Greetings from BEAUTIFUL Haiti!
I have had the privilege of living here for the past 3+ months. Residing in Haiti full time certainly has changed my perspective on Haitian development and aid. The perspective I had previously from short trips a week at a time is very different from the reality of living here. But one thing remains, Hope is alive and well in Haiti! This country is Beautiful, not just because of sunsets and sunrises blanketed with high mountains and palm trees or a calendar worthy deserted beach with gently lapping waves… but because the people make it so. Haitians are, by nature, giving, kind, congenial and hard working.
After the earthquake, amidst the chaos, the temporary fix was mass handouts. This was necessary and important for short-term survival, but that time has long since passed. Haitians want and need jobs. With unemployment as high as 80% in some parts of the country, Haitians are looking for training. They want to earn the right to provide for their families, to have a sense of dignity. The focus now for most organizations is long-term sustainability. How does this happen? Providing training and jobs. Haitians are eager to learn and excited to put to practice what they’ve learned.
I spent an afternoon with International Disaster Volunteers and their students at the English in Mind English school. They are a fun bunch if I’ve ever seen one. They are serious about learning English and they have a great time doing it. They incorporate songs, stories and a lot of laughing. This was a refreshing site visit for me because the students wanted to have a Q&A session with me. It was so much fun letting them pick my brain (as they proudly referred to it in English idiom) and allow me to ask questions. They ended the session by asking what advice I would give Haiti regarding “the changes that need to be made”. My reply was simple. We have an America, we have Germany, France, England, et al… We don’t need another one. But we do need a strong Haiti. Make the changes that need to be made regarding infrastructure of the country, but don’t let it change who you are as a culture.
REBUILDGlobally is another such organization making super cool flip-flops out of trash tires. They are providing jobs for locals in and around Port au Prince. Many of the men and women working there have been able to take their kids back from poverty orphan care, buy land and move their families from tent cities to a new home. More over, 2 of the employees have been promoted from shoemakers to manager of operations and manager of the local sales store. The men and women were provided training and are now teaching others what they’ve learned.
Hats off to the men and women of Haiti and the visiting NGO’s working hard to preserve a culture while advancing an economy!! Keep up the good work!
While we enjoyed the hot summer days with outdoor sports and barbeques we were even more aware of the beautiful environment we live in. It’s a time of year that reminds us that we share the land with animals (domestic and wild) and it’s our duty to take care of the land and the animals we share it with. This is always the focus of our R.O.A.R. partners. Here is an update from some of our partners over the summer:National Wildlife Federation’s Adopt a Wildlife Acre project focuses on bighorn sheep in addition to the bears and wolves its work is more commonly associated with. When domestic sheep come into contact with bighorn sheep, there is strong potential for disease transmission and die-offs of the bighorn population, so National Wildlife Federation negotiates with livestock producers to help reduce such disease transmission. EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation recently inducted a pony named Tumbleweed (1982-2012) into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame. After an initial show career in the small pony hunters, Tumbles, as she was nicknamed, entered a lesson program in Connecticut. The thrived so much as a school horse that she was often used as a therapeutic horse for physical therapy patients. Jane Goodall Institute recently transferred a Tchimpounga chimpanzee named Kudia to its lush island sactuary in the Republic of Congo, Tchindzoulou Island. It took six men to carry her into the forest, where she will now be able to make nests, sleep in trees, run on the damp ground, eat wild fruits, play, and generally enjoy her time in the island forest.You can help too! Next month our annual Matching Campaign returns for our Principle Partners to engage in a friendly competition to build the most public awareness and donations in support of their organizations and the causes important to them. To learn more about the Matching Campaign visit our R.O.A.R. site and learn how you can participate and help a cause important to you!
Ten terrific projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan are helping the next generation learn about becoming productive world citizens.And starting today, your support will be matched at 50% to make a bigger impact as long as matching funds last. From “Send 30 Afghan Girls to Teacher Training Programs” to “Sughar—Giving Women Wings in Pakistan,” we have added four new projects to six existing ones that will all be a part of the Safer World Fund going forward. See the complete list here. And remember: the Safer World Fund will match your donation at 50% while funds last. Please get your donations in early!Your support provides education, training, and health care in Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially for girls and women, at this critical time. The 12th anniversary of September 11th reminds us that investment in young people today lays the foundation for a peaceful society tomorrow. And please, talk up The Safer World Fund with your friends!