THE MARTELLY'S LAUNCHES THE WEEK OF THE CHILD
(Haiti Libre) -
President Michel Martelly, accompanied by his wife, Sophia Martelly, officially launched on Monday 4 June, at the Palais Municipal of Delmas, the Week of the Child, and the awareness campaign in favor of the health of the child, at the initiative of the Institute of Welfare and Research (IBESR), around the theme of "Ayiti ap dekole ak timoun yo".
The ceremony was attended by several hundred children, several ministers, Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, Director of the IBESR, officials, personalities from the children's sector, and representatives of organizations in cooperation with Haiti.
The Week of the Child intends to mobilize the various sectors of national life around the fundamental rights that must be acknowledged through the children, and without discrimination. These are the four pillars of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; namely the right to survival, the right to individual development, the right to protection against harmful influences, abuse and exploitation, and the right to participate fully in family life, cultural life, and social life.
Speech of Sophia Martelly:
"...I am pleased today to participate with national and international partners, at the opening of Children's Week. The most beautiful moment in the life of a person must be their childhood, yet at home in Haiti there are many children who live in suffering, fear and a lot of pain because they experience violence of all kinds, become Restaveks, experience hunger, malnutrition, or are sick... I want that to change for good.
Children, I want you to know that you are my inspiration, and that of the President. It is for you that we fight every day, so that your rights are respected: the right to education, right to grow up without violence, and the right to live healthy. This is why the Government is implementing programs that allow parents to take better care of you; like 'Aba Grangou', 'Manman ak timoun an sante', 'Ti manman cheri', 'Kore fanmi'.
The state is fighting to take its responsibilities towards all children. The role of government through the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health is to educate parents to recognize your importance, to do not mistreat you, to take care of you and to give you love.
I remind all parents that it is your duty to protect children, to defend them, allow them to be healthy. This is what will allow society to have brave citizens, citizens with good behavior, for Haiti to become more beautiful... It is true that sometimes parents do not take their responsibilities, because they do not know how to do so. As President of Haiti-CCM (Multisectoral Coordination Committee of the Global Fund projects in Haiti), I ask all healthcare workers, to spread information. Even if a pregnant woman has AIDS, her children may be born without disease, there are medications for that [...] I encourage other powers of the country, Legislative and Judicial, to get together with the Executive, so that all children of Haiti have a good life for today and tomorrow, passing laws that will require all people in society, to respect the rights of children.
Remember that today's children will be tomorrow's adults. A society can only know stability and ensure its stability, if its' children are looked after from their childhood, receive an adequate education, enjoy good health, and the possibility of having a vocational or technical training. This is what we aspire to do, and it is in this that the government will invest [...]
I declare the launch of the week of the child throughout the territory of the Republic. Nay God bless all children of the Republic, and that Haiti will change with all the children..."
President Michel Martelly, who wanted, by his presence, to express his interest in the cause of children, raised the possibility of Childhood (Enfance) as a sixth "E" in his program.
Speech of President Martelly:
"...this is a great pleasure for me, a great honor to speak today, as the greatest child there is in the country [...] Today, we are here for the children, who tomorrow will have the responsibilities of the country in their hands.
I want to congratulate IBESR, and all groups that have come together; all international, national friends, who are coming together with this institution to manage the children's future. We want to tell the kids that we rely on them. You are the future of the country.
[...] I had the 4 'E', I added Energy to make the 5th 'E', I feel that we are working so that Childhood becomes the 6th 'E' in the Government program.
When you protect the children, when you secure the children, the country's future will be more beautiful, I pledge to do that [...] the victory is for Haiti, for the people Haiti, and for the people 'Tet Kalé'. Thank you..."
Ms. Françoise Ackermans Gruloos, UNICEF's representative in Haiti, praised the actions of the government team for their efforts in child development. "Before 2010, the child was in danger in Haiti. They were facing health problems, malnutrition, education (one children in two went to school). Today, a lot of energy has been developed in these areas...;". Pleased she added, "Children of Haiti, are becoming quietly and surely a priority in this country."
Ms. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, IBESR Director, believes that the training of Haitian children is a chance for them to be useful to their country. She promises to work hard to eliminate their vulnerability at all levels, by encouraging non-discrimination, inclusion, organization and accountability of the family...
Several activities, including discussion workshops, the participation of Haitian children from the diaspora, the involvement of religious institutions, distribution of kits in prisons, the participation at Livres en folie, debates with academic institutions, and reforestation activities, will mark this year the Week of the Child in Haiti.