Communication Arts’ Student Creates a “Win-Win” Cultural Exchange


Originally interested in pre-med, Fabiah Lherisson found that she was drawn to communication courses, particularly intercultural and interpersonal communication, and this ultimately led to her decision to change her major. A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she wanted to share the experience of Haitian life – through its most valuable resource, the children – with her fellow students.  In 2011 Lherisson, now a Communication Arts senior, created a foundation intended to raise students’ awareness of other cultures and promote intercultural communication and exchange.

Calling it Win-Win Global, she set about raising funds and planning a trip for FIU students to visit her native Haiti.  This fall she took a group of 14 FIU students to Haiti for a 10-day visit centered around instructional seminars at the Kingdom of Kids Orphanage and the K-12 school, College Jean Rigauld Antoine.  Educational topics were related to the FIU students’ major subject areas and interests and designed to meet curricular needs of the Haitian schools.

Lherisson and Win-Win Global partnered with FIU’s Haitian Student Organization (HSO) to bring the 14 students to Haiti for the week-long project. Like its name implies, the Win-Win Global trip was structured to benefit both the young Haitian students and the FIU students.  In addition to teaching, the FIU group got to enjoy the beaches, museums, local restaurants and historical sights of the Haitian capital and surrounding countryside. This not only helped them become future ambassadors for Haiti based on their positive experience of the country, but gave them a “win-win” “half work, half play” experience.

Each student developed and led a workshop on a topic related to his or her major and career goals. Win- Win Global advisors worked with the FIU students in the month prior to traveling to structure their workshops and hone their presentation skills to make sure they were effectively communicating their ideas and scaling the lessons to the Haitian students’ grade level. Topics ranged from health (HIV/ STD spread and prevention), to English language basics, and the effects of pollution on the individual and the population.

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