Mr. Parnel Beauvoir, 1964 - 2010
Public Information Officer (Haiti)
Parnel Beauvoir, a national of Haiti, worked as a Public Information Officer for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) since February 2007.
Parnel was born in Jérémie, a coastal town and the regional capital of Grand’Anse, on the mountainous Tiburon peninsula. He attended school in Port-au-Prince at the Grand séminaire catholique in Cazeau and then attended the Ecole normale supérieure.
He then obtained a certificate in journalism from the Institut français d’Haïti, ideal credentials for gaining employment with Radio Men Kontre, a Catholic church radio station for the diocese of Les Cayes, where he worked for over two years before embarking on a career in education.
Parnel worked at the Lycée Rivière Hérard in Torbeck from 1995 to 2007 where, as headmaster, he was not only responsible for the smooth running of the school but also for the well-being of its 500 pupils and 35 staff. During that time, he established the organization “Coopérative des enseignants des Cayes” and was its president from 1995 to 2002.
In keeping with his long-standing interest in human rights, Parnel pursued an undergraduate degree at the Centre d’enseignement supérieur technologique, now the Université publique du Sud au Cayes, receiving his license in law in 2003.
Two years later, he received a scholarship to study human rights at the Institut international des droits de l’homme in Strasbourg, France.
From 2002 to 2007, as Director-General of the Institut National d’appui et de promotion à l’entraide à la solidarité et à la coopération pour le triomphe des libertés et des droits de l’homme, a human rights organization in Les Cayes, he and a colleague dispensed legal advice on human rights. Parnel spoke Creole, French, English and Spanish.
Parnel was deeply concerned about the plight of street children, as evidenced by the following message posted by him on an online message board: “Les enfants sont l’avenir du monde. Occupons-nous d’eux positivement aujourd’hui pour un meilleur lendemain.” (Children are the future of the world. Let’s take care of them today for a better tomorrow.)
A colleague remembered hearing Parnel speak at a meeting where his speaking ability so impressed Jean Jacques Simon, the former head of Radio MINUSTAH FM, that he was prompted to offer Parnel a job in MINUSTAH’s Public Outreach and Advocacy Unit.
Parnel had a home in Les Cayes, which he loved. A colleague said, “He would spend every single day-off there. He loved his hometown so much. He was a fine man and a dear friend. He was the funniest person I ever met. We used to go home in the same car with another colleague. He always had some joke to tell us.”
Another colleague added that “the towns of Les Cayes and Torbeck are mourning the loss of one of their most cherished citizens. His death has created a huge void in these communities.”
Parnel is survived by his wife Monique, son Parny Martino, 14, and two daughters Monica Stephie, 11, and Claire Lizzie, 2.