A blog by Dan Moen
This was an off day for us. We slept in- got breakfast in bed….no not really. I did want to mention or say something about food we were served. I can’t tell you what exactly we were served but it was delicious. All of the food was freshly made at the compound and harvest locally. I believe the rice might have been imported? I never experienced any GI problems and didn’t hear of anyone in our group having any issues.
Sometime between the 13th, 14th and 15th we had a number speakers present their MPP programs.
- Gary or Saint-Luc Zoanus who was the youth coordinator. They divide the youth into 5-10 yr and 10-15 yrs old and finally 15 to 30 yrs old. They meet often to talk about issues such as agronomy, MPP, and gender issues– similar to what all groups discuss.
- We also met Gistaine St. Fileur, director of the Women’s Program. Because we had trouble pronouncing her name we all addressed her as Madame. She did have regal presents about her–wisdom. When the MPP began in 1973 they did not have a woman’s program she explained. In 1980 the first woman group was founded. In 1998 MPP had its first women’s congress. Currently there are 20,000 women in MPP. They meet to discuss agronomy, violence against woman and other topics. Madame currently serves on MPP’s executive council.
- Finally, I wanted to mention we met with Philelflant. He was a substitute for the head of MPP Chavennes Jean-Baptiste who travelling internationally. He is third person on MPP’s executive council. The man like Madame spent at least a couple of hours answering any of our questions.
Let me repeat a couple of his discussion highlights:
- The UN has been in Haiti for 10 yrs and needs to go. “They gave us Cholera (killing 8,000), raped our woman and small boys. MPP like what UNICEF has done in Haiti”.
- They initially supported the current president of Haiti, Michel Martelly because he said he would help farmers. He has not helped and the MPP no longer support him. He hopes there will be an election soon. The international community is placing a lot of pressure on Martelly to have election.
- (My question here, is MMP vulnerable to the government?) He doesn’t believe the government will become overtly hostile to MPP. MPP is too large and connected to other international peasant movement.
- Like every speaker we met during our week he is very grateful for the help he has received from UUSC. He especially thankful for our visit and that we stand in support of MPP.
- MPP is against Monsanto’s GMO. GMO do not allow a country to become self-sustainable. It is not organic and more…..