Friday, October 07, 2005
Aménold Pierre, 29 years old, is from La Vallée Jacmel, near the Southern coast of Haiti. His parents, both peasant farmers, never had the chance to learn how to read and write, making his path to become UNIF Professor of Agronomy all the more remarkable.
After completing his primary studies in La Vallée, he went to Port-au-Prince for secondary school. With the help of a priest from his hometown and the support of an older brother, he was able to go to Panama to pursue a university education in Agronomy. He arrived March 4th 1998 speaking very little Spanish, and started courses just 11 days later. “It was very had at first,” he remarks, “but I learned how to read well and spent all of my time in the library.”
Upon graduating in 2003, he returned to Haiti and was informed about UNIF by a childhood friend. He started by teaching courses on Thursdays and Fridays, working in Port-au-Prince the rest of the week. His dedication to his students is admirable; he once got stuck in Léogane on the way to Fondwa, sleeping overnight in a broken-down truck before finding a ride in time for class the next morning.
Amenold has big plans for UNIF and his home community of La Vallée. He currently has a weekly radio program called ‘An Evening of Agriculture,’ and is the General Director of an organization called ‘Movement for the Economic Recovery of La Vallée.’ His professional interest is the business aspect of agriculture; he has already started a technical school in La Vallée, and would eventually like to do a Masters in Environmental Management. Of UNIF, he says that it can be a model of sustainable economic development both for Haiti and other poor countries. “If UNIF fulfills its promise,” he says, “I will feel proud to know I have been a part of its development.”