Haiti Libre – Monday, 31 March 2014 (originally published 23 Mar)
This Friday, as part of the “International Women of Courage” program, initiated for 3 years by the State Department to recognize the initiatives and actions undertaken by women around the world who play a prominent role in their society, Pamela White, Ambassador of the United States in Haiti, during a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy, has awarded this year the adward “Woman of Courage Haiti 2014” to Ms. Colette Lespinasse, Coordinator of Support Group for Returnees and Refugees (GARR), who has dedicated his professional life to advocating in favor of immigrants and Haitian women and contributed to better relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as for her active participation in the socio-political life in Haiti.
In his speech Ambassador White emphasized “Colette Lespinasse is a model for a new generation of young women and girls all over Haiti. I really hope that his experience of work in the social with farmers, women, returnees, those who live in poor neighborhoods and communities of the Haitian-Dominican border will be a source of inspiration not only for women, but for the Haitian people so they are more involved in their communities in their region and their country.”
For her part, Ms. Colette Lespinasse declared “This award which is granted to me today by the Embassy of the United States, is a form of recognition of the importance of the issue of the rights of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic,in a context where worldwide, voices are being raised to denounce the judgment 168-13, that the Dominican Constitutional Court has adopted in order to remove the nationality of several son and grand-son of these Haitians. I thank Ambassador Pamela White and I hope this distinction will attract even more attention to the situation of these immigrants to a definitive solution to this problem” . . .