Youth in Haiti Share Perspective on UDHR

Le Flambeau Foundation , Inc.  December 9, 2022

THE SPARK of Le Flambeau (LF) is an online language exchange program focused on extending educational opportunities to bright youth in Haiti up to age 27, with English language learning as the foundation.  The program is in its 14th year.  This article was prepared by THE SPARK of LF English Grader Alexis Floyd, whose actions speak volumes about her commitment to Human Rights.  A few grammatical edits were done on student feedback – the messages are accurate. We appreciate Alexis’ volunteerism for youth in Haiti.


This Fall, THE SPARK of Le Flambeau covered several topics that directly coincide with this year’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) campaign theme: Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All.




Student participants found dignity through the sharing of the vulnerable and first-hand accounts of the orphan experience within the Haitian context. The UDHR was designed to encourage human dignity and exists in efforts to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations like Haitian orphans. The student shared the following:

“My life gives me a lot of pride to talk about the subject of Haitian orphans being adopted by American families. I once lived in an orphanage, and it’s always a great pleasure to share my point of view based on my personal experience. When asked what I think of the adoption of Haitian orphans by American families, in my opinion, there are too many reasons to not accept it. Now, when it comes to Haitian children being adopted by American families, the case can be made that a chance to live in a family would be of great benefit to the adopted child. One could also argue that this would reduce the percentage of juvenile delinquency in Haiti.

On the other hand, taking children out of their home country can have ill effects on the strength of the human resources of the nation. As an alternative, if a foreigner wants to help orphan children in Haiti, they can build orphanages or similar programs within the country. Due to the ill intentions of some individuals, it is not always advisable to send Haitian orphans to American families. There have been reports in the news of people kidnapping Haitian children for organ trafficking. These criminals profit heavily off of organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. Unfortunately, there is also the risk of Haitian orphans becoming servants or sex slaves to the person who decides to adopt them. Life is full of surprises, so as a community we should work hard to leave a different life for our children.” 

Article one, states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”. This coincides with the points outlined by the student. The UDHR advocates for brotherhood, so there is still work to be done globally to influence this important attitude.


In Haitian history, Toussaint L’Ouverture played a significant role in the independence of the Haitian nation from the French. Today his legacy lives on and he is seen as an influential hero of the nation. During the fall class, when asked whether or not Toussaint was seeking freedom or autonomy from France, a student wrote:

“Toussaint found slavery unjust and wanted to fight for the freedom of the black people of Haiti. I don’t think Toussaint was looking for autonomy from France, but he wanted freedom. Moreover, he has been nicknamed the precursor to independence for Haiti. Toussaint himself said these words: “I am Toussaint. I fight for freedom and equality. I work to make them exist. Join us brothers, and fight with us for the same cause”. Later, Dessalines proclaimed the independence of Haiti. Breaking the chain of the colonial yoke through armed struggle and founding a nation, Toussaint and the black people of Haiti showed the rest of Latin America the way forward to put an end to European domination in Haiti.”

Colonialism has impacted many over the centuries, but it was the efforts of freedom fighters whose goals overlap with the agenda of the UDHR that led to independence for many nations across the world. The ill effects of colonialism still haunt the soil of those who were conquered, and there is still progress to be made in order to remedy the issues that are still on the ground. It will take global action to help countries debilitated by colonial impact. Though it may take time, there’s still hope for improvement.


Over centuries, the lack of justice in societies has proved to be a shortcoming in many societies. You see the underdogs of society thrown under the bus of injustice to maintain the power of those in higher societal positions. Though there have been many failures in the area of justice, there have been some wins and it is important for the global community to aspire to be better in this area. The UDHR relays its importance again and again. During our fall session, students touched on the topic of what the UDHR means today. Read below for a student’s thoughts on some of the principles the UDHR advocates:

“On May 25, 2020, George Perry Floyd, an African American man,  was killed by a police officer. This was not only a violation of rights but also a crime because, as stipulated in article 5 of the UDHR “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Another example of a targeted group that is typically on the receiving end of social scrutiny is the LGBTQ+ community. This community faces a lot of persecution and discrimination, which goes against Articles 2 and 18 of the UDHR.  In my opinion, everyone should be free to choose their sexual orientation. Just because I’m not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, doesn’t mean that I have to hate someone who is.  Lastly, when it comes to the practicing of Haitian voodoo, people who practice this religion face a lot of negative stigmas. Historically, voodoo has been hated by the West, and someone who practiced voodoo was seen as a bad person. Now the tables have turned because today voodoo is not only respected by western societies, but it has also become the subject of study by many western historians. For me, voodoo gives one an illustration of some of the cultural/religious practices of the Haitian people. So I believe that today, the UDHR has not completely failed in its duty.”

This piece reinforces the importance of freedom for all communities, be it black, LGBTQ+, religious, or cultural.


In order for us to achieve dignity, freedom, and justice for all, it will require a global effort of collaboration. During this year’s THE SPARK of LF fall session students contemplated the importance of teamwork. See what this student has to say about the importance of incorporating fruitful collaboration:

“The tasks of an assignment can be multiple, which can become multiple when only handled by one individual. Therefore, working with a group of people on a team is better because together different ideas can be shared, and different perspectives can be incorporated. Working as a team also helps with the implementation of necessary improvements. For this to be possible, it is important to have a strong character. This character should include a joy for collaboration, an attitude of encouragement, and the desire to share skills for the betterment of the team. There is truly a reason Steve Jobs said: “The best things that happen in the business world are not the result of the work of a single man. It’s the job of a whole team.”

When we consider achieving dignity, freedom, and justice for all. It can only be achieved if the leaders of the world act as a team, because divided we cannot stand. The world is a classroom and we all bring our skills and experiences to it. When people decide to come together and share their assets, it can lead to positive outcomes for the global community.