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New Year & Happy 219th Independence Day for Haiti

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti, January 11, 2023 – January 1st is widely celebrated as New Year’s Day for many, but for Haitians, this is a special day, as the first and second days of the year are celebrated as Haiti’s Independence Day and Ancestors’ Day, respectively.

Haiti officially gained independence from its French colonizers on January 1, 1804, and was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery.

In recognition of Haiti’s Independence day, the U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, congratulated Haitians on this significant milestone.

“This year has seen many challenges for the Haitian people. It is a testament to our two nations’ close partnership that our humanitarian organizations, faith-based organizations, and individual American and Haitian citizens have collaborated to address the challenges facing Haiti,” Blinken said in a statement.

He also pledged that the U.S. will remain committed to assisting the country in restoring security and economic stability.

“Haiti faces a difficult road ahead in the New Year, but the United States stands firmly with Haiti as it works to restore security, the rule of law, democratic institutions, and economic stability,” he said.

Likewise, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, made a similar pledge as he congratulated Haitians on their independence celebrations.

“As a steadfast partner, Canada will continue to stand with Haitian people as they strive for a brighter future. We will continue to work with the international community to advance a Haitian-led solution and support Haitian institutions to restore stability in the country,” the Canadian Prime said in his statement.

To commemorate its day of independence each year, Haitians at home and abroad traditionally prepare and eat the famous “Soup Joumou.”  This is a Haitian meal that slaves were once forbidden to eat by the French ruling class; only the French masters could eat this soup for good fortune.

The soup is said to be a symbol of freedom and celebrates the country as the world’s first successful slave revolution.

Happy 219th Independence Day to the people of Haiti!

Caribbean News

Yellow Fever Outbreak in Region and Beyond, Travellers Warned

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#YellowFever#Caribbean, April 10, 2024 – Reports say there is an outbreak of Yellow fever in the Caribbean according to the Department of Health and official government advice website, Travel Health Pro, and travelers are being warned to be vigilant. The authorities say the outbreak is also in parts of Africa, and Central and South America.

Guyana and Peru so far have seen two cases. Brazil reports the disease in monkeys, an indication that it is spreading across the ccounty. Colombia has seen 3 cases.

In South America, between January 1 and March 18 2024, there have been seven confirmed cases, four fatal.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and can cause potentially fatal hemorrhagic illness. Fortunately, it can be prevented with vaccination and so the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising people ages nine months and older, traveling to the affected areas, to get vaccinated.

 

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Caribbean News

Four Year Old Beheaded Trinidad 

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#Homicide#FourYearOld#TrinidadandTobago, April 9, 2024 – Trinidad was left in shock and sorrow with the beheading of a four year old girl, reportedly by her stepfather, early Tuesday April 9, at her home in Arouca, a town in the East-West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago. The Police informed that when they arrived on the scene, the head of the little girl, identified as Amarah Lallitte, was in one room and her body in another.  

 

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Caribbean News

CariSECURE 2.0 Equipping Youth to Take Charge Against Crime

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Bridgetown, 9 April, 2024 – Amidst rising concerns over citizen security in the Caribbean, a deliberate effort is being made to empower the region’s youth to step into leadership roles and drive change from within. Through a free, online course by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), youth will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle pressing security challenges head-on.

The “Youth on the way to Peace and Security” course is being launched regionally as part of CariSECURE 2.0 (CS2.0), which works to reduce youth involvement in crime and trafficking in persons (TIP) in the region. It will run from 16 April – 3 May, with support from InfoSegura.

This course comes at a crucial time when security issues like crime and violence are on the rise in the Caribbean. By the end of the course, participants will have improved understanding of regional security challenges, enhanced leadership skills, and greater opportunity to network with peers and experts around the region, empowering them to take leadership roles in regional conversations and citizen security activities.

Maia Hibben, Project Manager for CariSECURE 2.0, underscored the significance of engaging young people in matters of citizen security.  ” Throughout the life of our project, input from young people has been invaluable,” she said. “Whether it be helping to craft national workplans to reduce crime, developing a roadmap for youth empowerment in the Caribbean, or creating digital solutions to improve crime reporting as planned for this year, youth have proven that their perspectives are indispensable. This course is just another way for youth to strengthen their skills to address regional security challenges.”

By building capacity of young leaders to address security challenges and promote social cohesion, the course contributes directly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 16, towards Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

The course will offer lessons in the current mechanisms that impact youth decision making, insight into youth citizen security challenges in the Caribbean, and give practical guidance on the positive roles participants can play in conflict resolution, with complementary webinars, podcasts and practical resources tailored to the English-speaking Caribbean. It is free of charge and open to participants from all backgrounds, regardless of age, nationality, or level of experience. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.

Register for the course by 15 April: escuelavirtualpnud.org/login/index.php?lang=en

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