Town Hall Meeting with USAID at Burke High

The City of Boston along with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will host a town hall meeting to review reconstruction efforts in Haiti on Friday, March 4 at the Jeremiah Burke High School, 60 Washington Street in Dorchester from 6-8:30 p.m. The forum will provide the latest updates on US foreign policies and resources for community involvement. Special guests include Thomas Adams the special Haiti coordinator from the State Department, Major Joseph Bernadel from the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) and Paul Weisenfeld from USAID.

National Teaching Hospital takes shape in Mirebalais

Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Boston-based Partners in Health, talks about the long-awaited construction of a new teaching hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti in this video posted by PIH. The state-of-the-art, 320 bed facility has been planned in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health, according to Farmer, and will include a women’s outpatient facility that will be completed in the coming months. The hospital is scheduled to open in early 2012.

Central Square Theatre hosts “Ti-Jean and His Brothers”

TI-JEAN & HIS BROTHERS: From Left: Cedric Lilly (Mi Jean), Kervin George Germain (Ti-Jean), and Hampton Sterling Fluker (Gros Jean).TI-JEAN & HIS BROTHERS: From Left: Cedric Lilly (Mi Jean), Kervin George Germain (Ti-Jean), and Hampton Sterling Fluker (Gros Jean).Mattapan resident Kervin George Germain has the title role in Derek Walcott’s “Ti-Jean and His Brothers,” a musical drama that has been in continuous production around the world since it was written in 1957 and now is being revived in Boston to celebrate, among other things, Black History Month.

Through March 13, Central Square Theater marks the 30th anniversary of Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott’s founding of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at Boston University and commemorates the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti with this local production of the Saint Lucian playwright’s powerful folk parable.

Boston saw rise in Haitian students last year

Boston Public Schools didn’t get additional funds from the federal government to help handle an influx of Haitian students after last year’s earthquake, but they’ve been able to accommodate most of the students, school officials said. Students were placed at the Kenny Elementary School in Dorchester, the Taylor Elementary School in Mattapan, the Community Academy of Science and Health in Hyde Park, and the West Roxbury Education Complex.

The school system has drawn on the English Language Learners program, which serves limited English proficient students.

Displaced families fight new threat: Evictions

One our cover: Devalon Beatrice, 27, holds her daughter inside a tent in Champ de Mars, Port-au-Prince. Photo by Allyn GaestelOne our cover: Devalon Beatrice, 27, holds her daughter inside a tent in Champ de Mars, Port-au-Prince. Photo by Allyn GaestelTucked next to a gated office building off Delmas 60 in Port-au-Prince, staggered tents and makeshift shelters are packed in tiers cascading over twin hillsides. Along a path scattered with ti machans (small-scale vendors) and men playing cards beside hand-painted Michel Martelly campaign signs, live Natasha Seraphin and Cesar Emanuele Junior, a young married couple with their baby Charles.

Their shelter, like so many others filling formerly open terrain throughout the city, is meticulously designed as a tiny house. The entryway leads to a thin sitting area, with a television, powered by electricity pirated from lines along the two main thoroughfares nearby. In the corner, shelves hold dishes and utensils, and Natasha washes plates and clothes in a two-foot-wide hallway. Clothes hang along the walls, and in the back is a cramped cooking area. A bedroom packed with a makeshift bed and the rest of their belongings, closed off by tarpaulin walls and a curtained doorway, fills most of the space.

More than one year after last January’s deadly earthquake, Natasha and Junior are among the 800,000 displaced people still living in a tent camp.

But, this is not the couple’s first tent camp experience.

US double standard continues in treatment of Haitians

At a January 31 State House Haiti remembrance event with Governor Deval Patrick, Representative Linda Dorcena Forry eloquently urged President Obama to instruct Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano to promptly “parole” into the U.S. at least 55,000 beneficiaries of DHS-approved immigrant visa petitions who senselessly must wait in Haiti up to11 more years before getting their green cards.

Editorial: US diplomacy not ‘good enough’

LSecretary Clinton with Mirlande ManigatSecretary Clinton with Mirlande Manigatast year, the United States spent an estimated $14 million to stage national elections in Haiti – even though over 45 members of Congress, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, strongly advised against it. They argued forcefully that the devastated country was not adequately prepared to run a free and fair election. They were right. The Nov. 28 elections were an embarrassment and the efforts to “clean-up” the mess that followed has been exacerbated by poor leadership across the board — both from Haitians and international actors.

The Organization of American States (OAS) - which officially observed the elections - submitted a report that contradicted the initial findings of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). They recommended that the March 20 election runoff should be between Mirlande Manigat and Michel “Sweet Micky”Martelly – and that the government-backed candidate Jude Celestin should be eliminated from contention.

Slavery: The Toll that Still Rings

Patrick SylvainPatrick SylvainThe narrative that proclaims that slavery is a thing of the past and therefore must be forgotten or silenced, is a dangerous and a counter-productive account that is useful only to its benefactors. Likewise, the narrative that claims that Haitians won the war of independence and curtailed the course of slavery is also counter-productive.

The truth is that the institutional mechanisms that once enabled slavery and its associated principles are an entrenched part of the Haitian reality and are codified in the letters of the law.

Amnesty International puts spotlight on Duvalier's alleged crimes

The human rights group Amnesty International has posted the video above to mark the 25th anniversary of ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier’s departure from Haiti in February 1986. Duvalier abruptly and unexpectedly returned to Haiti last month and remains there as authorities investigate charges and plan a possible prosecution of the ex-president.

The video includes archived testimonies from victims of human rights abuses committed during Duvalier’s rule. The interviews — conducted in 1985— include Evans Paul, detained and tortured in 1980, Mark Roumain, unfairly detained for three years and Sylvio Claude, arbitrarily arrested and ill treated in several occasions.


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