In January 2018, I wrote my only response when disparaging remarks were hurled at my country by the president of the United States. I share again my response here, a year later, after the current countrywide protest in Haïti began in February 2019, as it bares repeating. Haïti is my Country. America is my Country. I will not choose.
“I promise you our Partner Communities in Haïti are not letting reported, negative comments, made about them by a President or anyone, define them. Instead, they will let the accomplishments of our collaborative work with them speak for itself below, as we choose to fuel our focus and energy on continuing to raise awareness and funds to #FinishTheWork.
What can you and I do, together, to result in a sustainable change in this current environment?
- Stop saying “poorest country in the western hemisphere”. It perpetuates the narrative against Haïti and Haitians. Stop supporting the narrative with your words or your silence.
- Learn about the true history and contributions to the world of Haïti for yourself, so when you find yourself in situations where the negative, stereotypical, incorrect narrative is being promoted, you can counter and correct it.
- Support individuals and organizations you have vetted yourself or via your network, who are working diligently to change the historically, incorrect narrative with their results driven, assignment focused, narrative changing work.
Let’s settle this now. There is nothing anyone has said or will ever say that will stop me from loving my country or being Haitian. As my dad, Jean-Gerard Eusebe used to say, “Haïti is not a perfect country, but it is my country.” There is nothing that will stop you or people like you who have a heart for Haïti from loving the country or her people. My dad was a strong person, who stood up for me. Because of him, I stand up for others, as do the members of this team and our team on the ground.” (C2C inProgress Jan 2018)
Here’s to a great 2019! My prayer for everyone is your 2019 is not only happy, healthy and prosperous, but it challenges you to be the best version of yourself. The one you, your family, friends, community and the world is eagerly awaiting.
Onward and upward! We have trees to plant, schools to build, a water distribution system to complete and communities to help become health self-sufficient. Let’s all invest in those goals. The return will last a lifetime and establish a legacy. Join us.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we have more things in common that connect us, like quality health care, a good education for our children, a living wage and safety in our streets…than the things that divide us. This encourages the team in New York, the team on the ground and our Partner Communities in Petit Goâve to stay hopeful every day.
Looking forward to what we will accomplish together!
Here are our year in pictures!