Haitian leaders push rebuilding principles

State Rep. Marie St. Fleur headed to the United Nations yesterday to present principles put together by the Haitian diaspora living in North America for the rebuilding of the country after a massive earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti in January.

Members of the local Haitian-American community spent 12 hours at a weekend conference at UMass-Boston coming up with the principles, which include encouraging broad participation and inclusiveness of all segments of Haiti’s population; deploying local resources and talents; allocating aid locally and strengthening a decentralized Haiti; distributing aid in a transparent and accountable manner and maintaining and fortifying Haiti’s cultural identity.

St. Fleur (D-Uphams Corner) said she would press for Haitian officials to focus on the entire country – not just the capital, Port-au-Prince. “The city isn’t the only place to live in Haiti,” she said.

She also urged non-governmental organizations to keep Haitians “in the loop” on their work and coordinate with local officials.
St. Fleur made the announcement at small State House forum. She was joined by state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Lower Mills), a fellow Haitian-American serving in the Legislature, Alix Cantave, deputy director of the William Trotter Institute at UMass-Boston and Karen Ansara of the Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund.