Diaspora Haitians Mobilize To Restore Homeland

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The Haiti Project, a fundraising and awareness initiative to support critical humanitarian efforts in Haiti, recently held its kickoff event at M2 Ultra Lounge in Manhattan, hosted by  The Global Syndicate.

Among the many notables in attendance were: Cliff Louis, of the New York Giants; Kevin Lyttle, musical sensation; Unik Ernest, a Haitian born entrepreneur; J. Alexander Martin, Fubu Owner; Assemblyman Karim Camara; Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries; Jamie Hector, from The Wire; and Jimmy Jean - Louis, of Heroes.

Many Americans see Haiti only through the prism of crises: political turmoil and refugee stagnation. Yet the country has a glorious and even illustrious history.

On January 1, 1804, Haiti was the second independent state in the Western Hemisphere—it won a long national war of liberation from France, which was led by rebellious slaves. Yet, Haiti was perennially destabilized by foreign intervention, including the United States which occupied Haiti. The country also struggled to lay a foundation of political stability, suffering military takeovers and then the long dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier followed by the short-lived regime of his son.

The populist president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was twice deposed; once by the army in 1991 and then through a U.S.-inspired uprising in 2004. The instability has prevented sustained economic development. Two -- thirds of the labor force is reported to be unemployed. It’s estimated that 80% of the population live in dire poverty----Haiti’s rate of hunger is ranked third highest in the world, only better than Somali and Afghanistan. Local demand for charcoal and farming led to deforestation; 90% of the trees were uprooted.

These are the challenges that the numerous organizations engaged in working with Haiti, including The Global Syndicate, face.  The Global Syndicate wants to collaborate with and unite the efforts of other organizations to support education, healthcare, and economic development there.

“They’re conscious enough to understand that Haiti needs help and they have the power to bring people together,” said Jimmy Jean-Louis, of Heroes, who was raised in Haiti. He is founder of a non-profit organization called Hollywood Unites For Haiti, which promotes sports and cultural activities for the underprivileged youth. “Haiti has suffered many setbacks in its rich history and yet the Haitian people have never lost the character to face adversity with creativity, resilience and community.”          

Global Syndicate plans similar fundraising events in six major U.S. cities.   During the capstone Private Equity Inevstor and Global Syndicate Founder
Jacques-Philippe Pivergerunveiled “The Cinq (Five) Program,” which invites the public to join the movement by making a minimum $5 donation and recruiting five others to do the same at www.theglobalsyndicate.org 

The entrepreneur and Edeyo Founder, Unik Ernest, has subtantial experience with Haitian projects. He united a group of dedicated professionals from different backgrounds to rebuild a school which supplies students with learning materials and provides one hot meal a day to all the 172 students;  84 boys and 88 girls.  

The large Haitian community in New York has also attracted the support of local politicians here.  “Many of us, who knew the fact that Haiti was bold enough to break away from the colonialist and France, knew there was a reason, why they have been punished by western Europe and the Western world up until this day,” said Jeffries, a New York Assembly member representing Brooklyn 57th Assembly District. “As an African American and as an American, I think there’s been a deliberate attempt, often within the educational system, within the broader socio-economical system here, in America’s history, to keep our history away from us. And we see it both locally and see it on a national level. And we see it in the contexts of our place in the world.”

 To visit Global Syndicate’s Web site go to :

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