Cheyney University Blog

Learning Her Stories – Expanding Our Consciousnesses

March 04, 2010

Marie Carmèle Rose-Anne Auguste – Haiti

Marie Carmèle Rose-Anne Auguste – Haiti

March is Women’s History Month, and it is an excellent time to remind us of the need to expand our consciousness as humans by learning some of her stories – about individuals who have helped to shape our collective realities, our connected futures, and the future of our global community.

Because of the recent earthquake in Haiti, the world’s response for Haitian relief, and the growing awareness of the need to rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure, it seems an appropriate time to learn more about some of the women of Haiti and their stories.

Thus, I became interested in learning more about her stories in Haiti. There are so many remarkable women and men to learn about, and I could not help but wonder why I did not know more about their stories and how their stories connect with our stories before now.

I was particularly touched by the story of Rose-Anne Auguste. From the reports about her, Rose-Anne Auguste was born in November 1963 in Jeremie. She studied at Port-au Prince’s Lucien College and earned her baccalaureate degree in 1984, and in 1988, she earned her nursing diploma from the National School of Nursing. The more I learned about Ms. Auguste, the more I compared her life to what was happening in my life in the 1980’s—it was evident that we were worlds apart in much more than geography.

Rose-Anne Auguste’s career seems to have included working in a number of non-governmental agencies in Haiti. What appears to be different in her life from most of our lives is that she lived through a military coup in 1991 and is reported to have risked her safety to rescue patients from the State University Hospital and keep the hospital operating.

In the Reebok Human Rights Programs website, they state that the State University Hospital was Haiti’s only trauma facility, and this facility was shut down sometime during the coup. The website states, “ a nurse and a human rights activist named Rose-Anne Auguste took an axe, broke the door, and reopened the hospital. She convinced a number of physicians and nurses to work with her and acted as de facto hospital director for several days until she was removed by the military. But that didn’t deter her commitment to providing health care for poverty stricken Haitians.” *

In 1992, Rose-Anne Auguste founded the Women’s Health Clinic, in association with Partners in Health Organization. My daughter, Madelyn, was about three years old then, and I was working at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania—separated by geography and an awareness of their stories and some of their struggles in Haiti. In 1994, Rose Ann Auguste was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Award; it is reported that she donated this award to support destitute women in Haiti. Today, Rose-Anne Auguste is reported to live in Canada.

What touches me about the story of Rose-Anne Auguste is her courage in face of personal danger and her persistent attempts to improve health care and to eliminate human rights abuses in Haiti. During her acts of courage, Rose-Anne Auguste was a young woman. Getting to know her story helps to underscore our global connectedness. There are reported to be about half a million Haitian Americans in the United States of America. There are many more stories we need to know! Think what learning these stories could mean to my 20 year old daughter and her generation!


Tags: Haiti , healthcare , human rights , Rose-Anne Auguste

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It is very inspiring to have someone like Rose-Anne Auguste who champions human rights for her fellow countrymen. Aside from putting her life in danger it did not stop her determination to help people. Especially for Haiti that is struggling and now hit by a disaster. Hope that every country who suffers have a Rose-Anne Auguste. So inspiring.
human rights act 9:41AM 03/22/11
Thank you for this inspirational story about Ms. Auguste's courage and determination to improve the lives of others in Haiti.
P Smith | CPHQ Exam Preparation 5:03AM 01/08/11
That is indeed a touching story about Rose-Anne Auguste. Expanding consciousness is the path of life. Sometimes that involves going to graduate school to expand your consciousness, or perhaps an overseas trip to expand the awareness of our global connectivities.
Anderson | GRE Review Course 9:14PM 08/10/10



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