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20 • The Optimist
The Optimist organization is truly international and Members are committed to “bringing out the best in kids” all over the world. Early in the 2013-2014 year, Canadian Service Centre staff member, Jeff Moïse traveled to Port-au-Prince, the capital of the “Pearl of the Antilles,” better known as Haiti. He participated in the installation of the Club Optimiste International - Haïti with its President Jean Julmé Alexandre and 15 new Optimist Members.
The ceremony took place at the Club’s offce located in the Delmas district of Port-au-Prince and was streamed live through Skype to the Montreal offce. Canadian staff members delivered a warm welcome of encouragement and thanks to the new Club. Welcome folders, pins and the offcial Club charter were personally presented to each Optimist by Jeff. The sponsoring Clubs of St-Pierre, St-Jérôme and Little Haiti graciously offered to contribute the offcial Optimist banners, including the Creed and Immediate Past President J.C. St-Onge’s “For the Future” to the Club at no cost.
Club President Jean is Director of the FENACAH, a national federation of local elected offcials that fosters close relations with the mayors of other Haitian cities and numerous other cities in the world’s francophone or French-speaking community. The Mayor of Montreal and other offcials from the municipal sector are involved in a memorandum of understanding, which plans to improve relationships between Haitian communities and Canadian municipal organizations. The arrangement is "to improve local governance, through increased citizen participation in local decisions."
Projects conducted by the Club Optimiste International – Haïti are focused on increasing the involvement of young people in their community by training them to become educated citizens. A workshop was held to help young people develop technical computer skills, as well as social abilities by instilling in them a sense of respect, honesty and solidarity. President Jean is committed to forming a new generation of young politically active Haitians by taking advantage of political and international networks available to the Club.
The most important project for this Optimist Club is to renovate a library to provide more workstations and computer accessibility, so young people will have the chance to communicate with others, be exposed to new ideas and further their education.
Introducing the New Club
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