Source: AUN News
Since July 8th, there has been increased violence in Cité Solei, particularly in Brooklyn, where I currently reside. Everyone is under a lot of stress, and there is a lot of street violence. Most of the time, we cannot leave our homes, and there is no traffic entering or leaving the neighborhood.
Numerous issues are brought on by this, including a shortage of food and water. Although I occasionally have food to share with my neighbors, many individuals go without it. The price of the meager amount of drinking water has increased.
When someone leaves the house, we greet them in our Creole language by saying “pride,” which means to be cautious. However, this greeting has lost all of its meaning in today’s world, where life is risky. You may believe your home is safe, but the bullets in our neighborhood know every street and lane.
We start to fear that a friend or family member who escapes the Cité Soleil has been killed if we don’t hear from them during the day. This makes our already stressful lives even more stressful.
Battling for a straightforward, everyday life
Despite this, I do hold out some hope and generally remain optimistic. My job with the Comite Consultatif des Jeunes, a youth organization, is assisting me in getting through this trying time.
The group plans events that draw youth from Cité Soleil and two other competing gang-controlled neighborhoods, Saint-Martin and Bel-Air. We gather a large group of kids to play board games like chess, listen to music, or participate in sports.
We collaborate with young men and women to create networks of friendship and support throughout the larger community. In a sense, as the warfare goes on all around us, we are fighting for a straightforward, everyday existence in which one can go out with friends, look for employment, or launch a modest business. Naturally, none of these activities have been completed over the past two weeks.
I see myself as a leader and am dedicated to working with young people to better their lives. I feel empowered and more confident because I’m a committee member, along with the other nine people.
Since nothing will happen if no one hears us, we want to be heard outside Cité Soleil. We won’t be forgotten if people in other parts of Port-au-Prince, or anywhere in the globe, listen to us, and we can work together to improve our lives.
*Not his real name
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network