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TOPIC: haiti


Thumbs Out For Higher Education? Why Haitian Students Have To Hitchhike To Class

For some Haitian students, navigating dangerous, dilapidated roads or catching a rider with a stranger is the only way to get to class.

CAP-HAÏTIEN — Sherlyne Ligène spent five years studying to achieve her dream of becoming a fashion designer, but completing her studies wasn’t the biggest challenge she faced.

To access her classes — at the Université Publique du Nord au Cap-Haïtien, a public university, and at SOS Children’s Villages, a vocational school just over half a mile away — she had to navigate a long, dusty dirt road with no public transport options other than motorbike taxis. It’s the only route available to students traveling from the north of Haiti’s second-largest city to both colleges. For those who cannot regularly fund motorbike taxis, hitchhiking is their only option.

Ligène, who graduated in 2021 and now runs her own business selling her clothing and accessory creations, says the 30-minute journey by motorbike taxi to get to school via the neighborhood of Haut-du-Cap cost 150 Haitian gourdes (approximately 1 United States dollar); with no money coming in, she couldn’t fund this mode of transport, so she hitchhiked each day.

“There were drivers who sometimes pretended to give us a ride,” Ligène says. “We see them slow down but as soon as we start walking toward them, they drive off. This is very humiliating, especially when other people are watching.”

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Kenya Is Coming To Help Haiti — And Where Are Our Neighbors From The Americas?

A lack of action by countries in the Western Hemisphere could increase the risk of Haiti truly turning into a failed state.


The kidnapping and subsequent release of U.S. nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her young daughter in Haiti in early August drew brief international attention to crime in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

But the truth is that such kidnappings are commonplace for Haitians, and they rarely receive attention from outside the country itself. Indeed, Haiti has become a forgotten crisis to many international bodies and foreign governments. News that Kenya has offered to lead an international effort to bring order to the country only underscores the lack of action by other nations closer to Haiti.

As someone who has written a book, “Fixing Haiti,” on the last concerted outside intervention – the United Nations’ stabilizing mission (MINUSTAH) – I fear the lack of action by countries in the Americas could increase the risk of Haiti transitioning from a fragile state to a failed one.

MINUSTAH was the first U.N. mission formed by a majority of Latin American troops, with Chile and Brazil taking the lead. The prospect of outsourcing that role now to Kenya may have sparked concerns from human rights groups, but it might also lead to soul-searching questions in capitals from Washington to Brasília, as well as at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Haiti has been falling into chaos for the last two years, ever since the murder of President Jovenel Moïseoïse in July 2021. A subsequent earthquake that struck the southern part of the country only further worsened the plight of Haitians.

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U.S. Diplomat In Niger, Portugal Battles Wildfires, No More Zoom Calls

👋 Azul!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where a U.S. diplomat meets with Niger’s coup leaders in an effort to find a “negotiated solution” to the conflict, two Russian missiles hit residential buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk killing at least eight people and it’s time for Zoom workers to go back to the office. For our special Summer Reads edition of Worldcrunch Today, we feature three stories from around the world on education.

[*Tarifit, Northern Morocco]

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Ukraine Dam Evacuation, Canada Wildfires Reach NYC, About Ducking Time

👋 Bonġu!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where evacuations are underway in southern Ukraine following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam, an earthquake strikes Haiti in the wake of deadly floods and Apple says goodbye to its “ducking” autocorrect feature. Meanwhile, Colombian daily El Espectador looks at the tension between teachers and the rising power of artificial intelligence.


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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin, Chloé Touchard, Marine Béguin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Ukraine Dam Attack, Haiti Floods Kill 42, Word Under The Hammer

👋 გეგაჯგინას*

Welcome to Tuesday, where evacuations are underway after a large dam was destroyed near Ukraine’s Kherson, at least 42 are killed in Haiti floods, and a word is being auctioned off in Paris. Meanwhile, Mykhailo Kriegel in Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda writes about Russia’s USSR-like blue-and-yellow paranoia.

[*Gegacginas - Laz, Turkey and Georgia]

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Jusly Felix

Perpetual Floods, Rivers Of Trash: Climate Change Hits Extra Hard In Haiti

The lack of government services in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, has spawned an ongoing crisis in the coastal city, where residents struggle to maintain their homes amid constant floods.

PORT-DE-PAIX, HAITIAnélie Ulysse’s home in Nan Palan, a small coastal neighborhood near the Port-de-Paix River, holds many memories. She lived there with her late husband and five children for over two decades.

But these days, her once busy home is largely silent; she lives alone in her corrugated iron-roofed home. Persistent flooding has left two of her five rooms too muddy to access.

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Rose Hurguelle Point Du Jour

How Natural Disasters Threaten The "Madan Sara," The Women Driving Haiti's Economy

The Madan Sara provide a vital service by collecting farmers’ produce and selling it in urban communities. But natural disasters and growing insecurity have threatened their way of life.

MANICHE — For more than 20 years, single mother Cedeniese Lexima has supported herself and her four children by buying produce from local farmers to sell in the southwestern town of Les Cayes. She is one of hundreds of Haitian women known as Madan Sara, who provide an essential link in the country’s food supply chain.

The Madan Sara, named after a migratory bird adept at foraging food, work together and rely on public transport to move local produce between communities.

“I am not part of any Madan Sara group or any state-owned organization,” Lexima explains. “We are the ‘left behinds,’ but we do our best to help each other out and always travel in groups, never on our own.” Lexima says the mayor’s office does not give them the same support, such as health insurance, that it affords to other workers.

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This Happened

This Happened—January 12: Earthquake In Haiti

An earthquake in Haiti that killed 220,000 people happened on this date in 2010.

Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.

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In The News
Chloé Touchard, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Nord Stream Leaks, Abe Funeral, High-Speed Space Crash

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Japan honors former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a controversial state funeral, unexplained gas leaks are reported on Nord Stream pipelines and NASA’s Dart mission succeeds, at high speed. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt looks at how European countries are dealing with the prospect of a winter energy crisis and the potential repercussions on their support for Ukraine.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

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Anne Myriam Bolivar and Megan Spada

The Haitian Entrepreneurs Happy To Stay Home

Given the opportunity to flee an economic and political crisis in Haiti, some business owners opt to stay.

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Mathilde Ménélas recalls the moment her parents sold a piece of their land and handed her the cash, telling her to leave the only country she’d ever known. The 26-year-old refused. Instead, she set up a beauty salon in Haiti’s busy capital of Port-au-Prince.

The trained esthetician understood her parents’ fear for her to remain in a country marred by the threat of kidnap, natural disasters, an unstable economy and rising unemployment. Ménélas says leaving her country was all she could think about.

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

Sealing Off Last Mariupol Bastion, Haiti Plane Crash, Barbie Queen

👋 Kuzungpo la!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Putin changes his mind on Mariupol strategy, Rust producers are slapped with a maximum fine over Alec Baldwin shooting accident and the Queen gets her own Barbie doll. Meanwhile, we focus on how French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s pro-Russian stance may play out in Sunday’s decisive round of voting.

To keep up with latest developments of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, we’d also like to introduce our new daily War In Ukraine update, including local coverage and international analysis of the conflict.

[*Dzongha - Bhutan]

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jane Herbelin

Haiti Assassination Attempt, Elizabeth Holmes Verdict, Winnie the Pooh Public Domain

👋 Khulumkha!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Haiti’s prime minister reveals assassination attempt, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of fraud, and Winnie the Pooh is up for grabs. We also turn to French daily Les Echos to see what happens when the world of fine wine and champagne collides with the NFT market.

[*Kokborok - India and Bangladesh]

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