UNF culture club reminds students of Haiti’s continuing struggle


Members from UNF’s Haitian-based cultural club, Rasine Kreyol — “Creole Roots” — are hosting a day’s worth of outreach seminars at the Student Union Jan. 12, where members hope to raise awareness concerning the continuing struggle in Haiti.

The event marks the one-year anniversary of the January 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti, reducing much of its capital, Port-Au-Prince, to rubble.

Biology sophomore Tranette Myrthil, a member of the club, said it’s important that people do not forget about Haiti.

“People assume because it’s been so long that everything is better, when in reality it’s not,” she said. “It’s devastating.”

Rasine Kreyol President Paul Prinvil, who was raised in Haiti, filmed a documentary over winter break to promote awareness of Haiti’s current conditions.

The 20-minute documentary “Welcome To Port-Au-Prince: 12 Months After The Earthquake” will be playing in Ballroom D of the SU-West at 8 p.m., Prinvil said.

“I filmed most of the documentary on Christmas day,” he said. “It gives you a glimpse of how miserable life in Haiti is, even on Christmas.”

Prinvil said even though the Red Cross and various nations pledged over $5 billion to help rebuild Haiti, little improvement has been made.

“When I look at it now, I don’t see that anything was really done,” Prinvil said.

Victims have had to purchase the tarps for their tents, which Prinvil said is absurd considering how little people have already.

He also said he feels uncertain about the benefits of donating.

“It feels like it’s hopeless to donate because we don’t know where the money is going,” he said. “It’s really too much to bare.”

Secretary of Rasine Kreyol, Jeannine Beauzil, said the first segment will be held in the form of six interactive learning tables at the SU plaza, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where Kreyol members would discuss the gritty reality in Haiti.

According to numerous reports, much of Haiti still remains in dire straits. Inter-American Development Bank recently estimated that the death toll ranges from 200,000 to 250,000. In October, a cholera epidemic broke out, killing thousands. Many are still homeless. Rapes are pervasive, and hurricanes have added to the damage—Not to mention political unrest over a disputed presidential election.

Beauzil encourages all who are interested to please stop by the event.

“All we ask is that people come out and show some support any way they can.”

Each table will present something different about Haiti and its culture, Beauzil said, including the recent outbreak of cholera, the earthquake aftermath and Haitian art and history.

“I don’t know how much you know about the Bible,” Prinvil said, “but people feel they are at the end of days over there.”