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Ten practical advice for youths in Haiti
to learn to help themselves, and to develop effective leadership

Emmanuel W. Védrine

Photo: Courtesy Fessando Suffren

August 3, 2020
updated May 13, 2021


Education and formation training and orientation on careers, trades and professions are among the best gifts we could offer youths in Haiti to help themselves tomorrow. When governments, institutions (such as church*, schoolcommunity centers), and other group of people (such as clubs, forums and organizations) don’t do this work, we, concerned citizens or good Samaritans, should be conscious of how we can help them and put them on good paths since early on. They too, should know when somebody puts their time aside as volunteer to orientate them, it’s something that they should learn to appreciate and take advantage of it.

We come up with these ten (10) practical advice to orientate all youths in Haiti to learn how to help themselves, to know in what direction they want to go, to learn to invest in business to make money, and strategies to enter the international world market while in Haiti, and while they are in school. Our experience is based on what we see, experience and live in developed countries. For this reason, we don’t want to be selfish  not to share them.

1. ENGLISH. Mastering this language without wasting time would be an international passport. This will give you access to businessstudies abroadcommunication or correspondance with the entire world rapidly (via internet), the international marketeducative programs (such as seminars in different domains) with English speaking countries, and scientific research. You can’t do that without mastering English first. Check APPs that are available online to learn English, about English programs, and ask information about them while connected with the social networks.

2. TECHNICAL BRANCH. What  technical skills do you have, and even considering them as  trades? Can you fix electronic apparatus and some other things (such as antenas, bycicles, computers, motors, motorcycles, radios, refrigeration, telephones, television, trycicles or (bycicle taxi), interpreting (German, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Porguguese), surveying land, doing hairstyling (different hairstyles, barber), drawing (to illustrate textbooks and children books), editing (in Kreyòl, French, English, Spanish), creating and editing a web siteusing computers, techniques to catch and  channel water to irrigate soil and for gardening, driving (trucs, tractors making different fonctions), tailoring (dressmaking and tailoring), tutoring (private tutoring subjects such as language, math, music…), teaching people how to driveoganizing data bases (on computers for companies, organizations), oganizing summer camps for youths and schools (strategcounies, and programs), painting (making painting for exposition and selling), planning conferences (techniques to plan a conference), preparing a C.V (Curriculum Vitae) for work and professional reference, online conferences through zoom and skype); repairing houses, parabolic antennas , saving somone who is drawning (diver), typing well (knowing how to type, professional typist), working on crafts producs (to be sold online, to be exposed in museums), writing children books with pictures.

3. INVESTING IN FOOD PRODUCTION. Did you know that the biggest market in Haiti that has not been yet been exploited is the food production market? Everyone needs food daily. They don’t make food with papers. They work the soil to produce food. Once we return with agriculture, investing in it (in all sense, including raising animals (cattles, donkeys, horses, goats, pigs, mules), poultry (turkeys, guineayfowls, chicken), pisciculture, we will see how Haiti’s face is going to be happy. And all rivers*springswaterfalls* that we have? We wonder if the government has ever thought of catching these waters being wasted to help with irrigation projects? We wonder if the govenment has irrigation projects in different part of the country(the same way Ethiopia does for example today)? And the road issue (highways to connect all major cities of all departments, local roads within all communes that must be done and enlarge them even if they do not have yet means to pave all of them. Dams, bridges, and canals, that must be done to limit all rivers and ravins when they overflow so that they don’t cause damages (such as taking away cattles, plantations). Why is that governments have never focused on roads’ development and  agriculture at the same time for Haiti’s rapid development? People need electricity; that’s important but they can’t eat electricity when they are hungry. Once there are good roads, not only that’s going to be advantageous for all departments or major parts of the countryfor their rapid development, but also that’s going to help decentralizingthe country so that people won’t come to pile up in Port-au-Prince (the capital city) for all that they need. Many people would go back to their native commune  or municipality to do economic activities.

4. SPANISH. After English, Spanish is the second dominant language of the Americas. Mastering it without wasting time will give access to businessstudies abroadcommunication or correspondance with Latin American countries, international market, short term educative programs in Spanish speaking countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chili, Ecuador, Sapain /the mother country, Uruguay, Cuba, Colombia, Costarica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic). One can’t do that without mastering Spanish first.

5. SEGONDARY STUDIES. Think of completing them up to the end of bakaloreya or last year of high school (to have a High School Diploma that is acceptable to attend university abroad, if you are thinking of studying overseas). Stop memorizing lessons; that’s not going to help you with anything, in any country abroad, neither to take serious exams to attend them. Subjects(that are more important) for you to know would be Englishagricultureenironmentbusinesseconomicswriting (knowing how to write well* on any subject without scratching one’s head in Kreyòl, French, English or Spanish), computer scienceSpanishmathematicssciencetechniquesMemorizing is something temporarythat students do to get better grades on exams. Real teachersand licensed ones are not going to encourage any students to memorize lessons, knowing that’s not going to help them with anything (in the near future, and when they can’t explain what they memorize). You should be at a level to learn to think and criticize all that you can read, and be able to interpret it in your own way. Memorizing is not going to help you doing that. It does not help you develop critical thinking (to learn to analize and criticize, say what you think according to what you know and research you do). – Don’t forget the importance of the native language as raw material to think in it first (even if you are writing in a second language or a dominant language).
GOING INTO BUSINESS FOR 2, 3, 4YEARS at least in order to create an economic base (when you are done with secondary school). Don’t rush to go to any disorderdery university in Haiti  (neither during nor after the pandemic). You will have time to do that, if you want to do it. On the contrary, it’s the time that the government should close all schools (public high schools and universities) at least for a year to focus on research that would help in Haiti’s development (at all levels, to see with what they will come up with to help the country, and participate fully in civic works) .

6. CAREER IN CONSTRUCTION. It’s an area that always needs people to work, in all countries. In most parts of the Caribbean, it’s Haitian workers who are doing most of the construction works. Do you have some certificates for some branches in construction? Have you been to any schools or technical institute to have a formation for that? Think of doing it if you have not done so in order to ensure you of a long term career that pays well.

7. COMPUTERS. The importance to know the domain of computer science to help you entering the international market rapidly, computer language and program that you should know, and do (in a computer school or in a technical institute).

8. CONTACT WITH THE HAITIAN DIASPORA. Learn to develop and keep in touch with people with knowledge (who are neither arrogant nor selfish) to orientate yourself. Connect yourself through social networks (emailfacebooktwitter) to inform you on all that you need to know to enrich your knowledge.

9. DRIVING LICENSE. Do your best to get one to drive (cars, trucks, tractors) once you are eighteen (18). This will help you, giving you access to do business transporting people and merchandise from one place to another. If you don’t have money to go to a driving school, ask a friend who has a car to practice with you. Put some gas for that person for each lesson.

10. SEMINARY OR FORMATION TRAINING. Importance to focus on these trainings to learn to do or develop business (that are profitable, that are working, that has money). Some of these seminars are free online today and videos you can watch.
After finish reading these ten points, are you going to continue living a poor life or are you going to think about all economic activities you can think of doing in group, with friends or with former classmates. Are you going to try to borrow money to go to Chile instead (to work in gardens, when you could have done that as business in your own country)? Are you going to continue dropping 30 C.Vs everywhere in Port-au-Prince to make people continue mocking you (because they see that you can’t use your brain to create your own business?
Don’t forget to share these reflections with all youths, everyone on your contact list, all associations, forums, group of people, clubs, churches, schools, in conferences, orgazations, community centers andfriends to help youths in Haiti walk in good directions, and learn to develop effective leadership so that they don’t become currupted leaders tomorrow (those who are stealing, without moral, shameless, without vision) tomorrow, but effective leaders (who are educated, who are taking up challenges, who are working hard for Haiti’s development, those with moral, wisdom, dignity, who are only give speeaches but do actions, those who are not arrogant, who are not thieves and who are sincere and clean).

*Foot note

Annexed Texts

LOUIS, Martin. Védrine committed to bridging language gap. Martine Louis. Boston Haitian Reporter.
BELLEFLEUR, Hebert and Emmanuel W. Védrine. Invitation to participate in a micro research on schools and education in Haiti : problems and proposed solutions.
DEGRAFF, Michel. Videos of Haitian Creole Alphabet (and song).
VALDMAN, Albert. English – Haitian Creole Bilingual Dictionary. (Volume II of the “DICO Project”. 2017. 1148 pages. iUniverse publisher. Emmanuel W. VédrineFrenand LégerJacques Pierre, and Nicolas André: member of the editing team and native editors.
---. Ann pale kreyòl: an introductory course in Haitian Creole. 2001 (revised ed.). [Bilingual manual
Creole – English that can be used for learners of both languages : Mànyèl bileng kreyòl –
anglè ki ka itilize pou moun k ap aprann toulede lang yo].
---. Haitian Creole - English Bilingual Dictionary. "The DICO Project”, (Volume I (2007). Indiana University – Creole InstituteEmmanuel W. VédrineFrenand LégerJacques Pierre, and Nicolas André: member of the editing team and native editors].

VEDRINE, Emmanuel W. Teknik pou fòmile yon sijè rechèch pou tèz, e oryantasyon bibliyografik : Techniques to formulate a research topic for dissertation, and bibliographic orientation.
---. A look at Higher Education in Haiti: another step after secondary level | Koudèy sou Edikasyon Siperyè Ayiti: yon lòt etap aprè nivo segondè.
---. A look at the problem of schools in Haiti (English summary).
---. A look at the problem of schools in Haiti: comments and suggestions: Yon koudèy sou pwoblèm lekòl Ayiti: kòmantè ak sijesyon.
---. Agriculture the first target for Haiti's Development : Agrikilti ta dwe premye sib nan devlopman Ayiti.
---. An Annotated Bibliography on Haitian Creole: a review of publications from colonial times to 2000. 700 p. [Research presented at the Linguistic Conference held in Cayenne, French Guiana (from May 9 – 11. 2003, organized by the “Laboratoire des Sciences Sociales IRD de Guyane”), on the languages spoken in French Guiana. Also presented at the "17th Annual Haitian Studies Association”, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Oct. 2005.
---. Ann oryante jèn Ayiti pou aprann ede tèt yo : Let’s orientate youths in Haiti so that they can orientate themselves.
---. Are Black people going to continue talking about racism without moving forward? : Est-ce que les Noirs vont continuer à parler de recisme sans aller de l’avant?
---. Bilingual Education in Haiti: theory and practice | Theory and Practice | Edikasyon Bileng Ayiti: teyori e pratik.
---. Bilingual Programs & Bilingual Teaching Materials. [Side by side bilingual texts : Textes bilingues côte à côte : Tèks bileng kòtakòt].
---. Charla Lingwista Haitiano Emmanuel Védrine na NAAM. [On "Haitian Creole  Bibliography, 200 years of publications”. Courtesy: Myriam Lavache (Kreyòl Pale, Kreyòl Konprann Institute of Spoken Kreyol. Curaçao; Richenel Ansano (director of NAAM)]; and Yaniek Pinedo Védrine (translator).
---. Civic duty should have been mandatory for all young people in Haiti.
---. Database of Haitian Interpreters, Proofreaders and Translators.
---. Dictionary of Haitian Creole Verbs with phrases and idioms.
---. Educating Haitian youth and the Haitian Community in Diaspora.
---. Gramè Kreyòl VEDRINE Grammar of Haitian Creole. 354 p.
---. Haiti: for a practical education on Fridays | Ayiti: pou yon edikasyon pratik lè vandredi.
---. Haiti’s Super Web Directory : Ànyè Elektwonik Ayiti.
---. Haitians presence and contribution to the society of Curaçao.
---. Kèk pwen enpòtan pou oryante moun sou ‘maryaj’, yon enstitisyon Bondye kreye. (Some important points to orient people on ‘marriage’, an institution founded by God).
---. Ki lang k ap gen batay la Ayiti: kreyòl, fransè ou anglè? / Which language will win the fight in Haiti: Kreyòl, French or English?
---. Konsyantize • Motive • Chanje : Consciousness raising • Motivate • Change.
---. Kreyol without toil: an introductory course to Haitian Creole.
---. L’importance d’acquérir un diplôme de fins d’études segondaires.
---. Mots nouveaux et idiomes entrant dans le créole haïtien : New words and idioms entering Haitian Creole.
---. Network of Haitian Students, Haiti – Diaspora : Rezo Etidyan Ayisyen, Ayiti – Dyaspora.
---. October 28, International Creole Day, and what?.
---. Orientation and Formation Training.
---. Orientation seminar for Haitian students coming to the United States : Seyans oryantasyon pou etidyan ayisyen k ap vin Etazini.
---. Orientation training to motivate Haitians to invest in business and for their retirement : Seyans oryantasyon pou motive Ayisyen envesti nan biznis e pou retrèt yo.
---. Quelques plantes créoles et leurs noms en latin: Kèk plant kreyòl ak non yo an laten (Some Creole plants and their names in Latin).
 ---. Reflection on February 7, 2019: 33 years after the fall of the Duvalier’s Regime.
 ---. Refleksyon sou aktivite pou oryante lajenès an Ayiti : Reflection on activities to orientate youths in Haiti.
---. Restructuring schools in Haiti : Restriktire lekòl Ayiti.
---. Say it in Haitian Creole, English and French: a trilingual glossary of phrases and idioms. [Forthcoming / A trilingual Glossary for learners of Haitian Creole, English, French and a guide for translators]. Emmanuel W. Védrine. Winter 2020.
---. Séance d’orientation pour motiver les Haïtiens à investir dans les affaires et pour leur retraite.
---. Selfishness: a virus destroying the Haitian Community.
---. Seventy Five Years of Research and Publications on Haitian Creole : 75 Swasannkenz Ane Rechèch ak Piblikasyon sou kreyòl ayisyen]. [Haitian Bibliography : Bibliographie Haïtienne].
---. Seyans Oryantasyon pou ede Jèn Ayisyen Ayiti wè klè.
---. Sezon sechrès Ayiti (historical novel: woman istorik). [English summary]. In Papiamentu. language, Temporada di sekura na Haiti.
---. Some Haitian Creole Verbs dealing with Haiti’s underdevelopment and development.
---. Some key information to help the Haitian Community: Kèk enfòmasyon kle pou ede kominote ayisyen.
---. Standardizing Haitian Creole: A Round Table DiscussionHaitian Studies Association,  18th Conference. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 2006. [Panel: Emmanuel W. Védrine, Marc Prou, Albert Valdman, Josiane Huducourt-Barnes].
---. Tardiness in foreign language teaching in Haiti’s schools : Retard dans l’enseignement des langues étrangères en Haiti.
---. Teaching materials for schools in HaitiMateryèl pedagojik pou lekòl Ayiti.
---. The cultural richness of Haiti, an unexploited mine: Richès kiltirèl Ayiti, yon min ki poko esplwate
---. The English language in Haiti.
---. Trades, professions, careers: orientation training for Haitians students in Haiti.
---. Translation of Medical Terminologies: English – Haitian Creole.
---. Translation Seminar (English, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, and German).
---. Travay sivik ta dwe obligatwa pou tout jèn an Ayiti.
---. Twenty cents of consciousness to become a better persons: Ven kòb konsyans pou vin yon pi bon moun.
---. Ven (20) Fraz kreyòl potomitan (tradui an plizyè lang): 20 (twenty) Key creole phrases (translated to different languages).
---. Working harder to bridge the generation gap.
---. Yon koudèy sou pwoblèm lekòl Ayiti.

Research Note

Dis konsèy pratik pou ede jèn Ayiti aprann ede tèt yo, e devlope lidèchip efikas• Dix conseils pratiques pour aider les jeunes en Haïti à s’aider eux-mêmes, et développer un leadership efficace • Diez consejos prácticos para ayudar a los jóvenes de Haití a ayudarse a sí mismos, y para desarrollar un liderazgo eficaz • Zehn praktische Ratschläge, um Jugendlichen in Haiti zu helfen und eine effektive Führung zu entwickeln.

Courtesy E. W. Védrine Creole Project
Boston, Massachusetts. USA


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