Working for Peace in Haiti
Mary Alban Bouchard CSJ provides an update on her current work with educational programs in Haiti for Building a Culture of Peace.
This year I am working on promotion of the educational program. Building a Culture of Peace, which I produced in Kreyòl during 2001-2005. Some people (besides myself) must be praying for this because it is really taking off. With my Haitian team, Daniel Tilias and Wilda Mondestin, I have given a workshop for 60 teachers of street children in the little schools Fr. Rick Frechette has set up. Recently we went to Jacmel in the south for a two-day session with 60 young people held at the Sant Sosyal la Konbit built by Fonds Canadiens. It is amazing how eager these young leaders are for the material. I am learning, too. For example, in the #5 booklet on the art of listening, I asked: “What things prevent us from listening well?” In both groups someone answered, “Hunger!” Yes!
I am scheduled for 3 January days in Jeremie (on the boot toe of Haiti SW) with novices of three communities with a follow-up later with about 50 youth leaders and animators in the region. Cap Háitien and Fort Liberté (near the Dominican Republic frontier) are tentatively planned for February. I have been to Port-de-Paix (north-west coast) in November.
Another positive factor in this work is that Radio Soleil in Port-au-Prince made seven programs based on the series Building a Culture of Peace which were aired twice a week during Lent 2006. Radio Soleil made CD copies for each of the dioceses of Haiti and these I present to the radio stations on site when we go to do workshops. Haiti has a largely oral culture so radios are much in use and this is another good outreach for which I am grateful.
By Mary Alban Bouchard CSJ