In this day and age, we must constantly be thinking on the lines of ensuring that everything we do is as sustainable as possible. When our youth groups go to Haiti, we work to ensure that they build skills to be able to listen, care and fall in love with the culture, people and heritage. We work for this so that our students go off into the world more openminded and more willing to listen to what others needs are without superimposing their will where it is not needed.
Haiti has been ripped apart by colonialism, poverty and overall greed that has devistated the people, environment and any slight chance of independence based growth. But the people of Haiti have shown that they will stop at nothing to try and change that narrative. Through meeting and collaborating with individuals and groups of local leaders in Haiti, we have been able to hear their concerns and develop ways that we might be able to help.
The first way we can help is by not seeing them as "the poorest country in the western hemisphere" but as a people who have become united on the struggles of day to day life. Each person has something to offer and contribute if only, we take the time to stop, think about why we care at all and then come to the realization that we are in this together.
The second way is to take what has been said to be the causes for concern and then brainstorm ways that aid can be used to build structural or infrastructural installations that will become beacons for local growth and development. For example, in helping to purchase land for community gardens, we can help the community share in the lands to help grow food and enhance the flora and fauna. This example shows that, in talking with the community members, that there is a longing to have community garden spaces that everyone can feel welcome to use. And without the labor to help build the garden and the money to give the head start it would be much harder for us to achieve this dream.
Conservation of water
Another example that we became privy to by talking with the local leaders is that there is always a shortage of water for the use on gardens, livestock and other uses besides human consumption. One day in walking to the market, we saw a bunch of local leaders building a cistern out of cement to collect the rain water that was puddling up the road and making it in passable. There was a farm next to the road that would use the rain water for watering the crops. If students were able to come to Haiti to help local leaders build rain water basins then they could have built the skills to help locally crafted projects as well as help solve a water crisis.
The final aspect about working for and with sustainable practices is that we do not need to go to Haiti all the time to take part in projects. But, rather at every chance we can, we should go to Haiti to visit our friends and family because life isn't about the things you fix for others but the strives one takes to love others as family. In our travels to Haiti we will keep this in the forefronts of our minds so that we can hope to break the chain of "the graveyard of good intentions and the white, savior complex" that has greatly added to the devistation we still see throughout the world.
Community Leaders watering saplings to be given to families to help them start growing their own food.
How Can you help us with sustainability?
Send us an email... If you or anyone you know has had success in doing grassroots projects in Haiti, we'd love to hear more about it
As we are a locally funded group, it is hard to ask for donations but with all money that is donated it goes directly into helping local leaders enact long term solutions for their community growth.
Use our Methods:
We highlight a few ways to practice sustainability and we know that if everyone used a similar mindset, we would be able to decrease some of the damage caused gloabally. Think about how your actions will affect future generations.