Ambassador Sison’s Remarks during a Youth BBQ at her Residence

Good afternoon!

I’m so excited to see you all here at the Ambassador’s residence today.

I’m happy to welcome the youth from SAKALA where I visited a few months ago and promised a visit to the residence.

I’m also glad to see the Youth Explorers with some of their Community Police mentors with us today.

I welcome back home the 13 Youth Ambassadors who just returned yesterday from three weeks in Maine and Washington, DC.

Today feels like a typical summer barbecue to many of the Americanshere with you today. We gather Haitians and Americans to make new friends and simply put, play.

I would like to emphasize to each of you today that you are the hope, the promise and future of Haiti. Some of my colleagues recently had the opportunity to engage with the Youth Explorers after the recent July 6 demonstrations.  It was striking to them that while some of you faced challenging situations or perhaps not understanding why this was happening after the World Cup game, there were many who demonstrated leadership. Whether it’s helping a lost youth to find a parent or sharing needed medicine in order to get by, we heard numerous examples of youth being good citizens and taking on roles of leadership.

I encourage that kind of leadership initiative within each of you.  Developing and innovating new communication methods, recognizing the importance of calm, responsible leadership in times of confusion or stress are life skills that will serve you well no matter what profession you pursue.

I was inspired by the “wall of hope” at SAKALA and would love to hear what some of your dreams are.

My dream after serving here during my first diplomatic tour is to see a Haiti where you all stand side by side encouraging one another, holding each other accountable, creating jobs and opportunities for your younger generational peers.

This afternoon for all those interested, I’d first like to give you a brief tour of the residence.

Before I close, I want to recognize the effort of some of the American peers we have here today to help organize our activities: Anacaona Florimon-Reed; Esther Mukuye; Ruth Mukuye; Rachael Mukuye; Jade-Adia Moy

I also want to express appreciation to a number of our Marines who volunteered to give us a hand to make some fun activities for you all today.

I’d like to invite those interested to follow me into the living room. For all those more interested in playing outdoors please feel free.

Thanks for visiting me today, and let’s all commit to making new friends today!