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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What does the international "day of the girl" look like in Cap-Haitien, Haiti?

I was struck today by a number of interactions with female leaders in Cap-Haitien. Perhaps the international day of the girl raised my consciousness but I am left quite astounded by female leadership (and potential) I observed today.

Example 1 Ser Danick - principal of secondary school of Regina Assumpta. As we walked the various floors of the school today, I saw Ser Danick interact with students in a caring, yet firm, fashion. Although she has been principal for many years, she is also quite astute and engaged with the students. We had a great conversation about technology and she was very informed. This is a woman who is providing exemplary school leadership.

Example 2 Diana - a 16 year old student at the same school. Diana hosted my own daughter 6 months ago when she experienced "a day in the life of a Canadian girl in Cap-Haitien" (read an earlier blog post about this experience). Diana made a point to greet me and ask me about my own daughter. She demonstrated courage and clarity in that conversation. Diana represents to me the potential of this community - a courageous young woman who has a determination for a better life.

Example 3 Bertrhude and Priscilla - a grad student from University of Florida and a teacher from Gainseville, FL. These two young women have started a NGO called Projects for Haiti (again, read earlier posts about our emerging partnership) and have a deep passion for Haiti and supporting the improvement of the education system. They are in Cap this weekend to meet with some lead teachers, to support the training we are doing tomorrow, and to talk about how we can work together.

Spending the international day of the girl in Haiti has given me some great insight into how women are transforming this society. I look forward to meeting many more of these "young revolutionaries!"

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