Nationality

Haiti

Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the National Institute of Administration Management and International Studies (INAGHEI), the State University of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Languages

French, English, Spanish, Creole

If things were different, my town could be a paradise; Port-au-Prince has a sunny climate and some of the nicest beaches in the Caribbean, and it could be very enticing for tourists. Although Haiti has had a turbulent political history and struggles with severe socio-economic and environmental problems, progress is being made thanks to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which has been here since 2004. Its mandate is to: restore a secure and stable environment; promote the political process; strengthen governance and the rule-of-law and; promote and protect human rights.

Since joining in 2005 as a Language and Public Information Assistant with the Military Public Information Office (MPIO), I have seen great improvements in security conditions. Kidnappings have decreased noticeably, so Haitians feel more comfortable pursuing their daily activities and sending their children to school. A certain degree of political stability was achieved through the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections in 2006 and 2009, for which MINUSTAH provided logistical and security support.

Another encouraging factor is that in 2009, former United States President Bill Clinton was appointed Special Envoy to Haiti. He is trying to persuade the international donor community and foreign investors to support the creation of sustainable industries and jobs, and to prevent further environmental deterioration.

By working for the United Nations, I can help my own country have a better future. In 2006 and 2007, when gangs were active in some regions, I served as interpreter at press conferences; in these briefings, the MINUSTAH Force Commander spoke about successful operations that had dismantled the main gangs. I was grateful to contribute to the restoration of peace.

I love learning about other cultures, so it was my dream to work for an international organization. As a secondary school student, I noticed Haitian people working for what in 1994 was called the United Nations Mission in Haiti, and I promised myself to learn several languages so I could be part of the United Nations family.

MINUSTAH’s military forces consist of approximately 7,000 people from 18 countries; among them Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Jordan, Canada, France, the United States, Nepal and the Philippines. My duties include interpretation for military officers or assisting international media. My most significant achievement, however, began when I first started the job and I suggested that we launch a newsletter about the activities of the peacekeepers. I became the founding editor, and the MPIO began publishing both online and print editions for a readership that includes MINUSTAH staffers and visiting dignitaries.

To enhance my writing skills, I am studying journalism at the local university. Improving my knowledge is a hobby, so I have taken several free online classes offered to United Nations employees, such as courses in humanitarian law, and gender perspectives in united peacekeeping operations. During a one-month leave from work, I attended an intensive seminar about environmental sustainability, offered at the university in Port-au-Prince, because the environment is an issue of concern to me.

Environmental sustainability is also one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and in 2007, the MINUSTAH peacekeeping force launched a tree planting campaign for local students. On a personal level, I know how important education is to a country’s development, and it is something I strive to share with others. A few years ago, some friends and I established a charity called Scholarship Education Program; we raise funds to send students to primary school, and 28 children have benefited so far.

Someday I hope to put my knowledge to use for the United Nations in other countries, but in the meantime I am enjoying my work in Haiti. I especially love the Medal Parades, in which military personnel are decorated for their accomplishments. One of the best parts of the various receptions, is that I can sample cuisines from different countries—another reason why we are called United Nations.

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