Polish Language Lessons in Cazale Haiti

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Flags depicting Polish help for Polish language lessons in Cazale

School children in Cazale are learning the language of their Polish forefathers

Articles about Haiti on this website

Part 1. Polish Soldiers in Haiti and their legacy

Part 2. Polish Haitians in Cazale, Haiti.

Part 3. Children in Cazale, Haiti.

Part 4. Polish language lessons in Cazale. That’s this article.

You can read this article in other languages via Google Translate

French
Haitian Creole
Polish

Fundraiser for the Repairer of the Breaches School

This article also acts as a fundraiser for the Repairer of the Breaches School in Cazale. Details of how you can donate to help fund the school are at the foot of this article.

Introduction – Polish language lessons in Cazale, Haiti

Derismont Roobens is Head Teacher at the Repairer of the Breaches School in the village of Cazale, Haiti. Derismont has registered his school with the Center for the Development of Polish Education Abroad, referred to in Polish as ORPEG (Ośrodek Rozwoju Polskiej Edukacji za Granicą).

This is a significant achievement since recognition by ORPEG paved the way for Poland to finance a Polish language teacher and some of the computer infrastructure that enables the children to receive Polish language lessons through distance learning.

Additionally, in the future, Poland has plans to receive Haitian Polish speakers from the Repairer of the Breaches School for grant-aided further education in Poland.

More information about about Polish language lessons in Cazale in the associated video on Twitter

You can watch the full video on Śladami Polonii’s YouTube channel. If you are unable to follow along in Polish, you can see English captions by changing the YouTube settings as follows: Click or touch the YouTube CC (closed captions) icon. By default, you will see closed captions in Polish. Next, click or touch the cog icon. In the dialogue box that shows, click or touch on Subtitles/CC(2) and then click or touch the right arrow and choose English (United States).

I highly recommend the full length version of this excellent video presentation by Mateusz Jakubowski. It offers you a unique insight of life in Cazale and of educational achievements that the children have already achieved.

What you can find out from the video

Watch the children learning Polish, meet the Head Teacher Derismont Roobens, English language teacher Jody Lenz, Polish language teacher Ewa Beczek and Małgorzata Kilanowicz (translator who facilitated the school’s registration with ORPEG).

School children learn videography in Cazale

Videography teaching in Cazale

A videography class in Cazale

Image copyright © Krzysztof Szybiński

Background Information. Why are there people of Polish descent in Cazale?

I have written in detail about this in my first Haiti article entitled Polish Soldiers in Haiti and their legacy. During 1802 and 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte sent approximately 5,000 Polish Legion troops to the French colony of Saint-Domingue (today known as Haiti) to assist French forces in quelling the insurrection of Black slaves against the French colonisers. Some Polish soldiers switched sides and faught on the side of the Black revolutionaries.

After the revolution was won in 1804, the 500 or so Polish soldiers remaining on the island (the remainder had died in battle and through tropical diseases) had their rights enshrined by Article 13 of the constitution of independent Haiti. While 175 Poles decided to leave Haiti for Poland, the remainder stayed on the island, married Haitian women and worked the land.

As mentioned in my first article about Haiti, through assimilation, the Polish language would have most likely died a natural death quite quickly. In the immediate period after settlement, the first generation of Poles would very likely have become bilingual in Haitian Creole and Polish. No one in Haiti speaks Polish as a first language.

Why is there great interest in learning Polish by contemporary Cazaliens?

The main area of Polish settlement was Cazale. Other areas of Polish settlement on the island included Fond BlancFond des Blancs, Port Salut and Gri Gri. The descendants of the Polish legionnaires are very aware and fiercely proud of their Polish heritage.

How you can help fund the school and Polish language lessons in Cazale

In the full length video you can listen to Derismont Roobens outlining the funding issues that the school faces – and this is where you can help the Repairer of the Breaches School.

The link below will take you to the Repairer of the Breaches School website, where you will find a contact/donate link. If you visit on a mobile phone, click on or touch the “menu” icon to see the link.

Once on the donate/contact page, you will see donate link, which will take you to a Paypal payment page. There is also the choice of payment using your debit or credit card.

On the PayPal payment page, you can choose from the following options on how you would like your donation to be used:

  • Teacher Support
  • Vocational School Sponsorship
  • Vocational School Supplies

Your donation, however great or small, will be invaluable in helping the school and children with their learning.

Further reading – Articles about Haiti on this website

Part 1. Polish Soldiers in Haiti and their legacy

Part 2. Polish Haitians in Cazale, Haiti.

Part 3. Children in Cazale, Haiti.

Part 4. Polish language lessons in Cazale. That’s this article.

External Links

Use the ORPEG automatic website translation facility to read the content in your language.

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