At the initiative of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University of Notre Dame d'Haiti, the traditional “Jounen patriotik” was performed again this year, to celebrate the 219th anniversary of the Haitian flag. Conferences, gastronomic fairs, exhibition of craft products contributed to making this day a success.
The conferences carried out around the themes “Haiti, is it a Nation State" and " the expression of the bicolor in our lives as citizens of today”, were an opportunity for the panelists and the organizing staff, to carry out a work of memory, to awaken the civic and humanitarian conscience of each Haitian so that they realize that they have a note to play in the score of change in Haiti.
According to the cultural manager for the promotion of medicine and pharmacy at Notre Dame University in Haiti, Daphney Herold, the flag festival is important for the organizers and for her who calls herself a great patriot and who will never deny her origins despite the situation in the country. For them, the patriotic day attests that they are Haitians and will remain so.
“The patriotic day means that we agree to be Haitians and to remain so despite the difficulties we encounter in the country. But it also means that we should not feel comfortable in all these difficulties which are harmful for us, for our future children and our future grandchildren”
Indeed, the patriotic day was canceled last year due to the problem of insecurity in the country and this year, without the persistence and determination of the staff, it would still be canceled. On this day, the cultural manager wanted to break this conception of society which believes that medical students do not care about the current reality of the country, Explains Daphney Herold, who is satisfied with the success of this day despite the obstacles encountered in its realization.
Dishes and products coming directly from producing cities, such as Cap-Haitien, Jérémie, were presented during the gastronomic fair. Finding the products in their very cities has been a real challenge for the organizers, due to the insecurity raging in various parts of the country and the poor state of the roads. But the students got involved and were able to find a large quantity of products to present to the public who made the trip. Handicrafts and caricatures made by the students were also exhibited.
Katizana, an entrepreneurial movement carried out by prisoners, was present during this day and exhibited products made by prisoners. Katizana's presence was a real joy for Daphney Herold who cherishes the dream of promoting the reintegration of prisoners into society.
“A reintegration of former incarcerated in society will allow them not to become a social handicap is all that means for the country after their release. It could be a big step against the growing insecurity in the country,” she continued.
Although part of the public was skeptical, but a large part welcomed the prisoners' works very well. Greeting cards made by them were sold and proposals for conferences were made, according to Cassandrine Destima, contacted by the organizers of the patriotic day, for a contact with the persons in charge for Katizana.
Following this activity, Daphney Herold hopes for an involvement of Haitian youth in the fight for the improvement of living conditions in Haiti, to give another image of medical and pharmacy students, which will make people recognize that even if their studies take up a lot of their time, they are despite this leaders involved in the change of the community.
They want the authorities concerned to open their eyes to their situation, because they are one of the biggest victims of insecurity in the country: their training is often blocked each time a student, a professor or doctors are kidnapped.
Daphney Herold hopes that civic education will resume in schools and that every Haitian avoid demeaning and anti-Haiti “jokes” with regard to the country. These repeated words, even if they seem amusing, can be taken seriously by the children who will surely perpetuate them, because it is us, the elders, who are their models.
“Speaking of role models, I wish young people would stop promoting bad morals even if it's ironic, because you give energy, soul and priority to everything you highlight either in right or wrong, concluded Daphney Herold.