Haitian Ambassador leads youth exchange platform between Haiti and the world

​ELAN Haiti is the very first international conference of young leaders in Haiti. It unites 100 young Haitians, diaspora and internationals who share a common desire to act positively for the development of Haiti. It aims to be a platform to channel inspiration, energy and passion that will lead to the creation of innovative joint youth-led action projects. The initiative was implemented by determined Haitian youth from diverse backgrounds, and lead by Marc Alain Boucicault, a One Young World Ambassador who attended the Summit in Bangkok and was appointed Coordinating Ambassador for Central America and the Caribbean.

After a remarkable success in 2014, the project is heading towards its second edition, which will be held from August 13th to 16th, 2016 in Port-au-Prince. The first cohort of participants, the “elanistes”, have created relevant projects that are still ongoing, and became an active network who have led a number of institutions working in Haiti to choose the platform to identify the best young resources currently focused on positive change in the country.                 

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Elan Haiti is formed from a series of reflections, lectures, tours, workshops and roundtables which are devoted to engaged discussion among young students, active leaders, and changemakers, while promoting concrete actions in favor of the positive development of Haiti. For the second edition, four main topics are chosen: Agriculture, Employment, Climate Change and Technology. The aim is to channel exchanges between young project holders, speakers and experts.

Elan Haiti also aims to reveal the potential of unifying the youth through networking, as well as the creation of action plans whose implementation will be supervised by the Support to Youth Initiatives Department (DSIJ) of Groupe ECHO Haiti, the mother organization that Marc co-founded and led after the earthquake in 2010, in partnership with SOFIHDES, a renowned private development finance corporation in Haiti.

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The symposium is currently accepting applications. Applicants should be:

     - Between age 18 and 30
     - Demonstrate interest to help the progress of Haiti
     - Demonstrate leadership capabilities
​     - Willing to work and cooperate with diverse groups
     - Willing to commit  to executing a project for at least one year following the event
     - Able to communicate in French and/or Creole and/or English
     - D
emonstrate excellent interpersonal skills
     - Project a credible image of a young ambassador

All candidates must apply on the event’s website.

Despite the difficult conditions in Haiti, young people should still be encouraged to get involved in order to showcase the potential of the country. The initiators of ELAN Haiti have dared to get involved and invite young Haitians to be more involved. Many are still wondering how to bring new ideas to a country that is searching for itself in a globalised world and struggling to find models. How do you build sustainable bridges with the diaspora who desperately wants to reconnect with their home country. How do you co-habitate with an international community that is still trying to understand Haiti? How do you create relevant partnerships that will benefit from the expertise both within and outside the borders? How do you innovate on the entrepreneurial front as well as in the social movements? What is the role of the youth in this context? Those youths that are interconnected, modern, clever with technology and eager to explore new challenges with the world.

The answers to these questions may take a while to come but in the meantime, under the spotlight of Haitian and international media, Marc and his collaborators at ELAN Haiti have proposed a clear solution. They are already changing the fundamentals of interactions among the future generations in contact with Haiti for a more prosperous future.