Throughout our Education Program, Hope and Change for Haiti has brought a Haitian delegation composed of three local leaders to URI to receive training on Leadership Development and Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation for the last two summers (2017 and 2018). This initiative was made possible thanks to our partnership with the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies of the University of Rhode Island, and two other organizations called Milwaukee Haiti Project and Creative Exchanges Initiative. Agronomist Acenel Laurent who is one of the founding members of the local organization VCCAN (Volonté des Citoyens Conséquents pour l’Avancement des Nippes, Haiti) has attended the two sessions on Kingian Principles. In visit in the US last November, Acenel made a stop in Rhode Island where he has joined a group of Kingian trainers to facilitate training on Nonviolence and Conflict Reconciliation at North Providence High School. Also, he was invited by the Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies of URI, Dr. Paul Bueno De Mesquita, as a guest speaker at an event organized by the Center during that month. Before he went back to Haiti, Acenel told us about his current work in Haiti, his future project as a Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, and expressed his gratitude to Hope and Change for Haiti as he was one of the first scholarship holders of the organization.
Candid and poised, Acenel explained how our programs change his perspectives “After the Hurricane Mathew in October 2016, Haiti faced a very difficult situation. My friend Arol Ilerand and I have put together a project called “Green School, Clean School” to support young people and farmer with our local organization VCCAN. When Hope and Change for Haiti through its leadership called me and two other leaders to participate at this training, I had no idea of what to expect. After spending two weeks at URI last year, I can say that this training has greatly changed my life as a young leader. Thanks to it, I understand Haiti better and I am able to deal with issues easily then before. Today, nonviolence is part of my approach in problem-solving. This training provided me tools to understand that to solve a problem we should go to the root cause of the problem”.
Acenel has completed Level I of the Leadership Development and Conflict Reconciliation training in June 2017. He returned in June 2018 to URI for the Level II of that training. Acenel Laurent has never stopped sharing his knowledge to others since he became a nonviolent trainer. In Rhode Island, he shared his experience as co-trainer in spreading the philosophy of nonviolence last month at NPHS and as a guest speaker at URI ”Four months after completing Level II, I came back to URI to share my experience with undergraduate and graduate students in Peace Study, Psychology, and international Relations departments. It was a great experience because I have the possibility to reconnect with some wonderful people and to co-train along with Jason Ryan, Aimee Ryan, and Ben Stookey about 25 students and teachers on nonviolence at North Providence High School. I plan to bring the change I want to see in Haiti. This is the kind of impact we have with our program.”
As one of the first beneficiary of our training program, Acenel expressed his hope for the sustainability of this program. ”My expectation is to see more people including children are being able to get educated in Nonviolence. I hope that Hope and Change for Haiti always has the opportunity to continue its education program so more young Haitian leaders can benefit from it”.
As our work is local leaders oriented, we are so thankful for this partnership with the Center for Nonviolence and Peace studies of URI. Our sincere gratitude goes also to our individuals and organizations supporters who help us to bring those local leaders to URI for the two consecutives summers. THANK YOU!
To make real impact in a community it is crucial to ensure that children are being educated and leaders are trained to better tackle the issues within the community. This is why Hope and Change for Haiti is investing in education throughout its scholarship and backpack, exchange, and training program. Indeed in 2018, ten children received sponsorship to cover their annual school fees in a local elementary school; we have distributed backpack and school supplies to over 150 children in two elementary schools; two local leaders traveled to Rhode Island to attend the Level II training on Leadership Development and Conflict Reconciliation at the University of Rhode Island in June; and 26 people participated in a training on Sexual Harassment Prevention that we have organized in Rhode Island in November. Thanks to your support, we have made significance progress with our education programs however we are far away of the sustainable change we want.
Hope and Change is working towards three key projects Housing & Water, Education & Goat, and Women Empowerment. And in Rhode Island we advocate for Women and Immigrants Rights. Contact us if you want to join as a member or a regular donor.
Merci beaucoup de votre support!
Joyeux Noel. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
Assistant Executive Director
Hope and Change for Haiti