Friends of Utah: Guylande Mesadieu

Ms. Guylande Mesadieu of Haiti visited Utah in June 2018. As an advocate for human rights in Haiti — particularly the rights of women and children — Ms. Mesadieu was an ideal candidate to take part in the Youth and Civic Activism program which focuses on teaching techniques to involve adolescents in community engagement.

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While in Utah, Ms. Mesadieu states that she had the opportunity to learn about Utah’s culture as well as American social, economic, and political life. She also had the opportunity to learn from many different organizations focused on strengthening civic engagement among young people. One such organization was YouthWorks which teaches at-risk teens valuable job skills and a sense of commitment to the community. Ms. Mesadieu also met with the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics which strives to teach higher education students the principle of citizen involvement in government by hosting discussions and facilitating internships with various organizations.

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Meeting with the Hinkley Institute of Politics and University Neighborhood Partners, two organizations dedicated to cultivating civic engagement.

Since returning to Port-au-Prince, Ms. Mesadieu shared her experiences in the United States with her work team at the Zanmi Timoun Foundation, an organization working to promote the empowerment of displaced and vulnerable children in Haiti and seeking to end “restavek,” a domestic servitude system. Ms. Mesadieu also started a project working with young volunteers to instill values of public-spiritedness and appreciation for environmental protection. She assures Utah Global Diplomacy that everything she has learned in the IVLP will serve to strengthen the democratic process in Haiti. She is grateful to have been a part of the IVLP and she thanks everyone for their warm welcome.