovinsky under their watch and for all the crimes it has committed against the Haitian people.

    As we echo his voice against the violence of the police, occupation forces and the restoration of the Haitian military, let us also demand justice for Lovinsky https://www.facebook.com/HaitiActionCommittee/posts/10155591278684886

    Lovinsky, and all of those who have fought, suffered, and died in the struggle—in Haiti and elsewhere—leave us a legacy.  To honor that legacy, we too must struggle to build a new society in which humanity, justice, empathy, and love are the prevailing values.  Little by little, we must have faith, like Lovinsky, that we will make progress.  But we must help each other.  We must follow the example of our Haitian brothers and sisters who say, “Nou pap obeyi!”  We do not obey!  We resist!  We believe in the power of collective struggle.  Little by little, together, we will make a difference.
In solidarity,

Haiti Action  Committeewww.haitisolidarity.net @HaitiAction1 and on Facebook

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Livesay Haiti -

Many months ago we began to share the history of a young woman named Sarah.  At that time a decision was made to be careful to keep Sarah's identity private while sharing her story.

Sarah knows that her history and her rising are both being shared on the internet. She is aware that we do not post pictures of her face on-line, but that her 7 month old daughter, Sophia, is the most photographed and instagrammed baby in Haiti.

We (staff of Maternity Center) met Sarah in the fall of 2016 when she was 13 years old and 22 weeks pregnant.  At the time we were told that while Sarah's mother was out in the country-side tending to a garden, Sarah was left alone at home. A man came to work in the shared yard between their home and the neighbor/land owner's home.  That man raped her. We were told that he was not someone Sarah or others in the shared yard could name or identify. We were told nobody knew who or where he was.

Sarah and her Mother did the official work of getting an examination at a large non-government hospital to prove the assault had happened and begin the paperwork for filing a report with the police. That hospital agreed to allow Sarah to choose to get her prenatal care and deliver with us.

Because Troy and I live near Sarah and her mother, we interacted or at least waved and greeted one another daily for most of her last half of pregnancy.  Some trust was built before the baby arrived.

In mid January, Sarah's Mom knocked on our gate one morning to say that Sarah was in labor.  Later that day beautiful Sophia was born at the Heartline Maternity Center.

The trauma and pain caused by a sexual assault is a huge thing to work through.

Giving birth to a baby that is a result of that assault is an entirely new trauma.

It took a lot of time and grace and miraculous love for Sarah to decide to let down her guard enough to bond with and breastfeed Sophia.  She did that.  She became THE 2017 hopeful story.

Had she not been able to do it, not a single one of us would have judged or been disappointed.  More than anything, her ability to serve and feed her daughter blew our entire staff away. It still does seven and a half months later.

Since January things about the assault and the circumstances surrounding it have become more and less clear at the same time.

A metaphor for Haiti. Things are always more and less clear. 
Stories evolve and as more of it is being revealed we feel a large sense of duty to help Sarah navigate a culture that is not predisposed to protect her or Sophia.

*   *   *

In March we celebrated Sarah's fourteenth birthday. Around that time there were some things said and done in an effort to try and get Troy and I to move Sarah into our house. I won't go into the whole detailed story, but Sarah's Mom decided to make up a detailed story about losing their home in order to try and pressure us into inviting them to live with us.

We initially believed they were homeless. Within a few weeks several lies came to light and we sat down and talked about it.

On the surface it might seem like a great idea, "Yes! Move S & S into your house!"  I probably cannot cover the nuances of the situation and the culture in one post, but the bottom line was that we knew that there were several lies being told and that the goal was to transfer responsibility for Sarah and Sophia over to us.  We know taking responsibility for children is no small thing, it is certainly not a short game either.

(I wrote several paragraphs about that ^ and decided to take them out of this post.)

In June Sarah's mom left to go south for the summer to work in their garden.  Sarah stayed with an aunt downtown for a time.  For whatever reason, that did not work out long term and Sarah is now back in our neighborhood and hanging out each day at the Maternity Center or our house. She has been helpful at the MC and jumps in to do the things she has learned how to help with over the months. At night she sleeps in her own house down the street.

Sarah's Mom is supposed to return to Port au Prince this week.  In her Mom's absence we have started the process of getting Sarah registered to return to school this fall.  Sadly, when a young woman is a mother (whether raped or in a relationships with a boyfriend) she must hide that fact from the school. There will not be anyone at school that will know Sarah is carrying the responsibility of Sophia too.

Heartline Midwives worked with another assault victim that had a baby boy with us in 2012.  That young woman also returned to school when her child was a year old and recently graduated at the top of her class in June 2017.  Nobody in her school, not teachers, faculty, or students, know she has a five year old. This is "system Ayiti". Somehow the onus of secrecy and shame is on the person that has been assaulted. It is justice denied.

This summer we learned that the man that violated Sarah is in fact known. He has a name and they know it. We also know he lives about 8 miles from us. Not only that, we learned that he is requesting to see Sophia.  He is an adult, not a teenager.

This man's mother wants to take Sophia and has told Sarah as much.  She says she can raise her too.

The people that own the land Sarah's little house sits on and share the same yard are telling Sarah that she should let Sophia know her dad.  (It seems that he is an acquaintance of theirs and they always knew who was responsible for Sarah's assault.) They recently told Sarah that Sophia is going to want to know who her father is and she should consider that.

Last week Sarah was shuffling through a bunch of papers looking for something we needed to help get the ball rolling for returning to school this fall.  She came across the police report for her assault.

Her mother never finished filing the papers.  Sarah was told it was all finished and filed.  She has recently learned that is not true.  The rape was never officially reported and going for the rape-kit-exam at the hospital was just an exercise they did but the information was not used to finish the process of filing the report.  

Sarah is devastated.

A couple of weeks ago Sarah asked KJ (a Midwife at the MC) if she has to let the rapist see Sophia and shared what the neighbors are saying.  Sarah said she fears what people will tell Sophia when she is older and can understand.  She said everyone in our neighborhood knows about the assault and knows Sophia is the product of that attack. She wonders how she can deal with the heaviness of that when other people might not honor her and allow that to be something **she** tells Soph some day.

There is no happy "we solved this" ending for Sarah and Sophia.  Right now we await confirmation that Sarah can return to school.  Sarah is resisting the pressure of the neighbors and refusing to agree that the family of the rapist has a right to know Sophia.

Three donors have come forward to cover the cost of Sophia's daycare and the cost of school.  We are waiting to hear from the school, Sarah took tests two days this week in order to get correct placement into the right classes.

The story continues to be come more and less clear.  We are all taking it one day and one change at a time.

We know one thing:  We want better for Sarah and everyone like her.

Unpredictable Sightings

Livesay Haiti -

The other day my friend KJ texted me to tell me that she had just seen one of the security guard's balls.

Because everything is random and weird here I wasn't totally shocked.

I just said, "Huh, lucky? you! What was the occasion?"

Turns out he had quite some swelling post hernia surgery and he thought she might be the one to comment on the swelling.

She informed him pregnant women were her specialty, not so much swollen balls.

A few days later I got a text from Troy.
He said, "Well, this is how my morning is going, I just saw ______'s (name of owner withheld) balls.

Sometimes life is like this. 

Our Team - Changes & Updates

Livesay Haiti -

Operating a Birth Center slash Maternal Health Program cross culturally is an every-single-dang-day adventure.

"Adventure" is similar to "interesting" -- these words are powerful blanket words that mean many things - alllll the things even - you say them when you are being careful and a bit diplomatic. 

Communication cross culturally is SOMETHING ... Yet another powerful blanket word.

At least weekly someone (client or co-worker) will tell me something and inside my head I will be saying to my head, "What is the point what is the point what is the point please what is the ever-livin point?"  

About ten minutes in, the point will come out sideways.  
It's like that here.  
The points are made indirectly.  
Practice your deep breathing and wait on it.  
Eventually it (the point) will appear in a cloud of glory. 

As the guests in this culture, the onus is on the foreigners to learn language and culture and work within the constraints of cultural norms whenever and however it might be possible.

Screaming at the top of our lungs in frustration needs to happen privately, into our own giant pillows.  

In order to create team unity, and foster mutual respect, we all need to keep it together no matter how much the situations around us might make us insane or sad or just totally broken and hurt.

The Maternity Center (and ME especially) are grateful to God for the group of nurses and midwives that have gathered and come here to serve Haitian mommas and babes. 

Our staff has expanded quite a bit in the last two years. 

We now have 24/7/365 coverage at the Maternity Center. 

The number of women we serve expanded after Together Rising gave us a large grant to build a second floor and add more women to the program.

We are in a bit of another transition this fall. 

We are asking for your prayers. Please pray that we continue to work well as a group/team. 

Our staff is family. That has become important to the flow of things here. Trusting the people you work with is so important when dealing with life and death and intensely emotional situations. 

GREAT communication among staff is equally critical.  We continually ask God to help us communicate well at all times.


Meet Beth McHoul, founder and visionary of the Maternity Center as well as our Director of Education. 

Beth is currently in a life-transition - as she and her husband John set-up their home in Florida due to his changing health needs.

Going forward Beth will continue to serve at the H.M.C as a Midwife on a more part-time basis, covering the MC whenever she can be in Haiti. Her fingerprints and influence are all over our work and our Maternity Center. Her physical absence is something we are grieving right now. Prayers for Beth -and us- as we make these adjustments are appreciated. 

Beth is available to speak and share more about the work we do by phone, or in person, if logistics allow. If you have an interest in that, please contact Elizabeth Thompson, our Development Coordinator to request a meeting with Beth. Elizabeth can be reached at Elizabeth@heartlineministries.org 

Nirva J. is a nurse of many years, with more than a decade of Labor and Delivery experience. She has been with HMC five years and oversees the Saturday teen-girl program called "Youth in Action". Nirva is a hard-working single Mom of two and a valued senior member of the MC staff.

Bethany Johnson - AKA - "KJ" - is a Midwife and serves as our Clinical Director.  KJ brings many years of experience in the Philippines, Texas, and Haiti to our team. She has been with the HMC for four years.  KJ makes things beautiful wherever she goes.  KJ works closely with Dr. Jen in writing and updating our protocols and keeps us all up to speed.

Islande V. is a nurse with a tender bedside manner. She joined HMC in February of 2016 and is the nurse you'll most likely find at the MC if you drop in on a weekday. Islande is a detail oriented person and handles many administrative tasks at the MC.

Mica B. was a former client of the HMC and is now a trusted and valuable member of our staff. She graduated from Midwives for Haiti's school/program last September and has been on our staff full time for almost one year. Mica was a nurse before she had her baby with us. Now that she has the Midwifery skills she is the perfect addition to our staff. 

Guerline L. joined our staff earlier this year, in February of 2017. She is also a graduate of Midwives for Haiti (she and Mica graduated together) and is yet another very tender and calm addition to our team. Guerline and her husband just welcomed their first child, baby Carla, to the world in late July. Guerline will return to work part-time in October and full-time in November after her Maternity leave is finished.

Stephanie D. is a nurse hoping to pursue midwifery school in the future. She awaits her chance to officially sit for her nursing exam. Please pray that she can do that yet this year. Steph is waiting on a system that lacks organization and they need to OFFER the test so she can take it. She is the smiliest person on staff. Steph joined us in Feburary 2017 as well.

Today we welcomed a new Midwife to our staff for her first day with us. 

Jessica Williamson is an RN/CNM from Louisiana. She speaks southern and Kreyol and is excited to be back in Haiti, having lived here in the past. Jessica will check us out and vice versa for the next few months. We all assume that the trial period will prove we want to work together forever. 

Please pray for Jessica and her daughter Phoebe-Kate as they are settling into full-time life in Haiti (yet again). We are thrilled to welcome Jessica and believe she will be an awesome addition to our expat staff and our family.

Michaelle B, the clinic part-time administrative assistant, works Thursdays and Fridays to help keep some semblance of order on our two most chaotic program days.  She recently graduated from seminary and hopes to use some of her training to offer the women that are in our programs emotional and spiritual support. 

L to R - Clermitha, Gran R,  and Rosena

We are also **incredibly blessed** to have a housekeeping and cooking staff of three strong women with moxie all the way UP TO HERE.  

Rosena, Gran R. and Clermitha keep the place running smoothly by dealing with non stop questions at the front gate,  never ending linens that need laundering, as well as cooking for program days and the women recovering in post-partum. They also support the nursing/midwife staff in many other tangible ways each day.  

All three of these ladies are Moms, two of them are Grandmothers.  
They have LIVED LIFE and they KNOW THINGS. 

All in all our staff of twelve strong women includes five single moms and four grandmothers. That is just basically to say, nobody should mess with us. 

And me.  I'm here too.  
Hi - I'm Tara. I have been a Midwife officially for three years, I have worked at the H.M.C. in some capcity since mid-2008. I am honored and humbled and poop-my-pants-nervous to have taken on the role of Director about one year ago.

Please pray for us.  

Please know that we believe that our Moms and Babies  (our clients) being covered in prayer is KEY, I mean like GIANT ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT KEY, to our success.

Thank you so much for reading. For praying. For giving. For investing. 

With love,

HMC Staff

Protestation des chauffeurs de taxi-moto !

HaitiAnalysis -

Haïti Liberté

Plusieurs centaines de chauffeurs de taxi-moto ont manifesté dans les rues de la capitale le lundi 7 Aout 2017 pour dénoncer non seulement les magistrats des communes, mais également l’exploitation dont ils sont victimes de la part des dirigeants de l’Etat haïtien.

Les chauffeurs réagissent contre une note signée du Secrétaire d’état à la Sécurité Publique, stipulant que « Du 31 juillet au 8 Août tous les chauffeurs de taxis moto de la zone métropolitaine sont invités à retirer leurs casques et gilets de secours dans les différentes mairies de la capitale dans le cadre du processus d’identification lancé par les autorités du pays ».

Les chauffeurs accusent les magistrats, en leur demandant de mieux prendre soin de l’état de la ville jonchée de fatras, et de réclamer de la bourgeoisie import-export de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées.

Selon les exigences du gouvernement chaque chauffeur doit enregistrer sa moto à la mairie de sa commune et payer 1 750 gourdes. En retour il recevra un gilet et un casque. Pour récupérer ces équipements le chauffeur doit fournir les documents suivants : les papiers d’enregistrement de la moto, la carte d’assurance, les originaux des papiers de la moto, permis de conduire du chauffeur, pièce d’identification du propriétaire de la moto et 2 photos d’identité.

Il est indiqué, poursuit cette note, qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.
Il est certain que cette section du transport public en commun mérite qu’elle soit organisée et structurée pour éviter les dérapages et la surcharge comme on peut le constater dans toutes les villes du pays.

Cependant, dans leur revendication, les chauffeurs ne pouvaient être plus clairs pour indiquer que « tout moto est toujours accompagné d’un casque. Si quelqu’un n’a pas son casque, c’est à lui qu’on devrait s’adresser afin qu’il s’en procure un. » Selon les chauffeurs, l’État haïtien ne se soucie nullement d’eux si ce n’est que d’utiliser des moyens pour leur soutirer beaucoup d’argent légalement, soit par l’augmentation du prix des plaques d’immatriculation et maintenant les invitant à payer une quelconque 1750 gourdes pour l’octroi d’un casque et d’un gilet. « Où nous allons trouver ces 1750 gourdes ; quand nous avons des responsabilités en tant que pères de famille et qui pis est nous sommes à quelques jours de la réouverture des classes »

Il est certain que cette section du transport public en commun mérite qu’elle soit organisée et structurée pour éviter les dérapages et la surcharge comme on peut le constater dans toutes les villes du pays. Sans aucun doute l’État haïtien n’a jamais pris des mesures sérieuses pour éviter des accidents et des pertes en vie humaines. C’est un choix particulier puisqu’il n’a aucun souci d’apporter certaine amélioration aux conditions de la vie des masses populaires.

Cependant, pour maquiller leurs pressions sur les chauffeurs de moto, la Police nationale d’Haïti de concert avec les municipalités et la Plateforme des Associations des Taxi-motos haïtiens (PLAMOTAH), travaillent à la régularisation des motocyclettes. Selon le coordonnateur des Directions départementales de la PNH, Carl Henry Boucher, à partir du 8 août prochain, les propriétaires des motocyclettes seront enregistrés sur une base de données spéciale aux fins d’identifier les véhicules.

Ce n’est pas uniquement des chauffeurs que l’État veut soutirer de l’argent, il y a aussi ces pauvres marchands et marchandes qui sont en train de subir des exactions malhonnêtes de la part des agents de taxe des mairies agissant dans les marchés à l’instar d’un Tibobo, l’un des tontons macoutes de Duvalier.Il est indiqué qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.

C’est dans ce contexte que les chauffeurs accusent particulièrement les magistrats, en leur demandant de mieux prendre soin de l’état de la ville jonchée de fatras, et de réclamer de la bourgeoisie import-export et tant d’autres cadres du pays de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées. Comme nous pouvons le constater, l’actuel Premier ministre le Dr.Jack Guy Lafontant lui-même ne paye pas le fisc, et il n’est pas le seul.

L’obligation de forcer les chauffeurs de motos-taxis à payer 1 750 gourdes est une mesure inouïe pour exploiter tous les secteurs des masses populaires. La lutte des ouvriers qui revendiquent les 800 gourdes et celle des chauffeurs de taxi-moto est la même. On leur impose un surplus de taxe juste pour plaire à la bourgeoisie patripoche, corrompue ayant à sa tête les Apaid, les Boulos et autres ; l’administration Moise/Lafontant vient de lui faire plaisir en ajustant le salaire de misère à 350 gourdes pour les ouvriers de la sous-traitance.

Nous nous solidarisons avec les travailleurs et les chauffeurs de taxi contre cette injustice programmée. Seule la mise en place d’un outil de combat des masses exploitées contre les laquais locaux au service du capitalisme international peut nous affranchir de ce banditisme d’Etat.

Canadian military to construct refugee camp as hundreds of Haitians flee US

HaitiAnalysis -

By: World Socialist Website
Canada’s armed forces announced Wednesday that soldiers are constructing a camp near the Canada-US border in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec to house asylum seekers.Tents to house up to 500 people are being erected in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, close to a border crossing where up to 300 refugee claimants—most of them Haitians—are arriving daily. Although the majority of troops engaged in putting up the shelters will return to their barracks afterward, a CBC report has suggested that an unknown number will remain on-site to help with security.The influx has been triggered by US President Donald Trump’s vicious clampdown on immigrants. In May, he vowed not to renew beyond January 2018 the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) accorded to Haitians following the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Despite the desperate plight faced by the approximately 60,000 Haitians staying in the US on TPS, including the imminent threat of being rounded up in Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and unceremoniously deported to conditions of poverty and misery in Haiti, Canada’s government has responded with callous indifference. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen blandly declared August 4, “We discourage people from conducting irregular crossings of our borders. It’s not safe, it’s not something that we want people to do. We want people to claim asylum in the first country that they’re in, which in this case is the US.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a similar tone, stating that the refugees should apply for asylum in the proper way and that Canada has to defend the “integrity” of its immigration system.Such statements are deeply cynical. The hundreds of Haitians and other refugees crossing the border daily are being forced to cross “irregularly” because the Trudeau government continues to enforce the Canada-US Safe Third Country agreement, according to which refugees who make an asylum application at a regular border crossing are automatically turned back to the United States. They can only make a claim in Canada if they cross the land border independently, often at considerable risk. The refusal to abandon the agreement is bound up with the Trudeau government’s determination to deepen Ottawa’s strategic partnership with the Trump administration on the basis of stepped up military collaboration and enhanced North American economic protectionism, via a “modernized” North America Free Trade Agreement.For Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the main concern is getting the asylum applications processed as fast as possible so as to limit the provincial government’s financial liability. “We give them social assistance, help to find housing. We give them healthcare, even education for the children,” he complained. “All that is expensive, and we don’t want the delay to be unduly prolonged. We’re talking about many millions of dollars.”The right-wing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ—Coalition for Quebec’s Future), meanwhile, is agitating for the refugee claimants to be summarily expelled. “The Liberals,” said CAQ leader François Legault, “are sending a very bad signal to illegal migrants by opening arms to them, as if Quebec can welcome all the misery of the world.”Although Canada’s government was made aware in briefings as early as March of a potential influx of refugees, it has failed to provide adequate resources, forcing many of those crossing the border having to wait days in makeshift, ramshackle facilities to be processed.Evidence suggests that the Trudeau Liberal government is already moving towards reaching some kind of an agreement with Haiti’s right-wing government to deport the asylum seekers after their applications have been summarily rejected. Two Haitian government ministers visited Montreal Wednesday and met with the city’s mayor, Denis Coderre.A former federal Liberal Immigration minister, Coderre played a major role in the negotiations that led to the reactionary Safe Third Country agreement. Moreover, as Canada’s Representative to La Francophonie and “special adviser” to Prime Minster Paul Martin on Haiti in 2003-4, Coderre played a major role in fronting and organizing Canada’s participation in the US-led 2004 “regime-change” invasion and occupation of Haiti.Jean Sebastien Boudreault, head of the Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers, warned against the Haitian ministers having any contact with the asylum seekers. “We need to make sure, first and foremost, that we are protecting the people we are supposed to be protecting,” he told CBC, “which are the people who are seeking a refugee status.”In contrast to the indifference and outright hostility from the authorities, the Haitian refugees have been met with an overwhelmingly positive welcome by residents of Montreal. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at the Olympic Stadium, where many of the refugees are being housed, to welcome the new arrivals, carrying signs that read “Refugees welcome” and “Haitians welcome.”Many of the Haitians now fleeing Trump’s reactionary anti-immigrant policies were forced out of the impoverished Caribbean nation following the 2010 earthquake, which killed over 200,000 people and displaced half a million more. But Haiti’s endemic poverty and related social problems go back much further than that and are bound up with the ruthless exploitation of the country by American and Canadian imperialism.American Marines first occupied Haiti in 1915, remaining for 20 years and leaving behind a trained Haitian army that for decades formed the backbone of pro-US dictatorial regimes.In 2004, 500 Canadian troops intervened alongside US military forces to oust the elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, working in tandem with a bloody uprising based on elements drawn from the disbanded Haitian army and death squads active under the Duvalier military dictatorship and successor military regimes.Canada’s determination to support the coup was bound up with its imperialist interests in the Caribbean, which has long been a major destination of Canadian foreign investment. Canada’s major banks have been active in the region since the early 20th century.Following the 2010 earthquake, Canada deployed 2,000 troops and two battleships to the impoverished country in what was one of the largest overseas deployments by the Canadian Armed Forces since World War II. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper ensured that Canada obtained a leading role in the so-called rebuilding of Haiti, which amounted to developing plans to establish the country as a cheap-labour haven and a source of super-profits for big business.The lack of concern within Canadian ruling circles for the fate of ordinary Haitians is further illustrated by the callous treatment of Haitians who found refuge in Canada following the 2010 earthquake. Little more than four years after the disaster and under conditions where the country remains an effective ruin, Ottawa canceled its own temporary residency program, forcing Haitians to leave “voluntarily” or be expelled.The Trudeau government’s treatment of those fleeing the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant witch hunt underscores the bogus character of its much-publicized “refugee-friendly” stance. In 2015, shortly after coming to power, Trudeau made a great show of welcoming the first group of Syrian refugees flown into Canada as part of a resettlement program. In reality, Canada was extremely restrictive in the number of Syrians it accepted as refugees, allowing just 40,000 to enter the country. Many were only allowed in thanks to private sponsorships by churches, mosques and community groups.Conditions for refugees in Canada are abysmal. Many are forced to rely on food banks and other charities to make ends meet. In addition, successive Canadian governments, including the Trudeau Liberals, have illegally locked up immigrants and refugees indefinitely if they are deemed to be a flight risk, a danger to the public, or if their identities cannot be confirmed. Reports have denounced the practice, which has led to children being confined to conditions comparable to medium-security prisons. (See: Report documents Canadian government’s abuse of immigrant and refugee children)Trudeau has used his pose as a pro-refugee leader concerned about “humanitarian” problems as political cover for vastly expanding Canada’s military deployments around the world, from the sending of additional Special Forces to the Mideast war in Iraq, to leading one of NATO’s battalions on Russia’s borders in Eastern Europe, and bolstering Canada’s naval presence in the Asia-Pacific to help the US threaten China. In June, the Liberals unveiled a 70 percent hike in military spending and declared that “hard power,” i.e. war, must be a central part of Canada’s foreign policy.

Newsletter from UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation

HaitiAnalysis -

UNIFA (University of the Aristide Foundation) needs your help to complete construction of its Diagnostic & Primary Care Center.  Please DONATE today!As the 2016-17 academic year draws to a close, here is an update of another year of challenges and progress achieved through the hard work of our professors, students, support staff, academic leadership, Board of Administration and you, Friends of UNIFA.  

See here for a full update on UniFA.

Going Home

Livesay Haiti -

*Written by Tara Livesay, CPM, Heartline Maternity Center Director One of the most beautiful moments in the process of getting to know these strong ladies is the joy of being allowed an opportunity to take them home. It is my favorite assignment.After spending months getting to know the women at the Maternity Center, it is a blessing to enter into their space and sit with them in their homes.  Sometimes we are rushed and we simply say a quick prayer and get back on the road. Other times we sit for a long while and get to meet the whole family.   When we take the new momma home, we have overcome the inherent risk of pregnancy in Haiti, the large risks of giving birth, and we are past the initial days of learning breastfeeding. It is a joyous occasion, one worth celebration.It used to be intimidating to me to wind deep into neighborhoods uncertain if I’d ever find my way out.  I remember averting the job of discharging and transporting in the beginning, leaving it to others whenever possible. Avoiding visiting their homes saved my heart from pain, their suffering and living situations are difficult to see. Truth be told, it’s much easier not to see it up close. Something changed once I recognized that sorrow and joy and pain and triumph all constantly dance together. They are a paradox far too intertwined to experience one without the other.  While it might bring a measure of heaviness, I now know what an honor it is to be on their turf, to see and experience life sitting in their chairs, in their homes.It can be culturally and socially awkward, but as we sit there all fidgety and unsure and we are willing to be a bit uncomfortable together and allow that awkwardness, it almost always builds relationship and trust.I won’t ever fully comprehend the lives of these precious families – but they allow me to peek in, they allow me to see the paradox dancing, and that in and of itself is a gift.Part of what we hope to do during our time with the women that pass through the Heartline Maternity Center programs is to offer them an unusual comfort and kindness. Bringing them home, instead of having them take crowded public transportation is one way we can love and comfort them.The word comfort is from two Latin words that mean “with” and “strong.”  God is with these women and He makes them strong.  He is with us and He makes us strong.
Amy Carmichael said, “Comfort is not a soft, weakening commiseration; it is true, strengthening love.”  I hope that sort of comfort is what Haitian women are experiencing as they are brought home after giving birth.
Thank you for reaching out with love to comfort and strengthen families in Haiti. We are forever grateful for your support and partnership.TaraTo learn more or consider a donation: http://heartlineministries.org


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