Monday, January 13, 2014

In Memory of those Who Died in Jan 12 Haiti’s Earthquake: A New Direction for a Better Haiti

by Wadner Pierre
Yesterday, in Haiti and around the world, people remembered the tragic images of dead bodies on the streets of, Haiti’s Capital, Port-Au-Prince and those who were fortunate enough to survive this natural tragedy.

On the 4th anniversary of this tragedy, Pope Francis gave Haiti its first cardinal, Monsignor Chibly Langlois, the bishop of Southern Haiti, to lead a church that intensely needed new leadership and new blood.

Yet, let us reflect--four years after this tragedy, what have we done to change the living conditions of the people who are still living under makeshifts tents? What we have done to effectively rebuild a better country? Four years later, what and/or how have we learned to do a better job and to bring social change that is needed in this country? The latter is a lot to ask, but it is the right question to pose?

 Haiti’s political establishment needs to come together to present to Haitian people a social project that will fit all classes—poor, rich, and middle class (if there is one). A social project that will include better school for all children, hospitals, universities and better pay for wage-workers.

It is obvious that the country is tired of “Aba,” “fok li ale,” and “rache manyok.” We need a new political approach that is based on the democratic process, which is: “One person, One vote.” Everybody should be in—included.

Our judicial system needs to be challenged to work efficiently and functionally, so those who committed atrocities against the Haitian people can be tried for their wrongdoings, whatever the political group they belong to.

Haiti will rise when all Haitians can have access to their basics needs. We all have to agree that the social inequality that plagues this country is too wide. Something needs to be changed to move this country forward. We have to be more open for dialogue than fighting each other because we do not share each other’s political belief.

It is undoubtedly crucial that Haitians from all walks of life have to stand and say, “We need a new Haiti. And it is possible to have this new Haiti.” We should not look back to only praise those who died in gifting us this nation, but also to build on what they earned to make this country a better place for its people.

May we learn from this Earthquake to come together when our national interest is at stake, and knowing that the wellbeing of each Haitian is the wellbeing of all Haitians. May God bless Haiti, and may He bless Haitian people and the country’s leadership.

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