Civil society organizations from the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti promote sports, education, art and culture to strengthen good relations and understanding between the two countries, as part of the Binational Cooperation Program, financed by the European Union.
The projects are implemented by Fundación Frontera Sur, World Vision, Fondation Culture Creation, Fondation Haiti Jazz and Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL), with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development in the Dominican Republic; and the National Office of the European Development Funds (BONFED) in Haiti.
This initiative is being developed with an investment of 1,703,486 euros. The European Union contributes 90.5% of the funds and social organizations the remaining 9.5%.
The projects are carried out in Haitian and Dominican border towns, as well as in the capitals of both nations, Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince. In addition, there are actions in other Dominican and Haitian cities, such as Puerto Plata and Jacmel, respectively.
“The initiatives are developed together with the authorities and social organizations of each community. Binational dialogues are promoted at different levels between representatives of sectors of culture, art, education, sports and social communication to exchange knowledge between both nations,” said the Vice Minister of Cooperation, Olaya Dotel.
Charles Jean Jacques, National Authorizing Officer for European funds in Haiti, highlighted the importance of art in promoting peace, coexistence and development in his country as well as in the Dominican Republic.
Pierre-Yves Baulain and Bérénice Muraille, acting heads of cooperation for the European Union in the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, said: “The Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti, like the rest of the insular Caribbean, have a great cultural and artistic wealth. Sharing knowledge is key to creating new artistic works and processes that will surely strengthen cultural exchange, not only between the Haitian and Dominican peoples, with the beauty, energy and creativity of their artistic manifestations, but also throughout the Caribbean”.
World Vision coordinates the project “Dominican and Haiti in good neighborliness”, which is being implemented in the Northeast Department of the Republic of Haiti; and in the provinces of Independencia, Dajabón and Montecristi of the Dominican Republic.
This project seeks to provide students, teachers and members of social organizations in the border area with a better understanding of binational relations in matters related to history, the environment and social development.
In addition, the organization aims to improve the skills of teachers, students and community leaders in peace building, conflict management and mediation, and interculturalism.
Educating through the arts
Fondation Culture Creation implements the project “Educating through the arts: the foundation for a better coexistence between Haitians and Dominicans” in the northeastern department of the Republic of Haiti and the province of Dajabón in the Dominican Republic.
The organization builds a network of educational institutions, directors of institutions and socio-cultural educators at the binational level and finances educational and cultural programs.
In addition, this project seeks to organize working groups that bring together Dominican and Haitian sociocultural educators by discipline, and to facilitate training courses for the implementation of animation projects with children and adolescents.
These actions include a visibility component to place culture at the heart of the debate on binational relations. Particular attention will be paid to the press, as journalists will be invited to participate in debates and forums.
Binational Cultural Dialogue
The “Binational Cultural Dialogue”, coordinated by the Haiti Jazz Foundation, is taking place in the Haitian cities of Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Anse-a-Pitre; and in the Dominican cities of Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, La Vega and Pedernales.
To facilitate dialogue, activities will be carried out to increase exchanges between artists from different disciplines and bearers of traditions from both countries. Meetings between heads of organizations and professionals of the two nations will also be encouraged in order to create a climate conducive to the development of alliances in the field of culture.