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Building peace across Haiti's border

August 2009: Plan’s ground-breaking peace camps on the Haiti and Dominican Republic border are helping youngsters to move away from violence, tackle prejudice and foster trust.

Although they share an island, the people of Haiti and their neighbours in the Dominican Republic have historically had a difficult relationship. The mutual animosity comes from a number of factors, including economic co-dependence, racism, and longstanding prejudices between the two nations.

The markets along the border areas are the lifeblood for both communities, bringing them together through necessity and opportunity. Tensions can be high at these border towns where many Haitians have reported abuse by authorities, random deportation and physical violence from their Dominican counterparts.

This video shows how Plan’s cross-border peace camps are easing hostilities by reaching out to children and youths, helping  them to foster friendship, solidarity and trust so that they have a chance to learn about each other first hand and not inherit the biases of their forefathers. 

So far, the results have been positive on both sides and touched wider society. The ‘Friendship Games,’ sponsored by the Haitian and Dominican Olympic Committees are a prime example of how Plan’s work has brought real change.

As Juan Mateo, President of the Elias Piña (DR) Sporting Union said, the cross-border programme “opened the doors for us – so we could get to the Haitian towns and have a fraternity with the Haitians through sport.”