Le Flambeau Foundation , Inc.,, April 28, 2023
Our heritage partnered with the experiences and fresh perspectives of our youth form a powerful force for building strong futures. Over the past few months we’ve had discussions with youth in Haiti via our THE SPARK of Le Flambeau English discussion program – a program now in its 15th year. Various topics were covered. Provided below are highlights from our volunteer English Grader for this session, Alexis Floyd.
This Spring 2023 session of THE SPARK of Le Flambeau was a rewarding experience full of unique perspectives, passionate expression, and a heartwarming dedication to peer support. The five topic areas covered were as follows: Health, Technology, Mental Health, Teamwork, Entrepreneurship, and National Pride. These topics allowed for a ripple of thought-provoking discussions and the impact of sharing one’s opinion on important topics.
Our first discussion topic was about health. Participants grappled with the realities of healthcare in Haiti. The challenge was whether or not traditional medicine could compete with modern medicine. An example of one participant’s contribution is as follows:
“Most Haitians think our traditional medicine can cure a person faster and better than modern medicine, which can have a second impact on the body. Traditional medicine is good. Sometimes a person can spend less on the treatment of a disease, and it can cure the individual faster, however, I can’t say it is more effective than modern medicine”. LFF: Could the solution at times be ta combination of both?
During the second week, the discussion question was regarding technology in Haiti and how it has influenced the way Haitian businesses operate. Many of the responses highlighted the wonders of AI and E-commerce. A contribution that unpacks something that would add to Haitian society is as follows:
“I think more technological opportunities like Slack and AI, would add even more finesse in Haitian society. First, through Slack some companies won’t really need to rent a space for their business operations, and AI will help identify those responsible for certain evil acts”
The third discussion topic concerned the unity of teamwork, which is mirrored in Haitian society through Konbit. The following contribution encapsulates what ‘Konbit is and how it benefits Haitian society:
“In the context of Konbit, members of a community work together to accomplish a common task, such as: building a house, harvesting a crop, or carrying out a local development project. Community members gather to discuss project details, organize resources, and coordinate the efforts necessary to achieve the common goal.”
The fourth discussion topic covered was mental health. Participants expressed that this aspect of Haitian life is often ignored and strides need to be taken to improve and give the community an outlet for mental and emotional release. The need for this can be seen in the following discussion contribution from a participant passionate about the topic of mental health and who also possesses a desire to expand their knowledge in Psychology for the benefit of Haitian society:
“Our society needs to be better, and more attentive to cries for help, limiting judgment of others by putting oneself in the shoes of the other. Accepting that mental health is part of our reality can guide us to having a healthier society.”
The fifth topic shifted the discussion to entrepreneurship, which is one of the main ways Haitians earn income. There are so many innovative ideas, so the challenge for the discussion this week was for participants to share what their chosen venture would be if they had the resources to develop a business. One of our participants whose degree is focused on agronomy science:
“I would like to explore the agricultural entrepreneurship venture because agriculture is the cornerstone of the economies of most developing countries in the world. There are many investment opportunities involving agribusinesses. These investments often impact farm business by creating new markets or better markets for farm products.
“I personally feel the pride and the knowledge that flows through my veins are those of my strong, rebellious, brave, and intelligent ancestors. It is the blood of the women and men of quality who fought together to take away our chains. They gave us the opportunity to unite, and to let other nations know, especially the French, that we Haitians are great, strong, and incomparable.”
“Ultimately, the beauty of this session’s discussions was the effort, dedication, and momentum brought by THE SPARK of Le Flambeau participants. The unique ideas that were presented offered opportunities for deeper reflection and personal growth. Truly, it is the rigor of our participants that add the sparks that are needed to ignite the flame of community, collaboration through discussion, and freedom of expression that is granted by this effort.” (AF)
We thank all participants for letting us in and sharing views from the perspective of our youth in Haiti. A fresh vision is the key to a brighter future. We must invest in our youth. We must Invest in our future.
Le Flambeau Foundation , Inc.
To learn more about THE SPARK of Le Flambeau English discussion program and what it means to youth in Haiti click here.