Dear brothers and sisters, dear compatriots, good evening!
My colleagues in the Ile-a-Vache Association for the Development of Haiti (AIDHAI) chose me to chair the association, and I am proud of it. My pride resides in the fact that my Ile-a-Vache people, my compatriots have empowered me to represent the association in all the acts of its life. They have given to me the power to materialize and to implement the ideals that are beneficial for our precious island that I will highlight soon.
On behalf of the AIDHAI, I want to express to you all my gratitude and recognition because you have grasped the urgency of our call; you answered by making an appearance in this room. Actually, I feel that I am in the fullness of an indescribable pride because of the uniqueness of your presence here my brothers and sisters. You made a preferential option for our homeland because you came to corroborate this great fundraising project, because we are all girls and favorite sons of Ile-a-Vache.
Our presence symbolizes the exclusive love that we feel for our island. So let’s put our values into value; we will put Ile-a-Vache value into value to meet the most basic needs of our island. Even though I am from Rhode Island and most of you are from New York, I used to live in New York. We can put New York values into value to help our people in Ile-a-Vache. Through this fundraising, we opened our wallets to Ile-a-Vache, and this will become a tradition here in New York. Every year we will make this fundraising. But we must make an extra mile
People take pleasure in that they help Ile-a-Vache by transitivity. Maybe yes maybe no. Each of you sent thousands of US dollars to Haiti in a yearly basis. This money is sent to our parents, our relatives, our brothers and sisters, and friends. We made wonderful buildings in Haiti. We paid the tuition of our nephews, nieces etc. We have helped many young people to go to university. However, we have not done much for the community; in other words: Ile-a-Vache per se. We want to prepare everything for Ile-a-Vache and we partake the power to organize everything for the 20,000 Ile-a-Vache inhabitants. There is no dichotomy between our will and our power. The will remains at the level of our consciousness. If we want to turn our will into power, now we must join forces, join our monies, to improve the living conditions of our compatriots. We Haitians are very adept at the idle speculation, but we are always victim in productivity level. We need to put a stop to this cycle that plagues our mentality. In our association we have chosen to invest 1% of our annual salary (and this is during the next five years) for socio-economic development of our island. I invite you all to invest 1% of your annual salary for the next five years. April 15 each year is the deadline to finalize the collection of that money. Your money will be used wisely; your money will be used for the construction of artesian wells, a retirement home for old people that are left behind. We want it and we have the power to implement the project. For our projects, we need volunteers in Ile-a-Vache. We demand that their labor to be very cheap from the Ile-a-Vache people living there; and workers must be qualified and non-profit. I admire the sense of seriousness and integrity of our treasurer.
AIDHAI was founded in March 2007 in Brooklyn at Raymond’s house from a negative finding we made revisiting our beloved Ile-a-Vache. We found the inhumane and against nature situation in which our people scrape there. We observed a shortage of drinking water, we saw no retirement home for the elderly; we have seen the lack of hygiene. Each family is responsible for a tomb or a family vault at her house because of the absence of public cemetery. Notwithstanding the existence of this appalling situation, we have a wrongful pride in praising luxury hotels on the Island, contributing to the creation of jobs for our countrymen. Moreover, our sadness is exacerbated because these hotels are not in the scope of our people’s economic ability. We give credit to the stillborn project of Martelly government providing the impulse to make our island a tourist center. What puzzles us in the project’s implementation is that it was developed without the participation of our engineers.
The first mayor of Ile-à-vache was Emile since the 90s. This is the story, the knowledge by traces. If we are going to recover traces of our Ile-a-Vache, we can verify that the first and the last mayor of the island-a-cow was Magron and Father Hénault. I think this sentence might splash our former mayors’ honor. We know that the budget of the country is meager. The budget was 14 billion gourdes on the preceding government, but the national budget was estimated at 126 billion of gourdes; how is it nothing was done to alleviate the misery of our fellow island?
We have seen a proliferation of indigenous associations even on our island. This gives us a glimpse that we want to join together to promote good social cohesion, to defend the rights of the weakest etc. Notwithstanding that likelihood, an association has not had the courage to submit a convincing plan to the mayor to send it to his hierarchical superior. We had members from the island that could have been creating projects, with the help of deputies and mayors we can route the departments concerned for a little of our national budget to land home. You can understand the consequences of our guilty inaction. We had congressman GENESTE, a man for whom I harbor an exceptional appreciation because of his academic and intellectual performance. He has effectively represented the Cayes and Ile-a-Vache as legislator. I honor the heart’s nobility and Fenel and his vision and love for Ile-a-Vache, which attracted large crowds. I, as Ile-a-Vache people, am proud of it. However, I had complaints. I have made findings that the Latorture government was hold on more than 10 million American dollars in the sunk boat of Kakok, and Ile-a-Vache had nothing; even a nursing home let alone a library for the young. I realized that our representatives are all morons. As we said when we were in fifth grade, we are morons at the superlative absolute or relative? The people of Port-au-Prince come and plunder our resources and the money is used for personal purposes! Or where were our authorities? The inveterate stupidity of our then authorities made scold in us a perennial anger my brothers.
No! Dear compatriots, I am ile-a-Vachoix I studied in St Thérèse brothers like you. I studied in Cuba, Italy, Germany, USA, etc. I acknowledge that in Ile-a-Vache we are not idiots. But there’s an individualistic thrust in us that phagocyte our will to achieve something for our homeland. A total abnegation and ongoing dispossession prove necessary for the emergence of another Ile-a-Vache based on consultation of all her sons and daughters living in the outer and inner.
There are three famous words that are hotspots of our presentation today. I want to share with you the words that we disclosed during our meetings. The first famous speech that struck me in indelible character was narrated by Adrienne. Adrienne told us, “the school institution has reached us very late.” That made us imply that our mother Ile-a-Vache was left to itself, and the epidemic of our illiteracy and ignorance had taken alarming proportions. Faced to this epidemic of illiteracy, we had men of the basement that tried to find an antidote. The first person who has tried already passed away. His name was Girardin. Remember the story of two robust men? I have heard that when you behave in school like Louisjean boge Maitre Girardin called two healthy robust men to remind you to order and discipline. Remember that? Yes Girardin knows “Education is the only means of liberation.” He was the first to introduce school education, he deserves great consideration on our part. Yes this is part of our reality. Adrienne said that the school was not in vogue, and this in the recent past, approximately in the 60s. Our situation was so serious, the first Ile-a-Vachoix man who won his elementary certificate is still alive. After Girardin, a great visionary was going to be sent to Ile-a-Vache to evangelize us. He was a priest builder who initiated the real process of change and transformation in our island with his eyes fixed on God. Father Magron is the one that has contributed to real commotion and upheaval of our positive Ile-a-Vache society. In finding our intellectual poverty, Father Magron brought Aboriginal religious congregation, “the little brothers Ste Thérèse,” to contribute to our education. Among these great pioneers are brother Jean Elie, brother Emmanuel, brother Labousse, brother Josué etc. They are missionaries in the heart of fire that turned Ile-a-Vache in a very long term process. Adrienne said the school was not fashionable. These pioneers were all equipped with a power of persuasion to persuade island-a-Vache people to send their children to school.
It was from the 70s that gradually we managed to give value to school, and I personally had the chance to go to school. Without the contribution of these great pioneers I could have been illiterate today. That we may express ourselves now in our language of prestige which is French, which was reserved for the wealthy, for the minister’s sons and daughters. I say I have to contribute to the vitality of the Francophone community in expressing myself in that language. The government of Duvalier has done everything to keep us in illiteracy and ignorance for our kids can applaud the people from the city, but Girardin, Father Magron, the brothers of St. Teresa said NO; a categorical No that implicated all their existences. They went to the island, and we went to school. They went to the island and everything changed. We have a fee in relation to the brother St. Thérèse. If I were Pope I would canonize Brother Mauclair, and I was going to spread the congregation of little brothers of St. Thérèse throughout the world because of their charisma.
The second most famous speech is that of Raymond. Raymond told us we lost geniuses. Yes we lost geniuses. I believe God has given us the football geniuses in our island. We did not establish solid structure these geniuses are lost in the maze of anonymity, we had no social infrastructure to emerge in an environment of participation, and we had no suitable structure to favor their appearance in our society. Raymond saw the loss of human potential under the harsh dictatorship of illiteracy. Remember my dear compatriots, you studied with people who were academically brilliant and pragmatically competent, but these people could not even finalize their elementary studies; they unwillingly left school to ensure the economic survival of their parents. We lost these geniuses. We have included a football championship to the island to enhance the vitality of our youth, and then we plan to schedule Ile-a-Vache football selection in third division. This is to give young Ile-a-Vachoix people a chance. These football geniuses will not drown in anonymity. If a Messi or Ronaldo are to be born in our island, we should create a structure that would allow them to put their talents to the whole world and, by the same token, we would be able to help create the first millionaire of our island.
The third and the last word is from Roosevelt. He said he parodied Per Magron. Roosevelt told us, if we are Ile-a-Vachoix, we must make a preferential option for the Ile-a-Vache. Take it or leave it. If we do not choose Ile-a-vache so we ignore it. If we ignore Ile-a-Vache, we are no longer more Ile-a-Vachoix, we become ile-a-Vachiens. Those words are unfortunate, disconcerting. If we are not Ile- a-Vachoix we are Ila-a-Vachiens. How not to make preferential choice for our Ile-a-Vache my friends! We were all victims because of our geographical origin in Haiti. When my father sent me to finalize my classical studies in Les Cayes. People treated me “Gwo Soulye” big shoes, Congo or low level animals. I received so many kicks in the behind because of my Ile-a-Vache origin. Probably each of you has experienced this humiliation differently. I could not resist one day. I report a guy who gave me a hard time because of my Ile-a-Vache origin to my father, at the end of time my father took my revenge.
Even in the seminary, as you know that I am a catholic priest by formation. You know my itinerary, I had taken the path of the priesthood, and a seminarian colleague told me: Jean, you come from Ile-a-Vache, an area big producer of mosquitos, a producer of ants, and he concluded: a country of nothing, a man of nothing. I left my temper and I reported the seminarian to my hierarchical Superior. The Superior laughed and started to turn me in derision. He said: Ahhh! He told you a country of nothing a man of nothing! I said yes Father. He said: he cannot dare. I said yes he said it. After a while the Superior (Boss) said: do you have wisdom Jean Civil? I said yes. He said: “no, you have to look for wisdom to find it and to find it to look for it again. So still seek wisdom because it is asymptotic. Because it is GOD.” He told me that we did not choose to live with people of this ilk, but God has put these people on our way to mellow us; you have to arm yourself with a transcendent capacity foolproof to overcome any difficulties. Yes he gave me a lesson in wisdom, but why the others did not have to deal with all these difficulties. If we were from island-a-Vachois in the 80s in Les Cayes, we would understand how overwhelming our humiliation was, because of our geographical origin. I agree with Roosevelt when he said if we are not Ile-a-Vachoix we are island-a-chiens (dogs). On behalf of the a-Vachoisity that we carry in us, I would like to ask you to join us in helping our Ile-a-Vache chérie. We want to refuel Ile-a-Vache water, we want to put a nursing home for the elderly, we want to put a library for the Ile-a-Vachoix, and we want a park or field Foot in Cocoyer.
The paradox of the island-a-cow
Dear compatriots you hear about the paradox of the cross, I studied theology at the Vatican and I know a little of this paradox, the cross was the instrument of crucifixion, the instrument of humiliation. It was the instrument of shame and infamy. Now when one is in search of enlightenment of transcendental meditation we look at the cross becomes the instrument of salvation. Now Ile-a-Vache that was vilified, ignored, hated, cornered in Haitian society, Ile-a-Vache is photographed, pampered, coaxed, adulated by some and honored by others. What a paradox!
If we live here, we are part of the diaspora. It’s the truth. We have an antiquated and anachronistic constitution, in Haiti, if you adopt a foreign nationality, the men of Haiti put you in a constitutional embargo prohibiting you to run for public or political office. These men do not differentiate between legal citizenship, cultural citizenship and social citizenship. Watch your birth certificate, to detect the intra- national discrimination as it were. In our birth certificate it is written the word farmers. Yet in other birth certificate they write citizens. They do not give us another birth certificate by adopting the American nationality. We know dear friends that we Haitians specifically Ile-a-Vachoix, our birth is in Ile-a-Vachoix, we are born Ile-a-Vachoix, we live as Ile-a-Vachoix and will die as Ile-a-Vachoix. We love America to death, but we remain Ile-a-Vachoix
Presentation of the members:
I will present some men of the basement, men of underbody who have contributed to the constitution of our association. We are all members but we differentiate between the founding members and full members. You have the right and duty to be a member of our association if you are from Ile-a-Vache. We have three members who are not born from Ile-a-Vache but are members in full. They are Ile-a-Vachoix of heart and mind. They invest more than most of the Ile-a-Vachoix living outside. This is just to say that we are all members of right.
Founding Members are those who participated in the constitution of the association
Members of right are all people born in Ile-a-Vache that the association agrees to accept as members, by exempting the admission procedure for other membership categories.
Benefactor’s members are those who have agreed to financially support the association, to pay a contribution of a sum higher than that payable by the Member “active” or, more simply, people who regularly send donations to the association. We will be looking for those members. Those members do not need to be from Ile-a-Vache.
The Vice-President Jean Pierre AIDHAI Cabral is responsible to replace me in my absence, he supports me in my work. He performs all the functions of president. He provides solidarity with the decisions of the association and promotes the unity of the association. He participates in the functioning of the association, informs other members D’AIDHAI of what is happening, and Keeps members informed about the decisions. He encourages members to participate as much as possible in meetings and activities of the association.
We have one man who often shares with me the charge of everything related to the management of the association. He makes payments, covers revenues and, as such. His name is Joseph Berthony
We have people to animate, to listen, to learn, and to lead by example. They are ambassadors of the Association and its values. They are the spokesmen of the Association. They organize events within their groups, they bring together the members, direct them to the right people, make them live the sense of belonging. They are Ambassadors of the Association, and they shares its values. They contribute to the reputation of the Association. They Recruit new paying members and ensure the payment of contributions within the group. Those people are Gélin Civil, France Seide, Roosevelt Pierre
The coordinator Rene Laurore
We have a member whose duty is to ensure the overall coherence in our association. He is the conductor of the Association of which he is also the animator. He sets a timetable. We facilitate his work in close cooperation with him. He is the mainspring of all; he has the full passion and leadership. I present to you our dear Rene Laurore coordinator. Give him a big applause my friends.
The AIDHAI Advisor: We have a member that implements the policy defined by the association. He has the power to decide on the admission or exclusion of members. He calls us, and he advises us all. He is the eminent figure of our association. We are proud to introduce you our Counsellor Jean Gardy Bouloute.
Raymond and Adrienne Cheriza, Treasurer and Secretary
We have founders who are not island-a-Vachoix but like Ile-a-Vache more than people who were born in Ile-a-Vache. They were there at the foundation, they are always there with us. They went to the island with us. One of them is 100% Saintjeanais with st Jeanais and Ile-a-Vachoix 100% with the Ile-a-Vache people. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present you a great man, a man of great magnanimity, an Ile-a-Vache man of heart: He is our founding member Emile LOUBEAU
There are two others Ile-a-Vache people that we want to present to you: Dave Widniy and Duval. They belong to us in Ile-a-vache
Another founding member, a sincere man, an Ile-a-Vache man. Although we have adopted US citizenship and Haiti puts us in a constitutional embargo, I’ll introduce to you a man who was born Ile -a- Vachoix who will remain Ile- a- Vachoix and die island -a- Vachoix. I have the privilege to present this man of great heart. I have the honor to present you our Founding Member Bonel Joseph.
We have another founding member who loves Ile-a-vache so much, he was very handsome, he was always chic, and He became a hardworking man in the US. A man who has a sense of accomplishment, a man who nurtures exclusive love for our island. Who is this member? Here is Serge Douyon!
Another Founding member is Fritz Alegrand, Founding Member. His hidden love for Ile-a-Vache is great. We appreciate his participation here.
I know you are all polyglot in the room. Now I will take the liberty to speak our global language, the language of our work: English.
I am going to present you a magnificent couple. The husband’s body or birth certificate is not from Ile-a-Vache but from the US, because he was born here, his head is from the US Because He Studied here. The invisible is more significant than the visible, we see his body and his head but not His heart. His heart is from Ile-a-Vache, and his existence depends on Ile-a-Vache. He gave the most paradigmatic example of love for our Island. He went to visit our island and fell in love with it. A true love ladies and gentlemen. He fell in love not only with our island, he fell in love with one of our sisters. I can assure you that he found the perfect love there because he married a woman from our country. He gets children, and brought her here to live a happy life. Now we can say that his eyes were captivated by the beauty of our land, his feeling for our girls there were seduced. His whole existence now depends on Ile-a-Vache. He is enjoying his children who are from Ile-a-Vache so to speak, because their mother is from Ile-a-Vache. He loves all Ile-a-Vache kids maybe more than many People from our homeland. He gave us example. He build a school in Ile-a-Vache for the kids can go to school; he paid the teachers with his own money. They were doing everything in their power to provide food for students and professors. This is paradigmatic example of love for our island. When we acknowledged that they were going to be here today, we were all happy and proud of them. I am so happy to present you Mrs. Nanne
Ladies and gentlemen, we are investing dollars in thousands of our children living here in the US for their colleges. I encourage you to instill in them the love for Ile-a-Vache. Because of our human vulnerability we will be one day unable to implement our willingness to help our people in Haiti; our kids are supposed to replace us. Always try to make them visit Ile-a-Vache and I am sure they will fall in love with it. We May have some kids who achieve financial success; we need them to irradiate that kind of charity. I know you are giving your church 10% of you income. We ask you to give 1% of your income to Ile-a-Vache. I can assure you that within 5 years we will be able to transform Ile-a-Vache society for the better,
We Plan to organize this fundraising every year. And we will invite you to go with us every August to monitor the work we are doing in Ile-a-Vache. You are all invited, because the membership is offered to each and every one of you, it is your right to participate for the sake of our people. Only 20,000 habitants there. There is no potable drinking water, not even a park for the young people to have fun along, not a nursing home for the adults. Some of them are dying with hunger, but they die in dignity. They have nowhere to go. Everything was done for us to be illiterate. Someone like us said a very hard NO to that situation; he said our destiny is not supposed to be poverty and illiteracy. He said I am going to work for them. Now people of Ile-a-Vache are valuable in the Haitian scale. We become good. We are all here in the US. You are good in everything you do. We become good cook, and also good university professors.
Let us be proud of ourselves today, July 9, 2016. It is the day we start saying that we, Ile-a-Vache people, put our love into action. Today is the day to say to Ile-a-Vache, we love you, and today is the day to say to Ile-a-Vache we are working for you. We open our wallets to our people. From now on, we have to be united together to help our people. Thank you very much for your generous participation. Ile-a-Vache will be grateful to you. Thank you all.
Jean Ocelin Civil