Youth In Haiti Discuss Future

Le Flambeau Foundation , Inc., June 28, 2024

Our experiences partnered with culture and the fresh perspectives of our youth, form a powerful force for building strong futures.   During March and April of this year, we had discussions with youth in Haiti via our THE SPARK of Le Flambeau English discussion program – a program now in its 16th year.  Various topics were covered.  Provided below are highlights from our volunteer English Grader for the past few years, including this session, Alexis Floyd.  Note that the conclusions are qualitative and express the perspectives of this class only.


We started the session with the topic of Agriculture, which was also deemed the favorite topic of the session. Agriculture is integral to Haiti, which supports the reason many participants expressed their passion for it.  When it comes to this topic, the following summarize the most notable comments:

It was noted that in Haiti agriculture is declining, impacting traditional crops, yet it remains vital for nutrition and employment.  Reflecting cultural heritage, traditional farming methods endure, but challenges like deforestation stress the need for sustainability to preserve Haiti’s agricultural legacy and economic contributions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In the second week, our focus shifted to the intersection of AI and entrepreneurship, prompting participants to engage in a dialogue replete with insights into how AI can catalyze entrepreneurial endeavors within contexts such as Haiti.  Notably, a compelling community-based illustration relevant to the discussion was presented: 

Noted was a visionary school that has taken the initiative to raise awareness and educate the Haitian population about the implications and benefits of this emerging technology.  Also noted were examples of ways that AI could serve as a catalyst for fostering entrepreneurship in Haiti, as highlighted by the youth participants:  Access to the global market, training and education, automated social media marketing and cost reduction were highlighted – to name a few.

Future Workforce

During our third week, we delved into a forward-looking examination of the future workforce landscape in Haiti. Participants actively contributed by identifying professions they anticipate will emerge as prominent within the country over the next 5-10 years. Highlights of the professions discussed include Cybersecurity Specialists, Smart Agriculture Specialists, Software Developer, Seed Breeders/Agricultural Scientists, Renewable Energy Specialists, and Healthcare Professionals.

Culture – Fèt Gede

Subsequently, in week four, our discussion centered on the cultural significance of the Haitian celebration, Fet Gede. Within this discourse, the following valuable insights pertinent to the theme were provided.  The Haitian festival of Fèt Gede embodies a time for family bonding and the celebration of voodoo spirituality, showcasing the cultural resilience of the Haitian people. Through music, dance, and visual art, the festival influences artistic expressions, while traditional dishes honor the spirits of the dead. This transmission of traditions reinforces the importance of respecting ancestors and preserving customs among younger generations.

Mental Health

In the concluding week, our attention turned to the examination of cultural and gender norms as it applied to the topic of mental health in Haiti. Amidst our deliberations, the following commentary summarized the perspectives of our youth participants on this subject matter.

It was noted that cultural expectations often pressure men to suppress emotions, hindering their willingness to seek mental health support due to fear of appearing weak. Conversely, women may face stigmatization for expressing emotions, conflicting with societal roles as family pillars.  Thus, seeking help in Haiti when mental health assistance is needed, is most often not done.  It is vital that these cultural and gender norms are challenged for ensuring equal access to mental health care and overcoming barriers to seeking help.

“In summary, throughout our session, we explored vital themes ranging from agriculture’s enduring significance in Haiti to the potential of AI in fostering entrepreneurship. Discussions delved into the future workforce landscape and the cultural significance of events like Fèt Gede, illuminating the resilience and traditions of the Haitian people. Furthermore, reflections on cultural and gender norms underscored the importance of challenging societal expectations to ensure equitable access to resources like mental health care. This session, like many others, was a win.” (AF)

The Le Flambeau Foundation extends its deepest gratitude to all participants who shared their insights into the perspectives of Haiti’s youth. Their fresh vision and commitment to translating ideas into action are the cornerstones of building a brighter 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.


### How to Get Involved   

There are a number of ways to get involved with the  Le Flambeau Foundation  .  As a supporter, you can donate to the foundation, volunteer your time, or become a mentor to a young person in Haiti.  Feel free to contact us by clicking here.