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#675: What's new on Windows on Haiti? (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

These past few weeks, I have been shoring up the Kreyòl portion
of Windows on Haiti, by hosting the Kreyolist group REKA, and
adding a couple hundreds of Kreyòl proverbs randomly displayed
when first entering the site.  If you need a refresher in Kreyòl, or
want to have an idea of what REKA is about, or want to partake
in Haitian traditional wisdom (through its proverbs), or need to
consult the currently accepted standards of Haitian Kreyol
ortography, or participate in a Kreyol forum, you are welcome
to browse our pages.

For the next few weeks, we'll be focusing on the Haitian tradition
of Restaveks, and offering you an opportunity to add your opinion
on what practical steps can be taken to drastically reduce and
ultimately eliminate this scourge on Haiti's poor.  The practice is
widespread and historically grounded, so just expressing outrage
will not be enough.  The sexual abuse of a little girl should never
happen anywhere, but we are only fooling ourselves if we think
that this is a rare happenstance.  Millions of children, ages 3 to 17,
are getting sexually exploited throughout the world, and particularly
in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.  Add to those regions'
chronic poverty and political instability, the lures of sexual tourism
and the serial rapes which always seem to accompany civil wars
and coups d'etat, and you begin to realize that this world is not
getting any safer for children and young adults.

In colonial times, the settlers could rape their servants with impunity.
Many among the emancipated in Haiti had only learned from their
masters too well, it seems.  But, take away the impunity, systematically
make them pay, and the number of abuse cases will greatly diminish.
But this suggestion goes back to Haiti's gravest ill : the lack of an
effective system that renders justice to the big and the small, the rich
and the poor, children of the elites and children of the peasant class.

On a somber note, we reflect that the trouble in Pembroke Pines,
as horrendous as it was, may not have come to the light of day ever
in Haiti.  So as we look to improve the faulty mechanisms in Pembroke
Pines that let the case of this small Haitian girl momentarily fall through
the cracks, let us think of applying the lessons learned to our own
society back home.

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!