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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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Trust + TIme = Authentic Partnerships and Resipwosite

We have amazing partners in Haiti! What makes a partnership amazing? When it involves reciprocity (resipwosite in Creole). Resipwosite means that a partnership is two-way ... both sides contribute and benefit. For this to occur, you have to establish trust and invest time.

Yesterday we met with five of the key educational leaders we work with in Cap-Haitien. With each, an authentic partnership, one of resipwosite, has evolved.

First, we met with Yanick and Vierginat who are Catholic Sisters and who lead the College Regina Assumpta. This is a Catholic, all-girls school that we have worked with for the past four years. The motto of the school reflects a commitment to support empowerment for girls in Haiti.
picture from May, 2015

We then went to College Notre Dame where we met with the head of that school, Father Bernard. This Catholic, all-boys school has had a remarkable tradition of supporting the education of the young men of Cap-Haitien for over 100 years.
picture from October, 2014

In the afternoon, we met with Andre who is the director for the Center for the Education of Women and Children, a Haitian NGO. Andre was one of the first people I met with when I first started working in Cap nearly five years ago. The Center he runs provides training for women to support life skills and micro-business. There is also a nutrition center to help very young children.

Finally, in the evening, we met with Thelus Wilson. I have known Thelus the longest; probably for nearly 10 years. We first met when he was a student in a Master of Education course I taught near Port-au-Prince. He has established a school in the Cap-Haitien region that supports a very marginalized community.
Authentic partnerships are not always easy to develop or maintain. I feel fortunate and blessed to know that we have many of these types of partnerships in Cap-Haitien ... ones that clearly involve resipwosite.

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