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VOA Revamps Programs to Haiti

Members of the VOA Creole Service staff. (Left to Right) Service Chief Ronald Cesar, Lyonel Desmarattes, Jean Pierre Leroy, Jacques Jean Baptiste, Coralie St. Louis, and Jean Robert Philippe.

New shows will address vital issues and bring the latest news and information to the Caribbean nation.

Voice of America’s Creole Service updates its lineup of programs to Haiti this week, with new segments focused on engaging its increasingly youthful audience and examining critical issues including the economy, health, public safety and education.

Each weekday, three one-hour radio programs will bring the latest news and information to the Caribbean nation and discuss key issues with experts. Two of the programs are call-in shows that will provide listeners with a forum to question studio guests and politicians every Wednesday and Friday at noon. On weekends, listeners can tune in to two new half-hour programs each day.

Monday, the Creole Service spoke with Dr. Wiener Bastien, a Miami-based physician who discussed ways to treat blindness and offered advice to mothers on how they can protect their children from developing eye problems. Coming programs will focus on the rebuilding of key Haitian institutions, including the education and judicial systems, which are still struggling following the deadly earthquake in January of 2010.

VOA Creole Service Chief Ronald Cesar says the new programs “are aimed at giving voice to Haitians as they rebuild the country and will address critical issues facing young people, who now make up about half the country’s population.” In addition, Cesar says the service will take advantage of social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, to allow the audience to share ideas and contribute to the programs. Segments on personal safety and food safety are also planned.

The one-hour weekday programs air at 7:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 5:00 PM. The weekend shows air at 12:30 and 5:00 PM. Voice of America programs are carried by AM and FM affiliate stations in Haiti and are streamed on the Internet.