We are all citizens of the world. No mental or physical SEPARATION Can take that away.
Haiti is drowning in handouts. Handouts trap everyone involved in that system in a cycle of dependency and savior mentalities. All sides have issues with it. Talking to Firins Francisque and David Etinne, staff members of the non-profit P4H Global, provided me with new perspectives I, as an American, did not have.
- "Haiti has everything it needs already: land, sun, water, and people. Handouts are not essential, investing in thinking and capacity is."
- "To be a good American advocate, plead that Haiti is not poor. Help create durable change, urge for schools and factories, bring attention away from the problems the media shows, and change yours and others perceptions of Haiti."
the Haitian flag states unity is strength.
Battle of Vertières - the last battle fought for independence from the French colonizers
Haiti was the first free black republic. Haitian history is full of courage that overthrew the French colonizers. Haitian history is full of strength that survived through global isolation and overthrew dictators. Haiti has resilience, having faced multiple natural catastrophes and still continue to stand tall. The pride Haitians have in their history is apparent. I had the honor to attend a Sunday church service in Cap Haitian. That bulk of courage, strength, resilience, and pride is simultaneously released and built back up in those early hours. I struggled to understand what Pastor Albert and others were saying during the service, but I was moved to tears.
Before this trip, I was asked what my definition of global citizenship was. I came up with, “We are all citizens of the globe, we all belong. Diversity is inevitable and should be celebrated.” After coming back from Haiti, I feel more passionate about that statement but also driven, I feel driven to do what I can do now. International aid ties into global citizenship. Too many people look at global issues and assume they can do nothing. But actions led to independence. Actions lead to growth. Actions lead to change. I’ve brainstormed a way to continue to learn how to be an active global citizen. I like to call it “The Four As.”
- Awareness - Be aware of global current events and keep in mind there are always multiple points of view
- Active learning - Pick a few current events that speak to you and research the history, present, and any future plans or consequences. Never stop learning about the world, but don't overwhelm yourself in the process.
- Advocacy - Use your privileges and platforms as a way to spread correct and critical information. Create a conversation and keep it going.
- Accompaniment - Accompaniment is empowerment. Accompaniment is support. Accompaniment is listening and working together to meet the needs of people, not the expectations you want to see fulfilled.