Groupe ECHO Haiti
Retour sur Elan Haiti 2016
SEPTEMBER 23, 2017
Good evening. Minister of Tourism, business sector leaders, friends of the media, and change makers. I am told the word “Elan” can be translated as a run-up or launch for young people to work towards a better Haiti. I am here tonight to celebrate together your achievements, to express the pride of the United States as a supporter of the Elan project and to encourage you to continue moving forward.
- John F. Kennedy said during his inauguration, “Do not ask what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country”. You, who have worked with Elan, had asked exactly that question.
- I stand here before you to congratulate your accomplishments and to urge you to keep leaning forward. While we look forward to learning about the particular accomplishments of these four projects, I offer you a few thoughts.
- The United States and Haiti have enjoyed a strong partnership for decades and we work together on a broad array of themes to further our national interests .
- Just a few months ago while at the Conference on Prosperity and Security, Secretary Tillerson noted:
“without effective security arrangements in place, it is very difficult to create stability and the conditions that are conducive to investment and business activity. With GDP growth so closely linked to internet accessibility, we also hope private and public sector partnerships will deliver improved internet connectivity. “
- What you have accomplished over the past two years is remarkable. You gathered experts, assembled a willing corps of volunteers, and with determination and persistence you set out to be solution seekers to some of the most complex challenges facing Haiti today: bridging the digital divide, addressing youth unemployment, improving education, boosting agricultural production, and recognizing the need for environmental protection.
- It is precisely this innovative spirit in critical fields which we recognize as ripe for public and private partnerships and important indicators for prosperity.
- Your inclusive approach to attract a diverse body of participants from artists to technicians, students to community leaders from each of Haiti’s ten (10) departments to brainstorm with the diaspora and the international community is a recipe for success.
- Congratulations! I am very proud of you, and very proud of our partnership with you. You are the future of your country, and with programs like Elan, I am sure Haiti is on the good path.
ELAN is just one of many examples of a strong partnership between the United States and Haiti.
- I would like to take a moment to share how our priorities of supporting good governance, rule of law, economic growth, and improving the health of Haitians translate into opportunities and programs for you, and support your goal to bring change for Haiti.
- Another program that we are proud of is Community Solutions, for which we have started accepting applications just a week ago. This 4-month professional development program offers Anglophones the opportunity to build a professional network in the United States with a community of leaders from around the world who are looking to improve their communities through projects similar to what you will discover tonight.
- This past week we opened the application season for the Community Solutions program. This four month professional development program offers English speakers the opportunity to build your professional network in the U.S. with community leaders from around the world who aim to better their communities in ways similar to the projects we will learn more about tonight.
- There is also the program entitled Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, or YLAI as we call it, and which was launched in 2016. Next week I look forward to meeting six Haitian business and social entrepreneurs who will be traveling to the United States to collaborate with their counterparts in businesses and civil society organizations across the country.
- We recognize exchange opportunities can be highly competitive and limited in terms of numbers, but I do want to make sure you are all aware of the YLAI network which is free and open to each of you. The YLAI Network is a vibrant community of young entrepreneurs and change makers from Latin America and the Caribbean who are committed to fostering economic development and prosperity, security, human rights and good governance in the hemisphere. The YLAI Network is a signature part of the U.S. government’s efforts to increase partnerships with future leaders to help promote economic growth and strengthen civil society. The YLAI Network provides the members with updates and opportunities to collaborate with young leaders across the Americas.
- These are just two programs we offer to provide you with the tools to bring the change you want to see. We shall all public opportunities on Facebook and Twitter, so please follow us at @USEmbassyHaiti.
- Furthermore, I hope you are all familiar with our Information Resource Center at the Embassy and know that you are welcome to come research and explore their services. We have brought some information regarding these resources with us this evening.
- We hope that you will be able to take advantage of these programs aimed at strengthening your leadership capacities and reinforcing your desire to contribute to the development of Haiti – where I believe is still the “Pearl of the Caribbean”. Congratulations again to all the participants of ELAN 2016 and we wish you continued success for ELAN 2018.
- Once again, congratulations, and keep asking what you can do for your beautiful country.