News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Feb. 22, 2018: A teenage lover of the former Haiti director of UK charitable organization, Oxfam, says he liked lesbian shows and would pick up young women in Pétion-Ville and take them back to his villa.
Mikelange Gabou, who was 16 when she started a sexual relationship with Roland van Hauwermeiren, the charity’s director for Haiti who resigned in late 2011, told the Times of London that van Hauwermeiren “liked playing music and also he liked a lot of shows … women with women. Lesbian shows.”
Van Hauwermeiren, then 61, met Gabou, a teenage mother, as she peddled spaghetti, milk and other things in the streets of Haiti, The Times report said.
Gabou said van Hauwermeiren helped her a lot, giving her money and he did that for other girls as well. She, however, denied that the girls he picked up were prostitutes.
“He used to help me but he had a lot of girls, and they used to arrive in pairs. It might be that he had sex with them and promised to find them a job, or sometimes he gave money or didn’t give them money. They were not sex workers. The situation obliged them,” she was quoted as saying.
Oxfam Apology To Haiti’s Government
The latest revelation comes as Oxfam officials apologized officially for the first time this week to Haiti’s government; more than a week after the sexual misconduct scandal report broke.
“We’ve communicated that to the minister and we’ve given as best we can explanations as to what happened in 2011,” Simon Ticehurst, Oxfam’s regional director, told reporters on Monday, after meeting Aviol Fleurant, Haiti’s minister of planning and external cooperation.
According to a 2011 internal probe by Oxfam, also released on Monday, seven employees left the organization as a result of the investigation. Four staff members were fired, and three others, including van Hauwermeiren, were allowed to resign over the allegations, the report revealed. The internal inquiry also said that a witness during the investigation may have been physically threatened by three of the men suspected of abuse.
“Oxfam admits the use of prostitutes by their staff in 2011, they admitted with all the evidence,” Fleurant said. “They even used their offices for such activities. Now we are working to see if there was a cover-up, because their report never made it to the Haitian authorities.”
Haiti Suspends Oxfam
Haiti has suspended Oxfam from operating in the country amid an investigation into the charity’s sex scandal.
The Caribbean nation’s government announced Oxfam has had its authorisation to work in Haiti revoked for at least two months over “serious failings” between 2010 and 2011.
Aviol Fleurant, Haiti’s minister of planning and external cooperation, said the country is investigating whether anyone from Oxfam sexually abused minors.
A government statement said: “These reprehensible acts, alleged crimes, acknowledged by the perpetrators as well as the NGO, are a serious violation of the dignity of the Haitian people.”
A final decision on Oxfam’s authorization to work in Haiti will be made at a later date.