Video and Story By Lilith Dorsey
Charles Forbin was appointed the Consul General of Haiti in November 2011 by former Haitian President Michel Martelly.
In Forbin’s five years thus far of service, he has implemented several measures to make the Consulate Offices in NYC more useful and available to the Haitian people in the area, including:
Extended hours, which was prompted by an elevator ride where he met a woman who didn’t have her needs met; this led him to extend hours to 6 p.m. daily and open on Saturday.
Home services, which caters to elderly and handicapped of the NYC Haitian community. Forbin said family members are able to call the Consulate and make appointments for their aunts, grandparents, etc. A consul agent is sent to their homes to obtain signatures and photos for passports.
Spring Break Program, where Forbin worked closely with airliner Jet Blue to allow students to travel to Haiti during their spring break vacations.
The area served by the NYC branch of the Haitian Consulate is vast. It serves 1.2 million Haitian-Americans in NYC, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania area.
The office, which is located on the 6th floor of 815 Second Avenue in NYC, provides a variety of services beyond visas and passports. Forbin urges the local community to come to the office and get involved with what is happening, such as events like the one for Flag Day on May 18.
Forbin said that it’s his job to “take care of the community” and “bring the culture of my country” to the Haitians and Haitian diaspora of NYC and surrounding states.
Forbin said that he does his job “from the bottom of his heart.” However, the future is uncertain, but Forbin would like to remain in his post, he said. With political instability in Haiti, the country remains without a president, and a transitional government is coming into play.
But, whatever happens he hopes that the programs he has started will continue.
General Consulate of Haiti in New York City
815 2nd Avenue, 6th floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 697- 9767
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania