Cultivating hope in Haiti

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 kilometres  west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded.An estimated three million people were affected by the quake. Death toll estimates range from 100,000 to about 160,000 to Haitian government figures from 220,000 to 316,000 that have been widely characterized as deliberately inflated by the Haitian government.

The government of Haiti estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged. There has been a history of national debt, prejudicial trade policies by other countries, and foreign intervention into national affairs that contributed to the pre-existing poverty and poor housing conditions that exacerbated the death toll.

Haiti, Haiti, the further I am from you, the less I breathe. Haiti, I love you, and I will love you always. Always.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide

The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other settlements in the region. Notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail.

Among those killed were Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Joseph Serge Miot, and opposition leader Micha Gaillard. The headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti , located in the capital, collapsed, killing many, including the Mission’s Chief, Hédi Annabi.

Originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people, Spain first became aware of the island on 5 December 1492 during the first voyage of Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic. When Columbus initially landed in Haiti, he had thought he had found India or Asia. On Christmas day, Columbus’ flagship the Santa Maria, ran aground north of what is now Limonade. As a consequence, Columbus ordered his men to salvage what they could from the ship, and he created the first European settlement in the Americas, naming it La Navidad after the day the ship was destroyed.

Educating Girl Child

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.

Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society. In pre-literate societies this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge, values, and skills from one generation to the next. As cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be readily learned through imitation, formal education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the Middle Kingdom.

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.

Carl Rogers

A right to education has been recognized by some governments, including at the global level: Article 13 of the United Nations’ 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes a universal right to education. In most regions education is compulsory up to a certain age.

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Carl Rogers

Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in Europe. The city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in AD 476.

In China, Confucius (551-479 BCE), of the State of Lu, was the country’s most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbors like Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era.

After the Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole preserver of literate scholarship in Western Europe. The church established cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education. Some of these establishments ultimately evolved into medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe’s modern universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School.

The medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, and produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas of the University of Naples, Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation, and Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, and the oldest continually operating university.

Women Empowerment and Employment

The feminist movement (also known as the women’s liberation movement, the women’s movement, or simply feminism) refers to a series of political campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, all of which fall under the label of feminism and the feminist movement. The movement’s priorities vary among nations and communities, and range from opposition to female genital mutilation in one country, to opposition to the glass ceiling in another.

Third-wave feminism is continuing to address the financial, social and cultural inequalities and includes renewed campaigning for greater influence of women in politics and media. In reaction to political activism, feminists have also had to maintain focus on women’s reproductive rights, such as the right to abortion.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Feminism in parts of the western world has gone through three waves. First-wave feminism was oriented around the station of middle- or upper-class white women and involved suffrage and political equality. Second-wave feminism attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities.

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Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

The women’s movement became more popular in May 1968 when women began to read again, more widely, the book The Second Sex, written in 1949 by a defender of women’s rights, Simone de Beauvoir, (and translated into English for the first time in 1953; later translation 2009). De Beauvior’s writing explained why it was difficult for talented women to become successful. The obstacles de Beauvoir enumerates include women’s inability to make as much money as men do in the same profession, women’s domestic responsibilities, society’s lack of support towards talented women, and women’s fear that success will lead to an annoyed husband or prevent them from even finding a husband at all.

De Beauvoir also argues that woman lack ambition because of how they are raised. Girls are told to follow the duties of their mothers, whereas boys are told to exceed the accomplishments of their fathers. Along with other influences, Simone de Beauvoir’s work helped the feminist movement to erupt, causing the formation of Le Mouvement de Libération des Femmes (The Women’s Liberation Movement). This determined group of women wanted to turn these ideas into actions.

Contributors to The Women’s Liberation Movement include Simone de Beauvoir, Christiane Rochefort, Christine Delphy and Anne Tristan. Through actions the women were able to get few equal rights for example right to education, right to work, and right to vote. One of the most important issues that The Women’s Liberation movement faced was the banning of abortion and contraception. The women saw this banning as a violation of women’s rights and were determined to fight it. Thus, the women made a declaration known as Le Manifests de 343 which held signatures from 343 women admitting to having had an illegal abortion.