June 26, 2009

Haitian University President Calls on Nation to Work Together

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance
June 25, 2009

Jules Casseus, president of the Northern Haiti Christian University (UCNH), made an impassioned call to Haitians to work together for national reconstruction.

"The future of this country depends on us Haitians-not foreigners - and it is up to us to save the homeland," declared Casseus, who was speaking at the recent graduation exercise of UCNH, formerly known as Haiti Baptist Theological Seminary and renamed in 1993.

UCNH, founded by the Baptist Convention of Haiti, a member body of the Baptist World Alliance, is a private, Christian four-year university located in Limbe, in the largely under-served rural north of Haiti, about one hour outside the city of Cap-Haitien. It is one of only a handful of colleges located outside of a major Haitian city, and seeks to meet the need for higher education among the less wealthy. The university's major programs are agriculture (agronomy), business & computer science, fine arts & Christian leadership, and theology.

Casseus, the author of several books, including "Haiti What Kind of Church....What Kind of Freedom?" and "Elements of Haitian Theology," decried individualism, mismanagement, and environmental degradation in the Caribbean country. "The case of Haiti remains a clinical case," he said. "We hurt ourselves by our ignorance, our individualism and our irresponsibility that make our living conditions worse."

Deforestation and soil erosion continue to cause severe problems; agricultural production continues to decline and give way to imports; and "the accelerated migration of our Haitian brothers seems to have no limit. They continue to leave the country en masse," Casseus said.

"Those responsible for public administration continue to put their personal advantage before the country and corruption is rampant," he declared. "The principles of respect for others, the right and duty of the citizen, human rights, and justice is no longer observed," Casseus pronounced.

In a call to action, he told the students, faculty, staff and guests at the graduation ceremony, "We must continue to deploy more efforts to reach the new Haitian society that we dream of for the twenty-first century, and the third centenary of our first black republic."


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