We are working with young women and men to build friendships and support-networks across the broader community. In a way, as the fighting continues around us, we are battling for a simple but normal life, where you can walk the streets with friends, find a job or start a small business. Of course, it has not been possible to carry out any of these activities over the last two weeks.
I am committed to working with young people to improve their lives and I see myself as a leader. Being part of the committee gives me confidence and helps to empower me and the other nine members.
Cycle of fear, stress and despair
*Not his real name
My life now is a cycle of fear, stress and despair. I’m always experiencing at least one of these feelings and I just want them to stop, so I can get back to normality.
Battling for a simple but normal life
We have a greeting in our language, Creole, when someone leaves home, we tell them to be “pridan” or careful, but this expression has lost its meaning now because our life is so dangerous. You think you are safe at home but bullets know every pathway and back alley in our neighbourhood.
The group organizes activities bringing young people from Cité Soleil, and two other neighbourhoods, Saint-Martin and Bel-Air, which are controlled by rival gangs. We bring hundreds of children together to enjoy sports, music or to play board games like chess.
We want our voices to be heard outside Cité Soleil, because if no-one hears us nothing will change. If people living in the rest of Port-au-Prince or indeed anywhere in the world hear us, then we can’t be forgotten, and we can work together to change our lives for the better.
Hear our voices
This causes a lot of problems especially the lack of food and water. I am sometimes able to share food with neighbours, but many people are going hungry. The small amount of drinking water that is available has tripled in price.
Despite this, I do have some hope and remain positive most of the time. The work I’m doing with my youth group Comite Consultatif des Jeunes is helping me to get through this difficult period.